French Bread




     I'm 11 years old and a third generation bread baker.  This is my Nana's recipe, she lives in Wyoming. I love to bake, ALL types of things and I want to write a book telling people not to be afraid of yeast. I am in fifth grade and love school. I really hope you enjoy my first instructable! 

Step 1: Ingredients

3 cups of  warm water about 105 degrees Fahrenheit or bath water temperature 
2 tablespoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
6-7 cups unbleached flour 
1 egg separated (yolk and white)
1/4 cup sesame or poppy seeds
1-2 tablespoons of oil
A handful of ice cubes
a tin
Any type of whisk
large bowl
cooling rack (or a cool spot)
Make sure to have a clean working space!
Makes 4 loaves or 24 small rolls

Step 2: Yeast (Don't Fear The)

     Evenly spread the yeast on top of the warm water. Stir with something chopstick like. Wait for about 15 minutes for the yeast to proof, or until bubbly like the picture. If the water is too warm or too cool the yeast will die (not turn bubbly). DON'T GIVE UP,  try again. 

Step 3: It's Coming Together!

     Pour the proofed yeast into the large bowl. Then stir in the egg yolk until uniform color. Now add three cups of flour. Beat really hard for about 1 minute or until fully mixed (by hand). After covering with top plastic wrap, let rise for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Step 4: I Need to Knead You

     Add flour until it comes together like the last picture, cup by cup, and the salt(stirring in between each cup).  Stir until the dough comes together and you can hold it easily in your hands. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour your hands. Knead until it's not sticky anymore, but smooth and stretchy, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Coat the bottom of the large bowl with oil.  Lift the dough into the bowl and spin it. Turn over your almost-bread so it too is covered with oil.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Also put in a baking tin on the bottom of the oven. Cover the top of the bowl and let rise for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Shape Up

        Feel free to mix and match!
        Directions For Loaves: 
                 -Split dough into quadrants
                 -Trying not to overwork it, flatten into rectangles
                 -Roll up tightly and pinch all seams
                 -Place on greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets long seam-side down
                 -Let rise for 1/2 an hour
         Directions For Rolls:
                -Cut dough in half, then each in fourths, then each in thirds
                -You should have 24 pieces
                -Either make mini loaves or be creative and somehow shape into a ball
                -Let rise half an hour on parchment paper lined (or just greased) cookie sheets

Step 6: Into the Oven

     Whip the egg white. Brush the egg white heavily onto the rolls and/or loaves. Incise the loaves by quickly moving the knife on the loaf.  Make three cuts.  Now sprinkle poppy seeds (or sesame seeds) on both the rolls and loaves. Remember the baking tin? Pop in a handful of ice cubes for steam. The steam will help create a better crust.  Now slide the cookie sheets into the preheated oven. Bake for 1/2 an hour. Remove with oven mitts (and caution). Slide the bread onto the cooling rack and let cool for a couple minutes (or until you can't stand it any longer). CAUTION: Those who are impatient may burn their mouths!

Step 7: Yum

     EAT! It freezes well and tastes great toasted the next morning! If you liked this please vote for it! My mom needs a baking stone because her other one broke :( The crust isn't as perfect without one. I had a lot of fun writing my first instructable! Thanks!

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    25 Discussions

    Captain Greg

    5 years ago on Introduction

    Holy cow, that was great! Honestly, I am glad I read this. I am going to try that right now! I am inspired by your Instructable and am really hungry for some fresh bread. Please post more recipes/whatever, you have a great style for instructing so one can understand what you mean. Good work!

    3 replies
    Captain Gregyo.lizzy

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    Bread was awesome. First try was a bit mis-shapen, but smelled amazing and tasted great. Lots of practice will refine this, but I'm new to baking from scratch. Love the recipe!


    7 years ago on Step 7

    You are cure as can be! I'm going to swing into immediate action! I'll let you know how I make out using your guidance. I am, well-40ish and while I am
    'cool' saying I am a fairly good cook and love preparing food for family and friends, I know very little about baking with yeast. Over the last couple of weeks I have made three attempts at bread baking, french bread specifically. Using mostly recipes I pulled from the 'net'-FoodNetwork and simply "GOOGLING" french bread, I haven't been super thrilled with any of it . My first attempt pretty much just stunk! It was bland, the texture was all wrong-so was the crust. The last couple, although each better than the one prior, still it didn't have the killer crust, that to me, makes the best french bread. I have a good feeling about you having included the use of steam in your intstruction-able ;) !
    Lizzy, I think this could be just the ticket. Do forgive, It wasn't my intention to write a comment (my first internet comment, response, inquiry, blah, blah ever . Clearly I need to learn to "talk less-say more", anyway a comment that would chew up half your Saturday afternoon just reading but I'm "off the hook" lately with my quest for mastering the perfect loaf of french bread. Many thanks!
    P.S my daughter is... Yo Adrienne. Now... I bake!

    2 replies

    Sometimes more words=better. :) btw, how did your parents come up with your name, you don't see it too often, I like it. (sorry, off topic)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I would love to read that book because i don't know what all the fuss is about yeast. If you write that book i would appreciate if you wrote the title here.


    6 years ago on Step 7

    This recipe looks pretty good, I have gotten much into bread baking in the last few months and decided that I need to open up my repetoire of breads to different types, so far I have been making simple white bread loaves. This looks good, as I said, and I shall attempt this over the weekend. Thanks for the instructions! Keep baking!!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Elizabeth, you are one of a kind- absolutely amaZing!! Casting my vote for you and wishing you all the best! - Mrs. Church's sister, Phoebe :)

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    I really like how you talked about not fearing the yeast! I've heard so many people say that yeast scares them and for the life of me don't know why. You've got my vote!

    1 reply

    this is so good i use that ice into steam in my gluten free breads too its one of the only ways ive found to make a half way gluten free bread. I will half to work on addapting your recipie. I put a link to this on my FB and told my friends to vote i hope you do well in the contest.

    1 reply

    8 years ago on Introduction

    Elizabeth! OMGoodness what do I keep telling ARE amazing! I've got to be the luckiest teacher:)