You are going to love this French Style Bread Recipe. It’s so easy that you can make it with a toddler. In fact, my 11-month-old baby helped me make this loaf bread, and we even made a YouTube video about it (see video below).
We have been doing a lot of bread making during our home quarantine and social distancing. I bought some packets of instant dry yeast at Walmart (the only store in our area that had yeast available), and one of my photography clients gave me a bag of yeast (not sure if it’s instant yeast, or active dry yeast, but it still works great).
Bread making has been so much fun, especially with my almost toddler helping me. At the time of the video below, he was 11 months old.
There’s something so fun about making bread. It’s really fun kneading the dough, seeing it rise in a few hours, kneading some more. You have to be patient with bread, and that’s the beauty of bread making in my opinion. The patience. This is a virtue I do not have, so I’ve enjoyed the waiting.
You don’t have to be an expert at kneading dough. It will turn out great, no matter how well you do it.
Here’s my video about baking French-style bread with my 11-month.
As you can probably tell, making bread doesn’t have to be precise. The amount of flour that you add will depend on where you live, your climate, how warm your kitchen is, etc.
I added flour until it felt right. The dough was sticky, but not overly sticky and not too dry. You get a feel of bread after a few times, but this recipe is super easy. I don’t think you can mess up.
I adapted this recipe from the King Arthur Flour website. (They have awesome bread recipes).
Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Easiest French-Style Bread Recipe
- 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (one package)
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 2/3 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tsp oil for greasing the bowl
- 1 tbsp melted butter, for brushing
- In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix all the ingredients (except the oil and butter). Start off with 4 cups of flour, then adding in a little more flour as needed. Mix until the dough is rough and very sticky.
- Turn out the dough on a floured surface. As you knead, sprinkle in more flour as needed until the dough is nice and smooth and doesn't stick to your hands. This may take 6-8 minutes.
- Add 1 tsp of oil to a bowl. Add the dough to the oiled bowl, turning it over once, so it is coated with oil on both sides. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place in your kitchen. (I use the counter near a windowsill)Let rest for 1-2 hours, or until it's doubled in size.
- When the dough has risen and doubled in size, deflate the dough with your palm. Cut it in half. Working with one piece at a time, knead the dough gently for a few minutes. Then fold it into a rectangle like a letter. Then roll it into a log. Place it on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 45 minutes.
- Make three diagonal slashes in the loaf. Brush the tops of each loaf with melted butter.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Turn off the oven, crack the door open, and allow the bread to bake for an additional 5 minutes before you remove. This helps the crust be crispy.
- Cool on a rack. Slice the bread when it's warm enough to touch. Enjoy with melted butter, or for sandwiches.