by:

Deborah Lynn

Published:

April 20, 2020

Modified:

June 7, 2022

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Artisan French Bread

There is nothing better than fresh baked bread, straight out of the oven!! Making bread can be so much work though and not something most people are willing to do on a regular basis. This amazing artisan French bread recipe is SO easy and yummy and it also makes the perfect traditional Parisian baguette! Even if baking is not your thing, this bread is so fool proof that you will even impress yourself! Take a look below at the recipe for artisan bread and then try it with this delicious from scratch jam recipe for a delicious snack.

BVINTAGE STYLE SIGNATURE
artisan french bread on a linen kitchen towel

The Secret of the Parisian Baguette

caramel colour, crusty exterior and soft crumb interior, 


The Difference Between Parisian Baguette and French Bread 

Bread Flour VS All Purpose Flour

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Easier than you ever imagined

Chewy, crisp crust

SOFT  inside

So much flavour

Shape however you want

No special pans, or dough starter required

Only 4 ingredients

variable rise time

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of flour (preferably bread flour)
  • 1 tsp of salt (course salt)
  • 1/2 tsp of instant yeast (active yeast variation shared below)
  • 1.5 cups of warm water 
  • Corn meal (optional)
flour in vintage enamel bowl with copper measuring cups to make Parisian Baguette
  • Bread Flour: You can use all-purpose flour in this recipe, but I recommend using bread flour. Bread flour produces a stronger, chewier bread and that makes a big difference in recipe with only 3 other ingredients. Whole wheat flour is not recommended for this recipe
  • Instant Yeast: Instant yeast is key in this recipe. You can use active dry if that’s all you have, any quick rise or instant yeast will produce flavorful results in less time. You only use a very small amount of yeast in this recipe because of the long rise time. 
  • Salt:  Salt adds the best flavor to this bread! Coarse salt, is what I used both in the bread and sprinkled on top!
  • Water: The  water needs to me warm! Not hot to the touch and not to cool either.
artisan french bread dough in an antique enamel bowl
  • Optional Cornmeal: Adding some cornmeal to the base of the pan will give a pop of flavor and a little crunch to the bottom crust. This is completely optional. 

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE ARTISAN FRENCH BREAD IN 5 STEPS

Artisan bread dough rising in an antique enamel bowl


  1. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Add the water to the dry ingredients. The dough will seem very dry and shaggy and it will be sticky. Don't worry, this is normal and the dough with work out. Just insure the dough is mixed throughly.
  2. Let it rise at room temperature for at least 8 hours.  Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size. This dough is best when allowed to rise for 18-24 hrs. It can be left in the refrigerator for up to three days, the longer you leave this dough, the better it tastes. The cold air helps to slow the fermentation process and adds so much flavour and texture. 
  3. Preheat oven to 475 C. Place your dutch oven or crock into the oven while it warms to temperature. 
  4. Remove dough on to a WELL FLOURED cutting board. Fold the dough into itself and shape into your desired shape. You can even separate it into two loaves, it can be shaped into a round loaf or two longer loaves. Let rise again for 30 minutes
  5. Score the top of the dough with a very sharp knife. Sprinkle course salt on top for taste.
  6. OPTIONAL - Add corn meal to the base of your dutch oven, crock or pan.
  7. Place dough in warm crock with the lid on and place in the oven.  The extremely hot air will immediately set the crust so the bread rises up instead of spreading all over.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes with lid on. Remove lid and bake for another 5-10 minutes until crust is golden brown. If you are making two smaller loaves, only bake for 20 minutes, then check to see if it is too desired colour.
  9. Remove from the oven and take the loaf out of the pan.  Let cool for 15 minutes before serving. 
  10. Serve and Enjoy! This bread is best when consumed on the first day. It also makes the most amazing grilled cheese sandwiches when it is a day old.
french bread on a linen kitchen towel

Active Yeast Variation

If you only have active yeast there is a slight variation to take, but the results are the same!

yeast rising

Add the 1.5 cups of warm water to a bowl.
Pour in 3/4 tsp. active yeast to the water.
Next add 1/2 tsp. white sugar to the bowl. The yeast needs the sugar to "eat and grow."
Let the yeast water sit for approximately 15 minutes. Give the yeast mixture a gentle stir and then add to the flour and salt and continue recipe as directed above. 

mixing flour and yeast

Tips to Make your Parisian Baguette Crispy

In a rush? Try making the Parisian baguette bread dough with active yeast. Place a lightly damp linen towel on top of dough and placed it in the oven on the proofer setting for 3 hours. The baguette will bake up perfectly!. 
Artisan style French bread dough being prepared for baking

If you make this easy, yummy artisan french bread, make sure to let me know your thoughts below and tag me in your photos on social media! It really is the easiest bread to make!

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