The Ultimate French Bread

Recipe by Debber
READY IN: 1hr 15mins
SERVES: 10-12




  • Add to bread machine according to owner's manual (my machine does liquids first); program for DOUGH or MANUAL.
  • At the end of the cycle, place on lightly floured surface, rolling into a large rectangle; start at the longest end and roll up tightly, pressing seams and tapering each end, tucking under.
  • Place loaf on a greased baking sheet or stone; cover and let rise for one hour until doubled.
  • Near end of rising time, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix glaze ingredients in a small bowl; brush over loaf generously; snip three diagonal slashes over the top (optional).
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, top will be golden brown.
  • VARIATIONS: After rolling dough into a rectangle, (1) sprinkle with grated cheese [cheddar is delicious], or (2) generously brush with melted butter & sprinkle some aromatic herbs, or (3) spoon leftover marinara sauce close to the edges, -- then roll up tightly and pinch edges; continue as described in Step #3.
  • VARIATION #2: Mince one small onion (about 1/4 cup) and add to wet ingredients.
  • CREATIVE SUGGESTION: Shape into a round loaf instead of the usual long loaf.
  • BABY FRENCH BREAD LOAFLETS: Divide dough ball into 12 balls, tapering to make mini-loaves; bake 15-20 minutes--watch carefully!
  • FRENCH TWIST: Divide dough into 3 pieces, rolled into 14-16" ropes. Lay them on pan and braid in usual fashion, tuck ends under, stretch out a bit if need be; brush with 2 T. melted butter; cover & rise for about 30 minutes; brush with glaze, bake 20-25 minutes--watch carefully.