Classic and Crusty French Bread

Classic and Crusty French Bread

Bake the perfect loaf of French bread with this traditional recipe. The signature crust is made by misting the loaf with water during baking.
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 20 persons



  1. Step 1

    Gather the ingredients.
  2. Step 2

    In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir until dissolved.
  3. Step 3

    Mix in the bread flour, a little at a time, until a soft dough is formed.
  4. Step 4

    Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead it for about 8 minutes.
  5. Step 5

    Put the dough in a greased bowl and flip the dough over so that all of the dough is lightly greased, including the dough top . Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour or until double in size.
  6. Step 6

    Punch down the dough .
  7. Step 7

    Give the dough a quick 2-minute knead.
  8. Step 8

    Divide the dough into 2 equal halves. Shape each half into a long loaf.
  9. Step 9

    Place the loaves on a lightly greased baking sheet. Make about 5 diagonal slits, 3/4 inch deep, into the top of each loaf.
  10. Step 10

    Cover loaves with a clean towel or greased plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes or until double in size. Heat the oven to 400 F.
  11. Step 11

    If you'd like, brush the loaves with the beaten egg white for a shiny crust, and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes.
  12. Step 12

    Remove the loaves from the oven and use a mister or spray bottle to lightly spray the tops of the loaves with cold water. Turn the oven down to 350 F and bake the loaves for another 25 minutes or until done.
  13. Step 13

    Remove the loaves from the baking sheet and let them cool on a rack.