French bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. This bread goes perfect with pasta or soup. However, making it takes forever. I like to make my own bread when I can to control the ingredients, limit the sugar in it, and use whole ingredients.
Please pardon my photos. They aren’t the best in the world and I cut the bread in half to make sure the center was done before snapping the pictures. It was done and delicious, by the way.
I started to look for a solution to bake my own French bread without having to knead it, let it rise, punch it down, knead some more. That’s so much work and this isn’t the 1950s.
Here is the recipe I came up with based on my old recipe books, some trial and error and looking at other bread machine recipes I had on hand. The result was a tasty, simple bread that paired perfectly with our dinner.
- 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour can use bread flour if that is what you have on hand
- 1 packet yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/4 cups warm water
Add flour to your bread machine baking insert.
Make a small crater in the center of the flour and pour yeast packet inside.
Sprinkle sugar on top of yeast.
Add salt and baking powder around outside edge of crater.
Pour water on top and set bread machine to "dough" setting.
When bread machine is finished, divide dough in half and shape into long, narrow loaves.
Cover and let rise 60-90 minutes more.
Bake at 450-degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes (about 20 in a gas oven and about 25 in electric) or until crust is golden brown.