Grandma’s French Bread

by Melanie on February 10, 2008

My Grandma is an excellent cook. This is her recipe for French Bread. When she makes it, she usually bakes a triple batch, so she can freeze all the loaves for family dinners. Her bread and rolls are the best! I use my bosch mixer with this recipe, but you could use a kitchen aid, or even a bowl and heavy spoon. It is so easy, and so good!! It freezes well and makes GREAT paninis and french toast! This makes 2 loaves.
Grandma’s French Bread
Submitted by Melanie~The Sisters Cafe

2 ¼ c. warm water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp oil
5 ½ -6 cups flour-stirred before measured

First dissolve sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let this proof—or sit for a few minutes until it bubbles. Then add salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and beat well (At this point I switch to my dough/kneading attachment on my Bosch mixer) Add in 2 1/2 -3 more cups of flour. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky. Knead for a few minutes. Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn dough onto a floured surface and knead it 2 or 3 times to coat with flour. Divide into 2 equal parts. Roll each part into a 9×13 rectangle. Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal. Arrange seam side down on large baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with corn meal, allowing room for both loaves. Repeat with second part of dough. With a sharp knife, cut 3 gashes at an angle on the top of each. Cover lightly; allow to rise 30 minutes. Brush entire surface with egg wash (one egg beaten slightly with 1 Tbsp of water). If desired, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30 minutes at 375. Cool on racks
NOTE: For a crustier loaf, a pan of hot water may be set on bottom of oven while bread is baking.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melanie February 12, 2008 at 4:17 am

Wow…your bread looks professional!! I have this recipe but mine doesn’t look half as good. I’ll have to try it again.


2 Anonymous February 14, 2008 at 6:37 am

Isn’t this a great recipe! You know Grandma Rice has made this bread for so many people, just taking them a treat. You girls have a great legacy of service. Both your Grandma Rice and her mother, your Great-grandma Ririe took food to people whenever there was the slightest reason to brighten a day. I have to say, this bread looks better than mine!
Love, MOM


3 Amy February 21, 2008 at 6:39 pm

Mel I don’t know if you’ll check this cause it’s an older post but I’m making this for my fam on Sun and am confused how I roll it up. So you roll the dough in a flat 9X13 square and then just take the long side and roll it like would a cinnamon roll or something? Help, I’m so dumb!


4 Melanie C. February 22, 2008 at 4:39 am

You are not dumb in the least!! Bread is confusing to make until you do it a few times–but yes you do roll it up starting at the long end. Then just tuck the ends under and pinch–Make sure to pinch all along to seal it and put the seal or pinched part down. And cut the gashes before you let it raise-it works better. I am going to change that in the recipe right now! Good luck–just call me if you have any more questions! Love you!


5 Amy February 27, 2008 at 9:08 pm

The bread turned out great! Everyone was so impressed with me. Thanks for your help and posting the awesome recipe.


6 US March 4, 2008 at 5:18 am

Hey! I just tried your recipe! Since we were going to eat it with soup, I didn’t do the egg wash. It was soooo good. Thanks!


7 Arundathi July 4, 2008 at 1:20 pm

I’ve been enjoying baking my own bread for a couple of weeks now. I would love to try this one. Just wondering, since I don’t have a standing mixer, and am going to manually do this, would the kneading times remain the same?


8 Anonymous June 13, 2009 at 12:33 am

First off what a wonderful blog. This French bread will replace my current recipe. Made two beautiful loaves and did not use my mixer. I did end up using only 5 c. flour and stretch and fold method every 10 min. instead of the way posted. Had one loaf for dinner with Jambalaya. Flavor and texture was perfect. Thank you for sharing a great recipe. Will be a repeater in my kitchen.


9 Danielle January 22, 2010 at 11:56 pm

This is fool-proof french bread. I know this because I am a fool when it comes to making bread, but I've made this several times, and it turns out every time. Thank you.


10 Marcie and Doug April 15, 2010 at 1:53 am

DELICIOUS! This is a staple for my parents now! They make it alot! We were coming to visit them awhile back and my dad made it so it would be ready when we got there. :)


11 The Foster Clan April 18, 2010 at 1:18 am

I am a bit confused.. it says 2 T. sugar… then 1 Tbsp yeast. So does the T. also stand for tablespoon or is it actually a teaspoon??


12 Melanie Anne April 18, 2010 at 2:20 am

Hi Foster Clan,
Sorry to confuse you with the recipe. Yes it is 2 Tablespoons of sugar. I have fixed that in the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out!


13 tammy c September 3, 2011 at 4:47 pm

can you use bread flour or all purpose?


14 Elizabeth March 16, 2012 at 5:35 pm

OMG! I have FINALLY found a GREAT recipe! Help me! I’ve already gone through half a loaf!


15 john radford October 31, 2012 at 4:22 am

my first go at this, at 375 f looked as though it was burning, but although over dark colour
left it for the 30 mins, & it turned out great,, maybe it was the eggwash,
will certainly bake this again, loved the crustiness, and the flavour, thankyou,,, John


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