Soft and Chewy Homemade French Bread

  • Author: Melissa
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes + 2 hour proofing
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 loaves 1x


I was impressed at how easy this Soft and Chewy Homemade French Bread was to make! This bread has a nice texture. It isn’t dense, but it isn’t light and airy either. It land’s somewhere in the happy middle of the two. 

If you are just getting started in making breads, this is a great recipe to start out with. It has minimal steps, and you can make it easily with a stand mixer! 



  • 21/4 cup warm walter
  • 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 21/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil or avocado oil
  • 51/2 – 6 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted


  1. Using your stand mixing bowl, combine warm water and your yeast. I used a meat thermometer to make sure it is about 105 degrees. If you are using instant yeast you can proceed to the recipe. If you are using dry active yeast you will need to wait about 3-5 minutes to allow your yeast to activate. You will see tiny bubbles appear on the top of the water.
  2. Once your water/yeast mixture is ready to go, you can add the sugar, salt, oil and 5-1/2 cups of flour. Combine well using the dough hook. As you are mixing, if the dough is sticking to the sides of the bowl or to the dough hook, add additional flour as needed in 1/4 cup increments.
  3. Continue to mix on low for about 3 minutes. The dough should be coming together into a ball and climb up the hook. (Watching the magic of the dough coming together is my favorite part about making bread!)
  4. Transfer the dough to a clean, greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place bowl in the warmest area in your kitchen for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. After your dough has doubled in size, evenly split the dough into two sections. Using your hands, spread out one dough section into a 9×13 rectangle. Don’t worry about being exact – you can just eyeball this!
  6. Roll the dough inwards from the long side. Press closed any seams on the ends and bottom. Place the rolled dough onto the center of a cookie pan (lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.) Do the same with the second dough portion and place it on a second lined cookie pan.
  7. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for an hour, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size and is puffy.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with the baking rack placed in the center position. Using a baker’s lam or a thin sharp knife (an X-Acto knife works well for this), cut some diagonal marks along the top of the loaf.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until it is golden and baked through. I found that the bread looks a bit pasty after removing it from the oven. I brushed it with melted butter, leaving a nice brown color.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Soft and chewy homemade french bread