Your Own Crusty French Bread

"My father got this recipe some 40+ years ago at TWA. Crusty yet chewy outside - melt in your mouth inside. Smear with garlic butter and watch it disappear! I've taken a photo showing the bread in the hand formed foil baking pans, this is the 2nd rise. Final picture is fresh out of the oven."
Your Own Crusty French Bread created by Karen Elizabeth
Ready In:
2hrs 45mins
3 loaves




  • Dissolve yeast in very warm water.
  • Stir well.
  • Let proof for 10 minutes.
  • Stir in 2 cups of the flour, sugar and salt until mixture is smooth; gradually beat in enough of the remaining 5 cups flour to make stiff dough.
  • (Kitchen Aid is perfect for this).
  • Turn out onto lightly floured pastry cloth or board and knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding only enough more flour to keep dough from sticking.
  • Return to bowl; brush top with soft shortening or oil and cover with clean towel or plastic wrap.
  • Let rise till double in bulk in warm place away drafts (approximately 45-60 minutes).
  • Punch dough down; cover; let rise again for 30 minutes (again in warm place away from drafts) or until double in bulk.
  • While dough rises, make boat shaped baking pans as follows:

  • Tear off 3 twenty-inch-long sheets of heavy aluminum foil.
  • Fold in sides of foil approximately 1"-1 1/2" on all 4 sides to form baking pan, this will allow the bread to rise up and not spread out into a flat shaped loaf by folding the short ends together to seal, pressing thumb inside to round slightly (shape into boat)with shortest ends slightly rounded.
  • Spray with PAM and sprinkle lightly with corn meal.
  • Punch dough down, knead 1 minute on lightly floured pastry cloth or board.
  • Divide dough into thirds.
  • Roll out with the palm of your hands to a rope approximately 18 inches long; place in prepared foil pan.
  • Repeat with remaining two-thirds dough.
  • Make 3-4 evenly spaced shallow cuts diagonally in the top of each loaf; brush with warm water and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  • Cover with clean towel and let rise in warm place away from drafts till double in bulk (approx. 30 min).
  • Preheat oven to 450º.
  • Place dish (I use an old aluminum pie plate) on lower shelf of oven and fill half way with hot tap water.
  • Slide loaves on shelf above water.
  • Bake for 15 minutes in 450º oven; reduce heat to 350º and bake 30 minutes longer.
  • Bread is done when tapped and gives a hollow sound.
  • Remove immediately from pans and let cool on cooling racks.
  • Slice bread- spread each side with garlic butter- reassemble bread loaf and return to foil pans.
  • Unfold edges to cover and warm in low oven (325º) till butter melts into bread.
  • Serve warm.

Join The Conversation

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  1. Cakes2006
    OMG was this amazing bread!!! I tried it on a whim and was so surprised with how wonderful it was! I did not do the foil or corn meal. I used bread flour. Also, I used a pizza stone and preheated it in the oven for about 60-90 minutes prior to baking the loaves. I placed the raw dough directly on the pizza stone with a pan of water below it. I also cut the bread into 6 loaves, baking two and freezing the other four (after the final rest, just before baking) for another time. Can't wait to make more! Yumm!!! Thank you SO much for the wonderful recipe!
  2. YungB
    Very good bread CindiJ...the crust is thick and chewy and the crumb is dense but soft.
  3. Karen Elizabeth
    Your Own Crusty French Bread Created by Karen Elizabeth
  4. Karen Elizabeth
    Fabulous recipe that worked perfectly, I was extremely pleased and proud of myself!!!! I had to think about the 'boats, since I started off with a 20" square of foil, before working out that since my foil roll was already 20" wide, I only needed to pull off about 8", enough to form my 'boat' as per instructions, which in fact worked out very well. Everything else was so straightforward and worked like a dream. I like to use my ABM for kneading, but this amount was far too big and I was reluctant to try cutting down the recipe, so I resorted to 'traditional' methods, with spectacular success!!! Thank you Cindi!! Made for P-A-R-T-Y tag!!
  5. CindiJ
    Your Own Crusty French Bread Created by CindiJ



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