Crusty French Bread (Mixed in a Bread Machine)

French Bread_square post
Have you ever given somebody a recipe and then when they turn around and serve it to you—you don’t even recognize it? That’s what happened with this Crusty French Bread. I gave the recipe to my daughter-in-law, Amanda. Later, she baked it and served it to me and I asked HER for the recipe. How did that happen? Now she is famous in our family for this French bread.

This bread has a soft, compact crumb with a crispy crust. It is NOT a chewy kind of artisan bread with big holes in it. Nope, nothing too sophisticated. Just a fresher than fresh loaf of bread you may want to add to your regular rotation or bring out for company. Slice it for eating out of hand, smear garlic butter on it to accompany pasta or make sandwiches with it (see below).

Crusty French Bread_skinny loaves tall

Amanda recently made this for my mom’s birthday party. We used it to make sandwiches for beef au jus. My other daughter-in-law, Susie, told me about McCormick’s Au Jus Gravy mix. It’s a touch salty but I forgive. Place the browned beef roast in a crock pot, pour seasoning mixed with water (according to the package) over the meat and cook it on high or low, depending on when you want to eat. 5 hours later on high — perfectly seasoned broth and fork tender shreds of beef.

au jus sandwich_1

If this is your first go-round with French Bread, I hope the picture below will help you form the bread.

Crusty French Bread-10.jpg


Crusty French Bread (Mixed in a Bread Machine)
Recipe type: Bread
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening or butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3+ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • Glaze: 1 egg white + 1 teaspoon water whisked together well.
  1. Place all ingredients in bread machine pan in order listed. Start dough cycle. After 5-10 minutes, lift the lid and check dough. If dough is too sticky (levels out), add more flour 1 tablespoon at a time. If dough is too dry, add water a teaspoon at a time. Dough should be a loose ball that sticks to the sides, then pulls away.
  2. When dough cycle is complete, turn dough out onto lightly floured board. Roll into oval shape slightly longer than you want your final loaf to be. Starting from long side, roll into a cylinder shape. Pinch seam together. Turn over so seam is hidden. Pinch ends together and turn under making a small rounded shape on each end. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in warm place until almost double.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make glaze and brush over loaf. Using a sharp knife, (I use a serrated knife) or a single edge razor blade, cut diagonal slashes about 2 inches apart and ½ inch deep across the top of loaf.
  4. Bake loaf for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cooling rack or slice and eat immediately.


If you enjoy making bread, you might consider these recipes made in a bread machine…

Rosemary-Parmesan Foccacia

My Favorite Dinner Rolls

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{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm

This bread is absolutely wonderful! I made it to go with Sweet Potato and Carrot soup. We had some left over and made french toast with in the morning, soooo good! Family is coming down and my mom had me make two more loaves so she could have french toast in the morning with our family.

Just one question, what do I need to do to keep the bread from glueing itself to the pan? My first loaf took a lot of convincing to get it off the pan. The glaze utterly glued it to the pan. The second time I tried to oil the pan, hoping that would keep it from sticking, but it still stuck, but not nearly as bad. The oil also smoked and there went the fire alarm! Should I try parchment paper, silpat, or something else?

Thanks, this bread is awesome!


Erin November 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

Thanks to you and this recipe, I haven’t bought bread in two years. This french bread is our everyday bread and it is so good! I have had great results with adding a 1/4 cup or so of wheat bran or a few tablespoons of flaxmeal to up the fiber.
I had such trouble making really good homemade bread, it was always tough and dry, but thanks to your wonderful tutorials, I am now a champion bread baker! I have tried many of your recipes and they have all been a success.
Thank you so much, Paula!


Paula November 13, 2014 at 9:43 pm

What a day-brightener! You’re most welcome. I have never added anything the the french bread but why not? Can’t wait to try it. paula


Rich Rice August 20, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Wonderful recipe- delicious bread. Thanks for posting. This was my first foray into French bread, and it worked beautifully. I actually managed to make it while carving a neck for a bass guitar. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Simple and attractive, not to mention delicious!


VikkiD July 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm

This is the first recipe I tried using this method & it turned out fantastic! It was delicious with grilled steaks & roasted vegetables. The leftovers made excellent toast this morning. I can’t wait to try more of Paula’s recipes. I am a new fan of Salad In A Jar! ๐Ÿ™‚


Omar April 7, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hi Paula,

Thank you so much for this recipe. Your bread brought to smile to my face ๐Ÿ™‚


leslie March 26, 2014 at 11:37 am

How long do you let it rise after rolling it out (step 2 instructions) What did yu use for glaze?


Paula March 26, 2014 at 8:20 pm

Hi Leslie,
Let it rise until double. How long it takes depends on the temperature in the room or place you are letting it rise. Normally takes around 30-45 minutes. The glaze is water and egg whites. Amounts and directions are listed in the recipe.


rachel February 26, 2014 at 4:58 pm

came out PERFECT the first time! Great directions! My whole family ate th entire loaf while it was still warm.


Judith January 26, 2014 at 2:19 am

Hi there,
Bread looks fantastic. One question, is it necessary to use bread floue or could it all be unbleached flour.


Paula January 26, 2014 at 6:16 am

Hi Judith,
I have not tried it yet but using 100% unbleached flour would probably work. I would expect the texture of the bread to be slightly softer and not quite as chewy because there is less gluten in the unbleached flour. Worth a try. ๐Ÿ™‚


Zaneta December 25, 2013 at 5:13 am

Gonna make this morning …can’t wait for waking family’s reaction…thanks sooo much for sharing!


Lori December 15, 2013 at 7:25 am

Wonderful recipe and instructions. I would never have shaped it properly had you not included those instructions. Thanks so much!


Julie September 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

By the way, my (ahem, your) French Bread was a HUGE hit with my family the other night (at my in-laws no less, so score!!, lol). It came out beautifully and was so yummy!!

My only question is that it did taste slightly of yeast (kinda like a yeast roll after taste, which was not bad by any means), but just wondering if that is normal?


Julie September 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

Hi there Paula…

I am also a really BIG fan of yours! I found your blog a few months ago while I was searching salad-in-a-jar… long story short, I have since bought a used bread machine about a month ago (to see if I really liked it before spending the big bucks, lol… which I do! But still haven’t had to upgrade just yet).

I have been coming back here pretty regularly to try new things. I have tried your pizza dough, and it is now a Family FAVORITE! That was the first recipe I tried by using the bread machine only for the dough cycle (scary for me as a newbie)… I have had terrible experiences in the past with trying to make my own breads by hand (before the bread machine) and waiting for it to rise, etc. So, it always makes me a little nervous to do a recipe which requires it to cook outside the machine.

However, recipes like French Bread, and pizza cannot be made in there, so I come look up your recipes, and get inspired every time I do! Thanks a bunch! Love your videos too!!

This time, I like another commenter had a problem envisioning what you were describing when talking about how to form the dough, so I did a quick search and this is a link that shows pictures of exactly what you were describing… I didn’t even read the text, lol…just needed the pics (visual learner thing, I guess):

Anyway, Thanks again soooo much for your tasty recipes and fun anecdotes!!


Julie November 28, 2013 at 8:48 am

I was coming here to get the recipe for French Bread to make for my family today (Thanksgiving), ๐Ÿ™‚ and I saw your updated pics… and I thought, “Awesomeness!!!” Thanks for updating the post and adding the pics, they really do help!


Lenora June 3, 2013 at 9:03 am

Hi there! I am fairly new to Bread making using a Bread machine. I like the concept of using the machine for the dough, and then baking the bread in the oven. I use your pizza dough recipe as well as the focaccia! Yum. Question: When the dough is finished mixing in the bread machine….do you take it out immediately, or do you let it rise in the machine….and then proceed with your instructions? (for example for the French bread)


Paula June 3, 2013 at 9:28 am

Hi Lenora,
I leave the dough in the bread machine to rise the first time. The first rise is part of the “Dough” cycle. That being said, if I’m cooking for a crowd, I will remove the dough at the end of mixing and start all over with a second batch. Then first batch of dough goes into a bowl to rise in a warm place before it’s ready to form. Hope I haven’t confused you. Write back if you still have a question.


Sangeeta May 10, 2013 at 2:44 am

Thank you for sharing this recipe. Since we are employed in KSA French bread isn’t easy to come by.
Ever since my husband got me the Bread Maker I have been trying your recipe. They are great.


Monique T January 29, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Just made this and it looks wonderful . . . . too bad my expensive kitchen aid mixer is collecting dust since I got my bread machine,


Paula January 29, 2013 at 10:16 pm

Your comment made my day!!


Shirley G December 2, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I made this tonight, first time I have EVER attempted bread and it was fantastic. So easy and so good. Thank you!


Brandy November 3, 2012 at 12:43 am

I realize this posting was from 2 years ago, but I wanted to stop by and tell you I just found it. I made this bread today and it was wonderful! It looked amazing. It smelled amazing. And it tasted even better. I wont be buying french bread at the store ever again!


Gina September 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I just made this and it was GREAT! Love your white bread, too. You are my go to blog for my bread needs! Thank you so much for doing all of your posts. I would have given up on bread making with out you!


Paula September 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Your comment is so encouraging. I love bread and love making it. The French bread is so easy, why not?


Stephanie August 9, 2012 at 12:05 am

Horrible idea to look at recipes at 1am when you want to go to bed of course I’m hungry now. I want to try to make this 1 day,once I perfect the art of making Campbell’s soup I will get on this. I have enough trouble with pancakes,bacon&eggs but I swear I’m going to try to learn how to cook I mean I’ll be 30 soon enough I should know how to cook something.


Paula August 11, 2012 at 8:52 am

Hi Stephanie,
Start cooking and keep trying new things and you’ll be a super good cook in no time.


Katie July 29, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Paula, I’ve been making your honey whole wheat bread since January and I finally thought to try this French bread recipe. I LOVE IT! Thank you again for enriching our family with such yummy bread! ๐Ÿ™‚


Paula July 30, 2012 at 9:34 am

Hi Katie,
So glad to hear you are enjoying the bread.


ZojiBread May 27, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Excellent recipe! I mixed the dough in my bread maker & it easily made two loaves. It’s delicious & we’re having it with spinach artichoke dip right now!! Yummy!


bread maker reviews March 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Iโ€™ve made this breads 3 times already within the past 30 days and that i canโ€™t get enough! Many thanks so much for sharing your formula,best bread maker!


Pat's Bread Maker Reviews August 31, 2011 at 4:21 am

Looks like a great recipe…I’m always looking for ways to get the crust right!
Thanks for sharing


mhadar July 20, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Wow very nice, I tried it, I dont think the yeast likes me too much, but it could be that I made it into two loaves instead of one. It tasted great thou!!


Breadmaker Dan June 21, 2011 at 7:15 am

Looks absolutely fantastic.

I make a lot of bread at home and it never ever ends up looking like that. I’ll give the recipe a shot and pray for the best.


koygote March 13, 2011 at 6:06 am

Iโ€™ll dig out the bread machine for this! It looks so good in that sandwich- yum!


Susie January 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm

ok, so here’s the verdict….quick dough cycle seemed to work ok, although probably the basic dough would have allowed for more rise time. but this is a denser, crustier bread so it may not have mattered anyway. my loaves (or should i say loaf) weren’t as pretty as yours, but guess this will just come with experience as i make it more. you may want to mention that this recipe makes only 1 loaf (or at least that’s how mine turned out) of about 8 thinner slices. i used bread flour & bread machine yeast. hope this helps someone else out who may be making the recipe for the 1st time


Susie January 10, 2011 at 3:54 pm

oh and i’m also trying out the “quick dough” cycle on my bread machine…not enough time for me to allow for the basic dough cycle. i’ll let you know if it turns out…


Susie January 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

i’m just now about to make this recipe for the 1st time (with beef au jus for dinner, of course!)… there any way to add a pic or two of the second step? it’s hard for me to follow words & i’m not sure exactly what you are talking about. does the recipe really only call for 1.5 tsp of shortening? that really surprised me. is that correct? guess i’m about to find out.


naomi October 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

The bread looks fantastic!


Duong October 25, 2010 at 3:05 am

I’ve made this bread three times already within the past month and I can’t get enough of it! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!


Natural Weight Loss Suppliments October 7, 2010 at 6:10 am

I also love bread. btw this really looks perfect!


Edwin October 7, 2010 at 2:19 am

wow..thats looks mouth goes watery


Betty @ scrambled hen fruit September 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm

I’ll dig out the bread machine for this! It looks so good in that sandwich- yum!


ldh September 16, 2010 at 6:45 pm

I love bread, Paula and this looks perfect! Aren’t bread machines so convenient. Looking forward to trying this recipe.

I want to make your Greek Yogurt too. I have to pick up a strainer though. Years ago I made regular yogurt frequently for my children just using a yogurt maker. This sounds infinitely better!


Jeannette September 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I think I am finally embracing bread making. I made two loaves of the same bread in two days. Yeast still doesn’t really like me too much but i won’t complain because it was deeelish. I’m thinking of trying this!


Beth September 16, 2010 at 6:50 am

That bread looks terrific. I wish I made bread more often — there’s nothing better than when it’s homemade!


LimeCake September 16, 2010 at 1:21 am

Yum i love good crusty bread! The texture looks delicious!


Amanda September 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm

Wow, your pictures look way better than my bread ever looks! Thanks for the recipe we now pass around!:)


Kathy the Bread Machine User September 15, 2010 at 6:11 pm

Wow!! Looks great! All the ingredients are really easy to produce. I really love bred making.!


Susie September 15, 2010 at 3:38 pm

i agree, the au jus is definitely not for those on a low sodium diet. but is it tasty!


Blond Duck September 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Popped in from Pam’s to say hi! Oh, my husband loves beef au jus and crusty bread. He’ll be so pleased!


Phoo-d September 15, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Ooh, what wonderful loaves! The sandwich is making my mouth water. This looks like a perfect bread for french dip sandwiches.


smspizza September 15, 2010 at 11:43 am

thanks for nice recepts :)))


Clivia September 15, 2010 at 11:03 am

This sounds like a great recipe. We love fresh French bread. I may try it this weekend.


Pam September 15, 2010 at 10:14 am

It looks PERFECT! There is nothing better than fresh baked bread.


Steve September 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

I wonder if I will ever find this bread on our front porch ๐Ÿ˜‰


Paula September 15, 2010 at 9:30 am

You might.


Paula September 15, 2010 at 9:22 am

I really like this kind of bread! I`m going to try this ๐Ÿ™‚

have a nice time!


TheKitchenWitch September 15, 2010 at 7:55 am

I fear the yeast, but it looks like your loaves turned out beautifully! Perfect for that delicious-looking sandwich!


Gina September 15, 2010 at 6:51 am

Looks good! I’ll have to try this. I haven’t been happy with any French bread from my bread machine. Great pictures too, as always!


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