I love making homemade bread. Especially when it is right out of the oven, piping hot (yes…I know bread should be allowed to cool before cutting but…) with homemade butter piled on! However, I don’t always have the time to make bread, especially the odd times when those cravings hit. Then, while sorting through some of grandma’s recipes, I came across a French bread recipe that looked incredibly, and almost unbelievably, simple and quick! Only 5 ingredients and done in about 80 minutes (give or take, depending on the oven), from activating the yeast to removing the finished loaves from the oven.
This bread is so easy and basic in prep, that it is a great recipe for the first time bread maker and the homesteader with a busy schedule!
5 Ingredient French Homemade Bread
- 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 3 ½ -4 ½ Cups Flour (Unbleached A.P. Is fine)
- 1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
Step One: Activate the yeast by mixing it with the water, honey and salt.
I prefer a glass bowl. Let the mixture set until yeast activation begins- usually 5-10 minutes. You can tell activation has begun when the mixture begins to bubble and foam.
Step Two: Add 2 cups of flour to mixture, blend and knead.
Continue adding flour and kneading until the dough is no longer sticking to your fingers or your kneading surface.
Step 3: Form the dough into a loaf shape onto baking pan or cookie sheet.
(I like to lightly butter the pan surface first.) Cover the dough with a clean towel, and let it rise for 20 minutes. This is also a good time to begin preheating the over to 400*.
Step 4: When the 20 minutes is up and dough has risen, cut slits into the top of the loaf and bake for 16-20 minutes.
Crust should be golden brown in color.
Step 5: Let cool slightly, cut or tear a slice, pile on the homemade butter and take a big bite!!!!
The original recipe calls for the dough just to be shaped, let rise and bake. I have made a few adaptations for this point in the recipe, however, which includes:
Cut dough in half, shape and bake in baguette pans (will make great sub loaves or companion with a good wine!)
Shape dough and let rise on flour dusted pizza peel (to prevent sticking), then transfer to
cornmeal covered pizza stone (which should be preheating in oven)
For crisp crust, brush with olive oil before baking
For crispier crust, place pan of water in the bottom of the oven
For extra flavor, sprinkle the seasoning of your choice onto top of loaf before baking.
Did you give this 5 ingredient French homemade bread recipe a try? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!