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Rustic French Bread

Rustic French Bread

Even if you’ve never baked before, you can bake this easy French bread.   It can be made completely by hand and is fat free.
Course Breads, Main Course
Cuisine American, French


  • 3.5 cups Flour Bread four is best, but it will work with all purpose as well.
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 package Instant dry yeast or 1 tablespoon loose yeast
  • 1/3 cup Warm water not hotter than 110 degrees
  • 1 cup Warm water


  • Measure flour and salt into large bowl and stir.  In smaller bowl, sprinkle yeast over 1/3 cup warm water, add sugar, stir and let set 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of warm water to yeast mixture and stir it into the flour mixture and beat until it forms a ball.  (Use electric mixer with dough hooks if you have one, or beat with a spoon.)  If mixture seems too dry, add 1 tablespoon water.  If mixture seems too wet add 1 tablespoon of flour.  You always want your dough to have enough moisture. A little sticky at first and then comes together as you kneed it. Let dough rest 5 minutes, then knead on floured board till it's smooth and elastic, about 50 strokes, or if using dough hook with mixer, beat about 2 or 3 minutes until dough is smooth. Return dough to mixing bowl (coat mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn dough to coat with oil - this will keep it moist while it rises. Cover with damp towel or tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise about 1 - 2 hours, till doubled and light.  (poke your finger in it, if the dent remains, it's light.)
  • Punch dough down and pull it out of bowl and let it rest on floured board for 10 minutes.  Then knead again about 50 strokes and form into one large or two small French loaves.  Place them on a greased cookie sheet or lined with parchment paper, cover with damp towel and let them rise to slightly more than double, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 
  • Bake 25-30 minutes at 425 degrees.  Makes 1 - 2 loaves.
Keyword French bread