French Bread

Update 2/2013: This recipe has been on my blog, well, for as long as I’ve been blogging and that’s over five years! It is no exaggeration that this bread is made at least twice a month in my kitchen. It’s perfect to eat just by itself (warm out of the oven? seriously, divine) or to use as garlic bread, french bread pizzas, dipping for fondue. I mean the possibilities are endless. The bread is exactly what unauthentic French bread should be (ignore those cravings for a “real” crusty baguette – this is not it). Soft and tender and absolutely worth all the carbs. Promise.

French Bread

French Bread

French Bread

Note: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be. Also, I often use half to 3/4 finely ground white whole wheat flour with good results - and sometimes I get crazy and use 100% whole wheat flour (always finely ground white wheat) but the bread is a bit more dense with 100% whole wheat flour. If using part or all whole wheat flour, add a few minutes to the kneading time to help develop the gluten.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant or active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 1/2 - 6 cups flour (see note)

Directions

  1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water sugar and yeast. If using active dry yeast, let the mixture bubble and foam before proceeding (this can take 3-5 minutes). If using instant yeast, proceed with the recipe (no need to let the yeast activate). Add the salt, oil and 3 cups of flour and mix. Add in 2 1/2 to 3 more cups of flour gradually. The dough should clean off the sides of the bowl and not be too sticky but it should still be soft. Knead for 2-3 minutes until the dough is smooth and soft.
  2. Leave the dough in the mixer to rest for 10 minutes and then stir it down (turn on your mixer for 10 seconds or use a wooden spoon to stir down the dough) and then allow to rest another 10 minutes. Repeat for a total of 5 times. Then turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide into two equal parts. Roll each part into a 9X13-inch rectangle. Roll the dough up starting from the long edge and pinch the seam to seal. Arrange seam side down on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the second part of dough. Place it on the baking sheet leaving room for both loaves (or use a second baking sheet for the second loaf). Cover with greased plastic wrap and let the loaves rise until doubled in size. With a very sharp knife cut 3 or 4 gashes at an angle on the top of each loaf. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and baked through.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/french-bread/

Recipe Source: from The Sister’s Cafe

159 Responses to French Bread

  1. Anonymous says:

    What type of yeast is best for this recipe?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your quick reply. I can’t wait for the morning so I can buy the ingredients to make this and amaze my family!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Melanie, I found out about this site thru “Aunt Marilyn”. I try recipes here all the time. Tried the french bread and it was a big hit with everyone, especially when dipped in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yum!

  4. Steph says:

    Yum. There is nothing like a hot fresh loaf of homemade french bread. Great recipe, I think I’ll be giving this one a try!

  5. RecipeGirl says:

    Good to know that this one’s a keeper. I’ve been wanting to make my own French bread for ages! Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Erin says:

    So glad you like this! It IS fabulous! :) You’re getting me in the mood now. :)

  7. Liz says:

    I made this today and it is fantastic! I will not be buying french bread from the store anymore!

  8. PheMom says:

    Well, let another recipe I know I’ll be trying very soon. Your loaf looks wonderful!

  9. Melanie says:

    Yay, Elizabeth! I’m glad it turned out for you. This is one of my favorite bread recipes!

  10. Domestic Kate says:

    Thanks for posting! I never thought I could actually make homemade French bread, but this recipe was pretty easy, and it tasted fantastic.

  11. grace says:

    that’s a nice-looking loaf o’ bread. soft and dense, you say? sounds fabulous to me.

  12. Katie says:

    What a beautiful loaf of bread! I love your blog :)

  13. Mandy says:

    Oh my yumminess! One of my kids’ favorite dinners is cheese, fresh french bread, & aged basalmic vinegar to “dip”. I’ve never been able to master french bread but I am going to try this recipe this week! Thanks for sharing!

  14. Melanie says:

    Domestic Kate – thanks for trying this and letting me know you liked it! I clicked over to your blog and your bread looks fantastic!

  15. TheOnesInColorado says:

    We made this tonight with French dips. It is great! I have been wondering how to make French bread and now I can. :) Thank you!

  16. Melanie says:

    Anonymous – glad to know about the Aunt Marilyn connection and really glad to know you liked this bread. We love dipping it in olive oil and vinegar, too!

  17. Angie says:

    Ohhhhh – myyyyy! My stomach is growling – yummy!

  18. Melanie says:

    Thanks everyone for your nice comments! That’s why I love the blogging world – you always feel like a million bucks. :)

  19. Laura says:

    This sounds just like the recipe that I use. I love it!

  20. Kevin says:

    That looks good! Fresh homemade bread is one of the best things!

  21. Melanie says:

    The Ones In Colorado – yay! I’m so glad you liked it. That sounds FABULOUS to use with french dips. Anonymous – I always use active dry yeast because it is what I buy in bulk and it works for most of my recipes (assuming the yeast dissolves in the water first).

  22. [...] very popular meal around my house is soft roll or bread dough rolled out and filled with simple ingredients (usually diced ham and cheese) and then braided [...]

  23. Molly says:

    Made this over the weekend as a treat- french toast, etc. On a whim, I grilled a few buttered slices with a steak dinner to rave reviews. Grilled bread has now been declared the official starch of summer, surpassing the potato. Thank you for a great bread recipe. :)

  24. Mel says:

    Molly – I for sure would be declaring the grilled bread the official starch of summer. Love that! Thanks for letting me know this was a hit.

  25. Sonya says:

    I made these today as a test run for Easter dinner. I’m making shredded beef sandwiches and wanted to make homemade rolls. I made the loaf into mini loafs so we can each have our own and they are wonderful. Thanks for another great bread recipe.

  26. Mel says:

    Sonya – what a great idea to make mini loaves. Love it! Thanks for letting me know these worked out for you!

  27. Melissa J says:

    Sorry for being dense (it is me, not you) but what does this mean, “Roll dough up, starting from long edge of loaf to seal.”

    I am excited to make this on Saturday but don’t want to make any mistakes.

    Thank you for all of your inspiring recipes.

    • Mel says:

      Melissa J – you aren’t dense, I promise! The instructions mean to start at one of the long ends of the 9X13 inch rectangle and roll the dough up into a tight log – then just pinch the edges together so it creates a good seal. Does that make sense??

  28. Emily Marie says:

    I made this to go with homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs tonight, and it was perfect! I forgot the egg wash, but that didn’t stop us from loving it – my husband kept going on about my “restaurant quality meal.” :) Besides the fantastic taste, I loved that it only took 2 hours from start to finish! Thanks for a wonderful french bread recipe, I’ll def. be using this again!

  29. Katy R says:

    I made this for a french toast breakfast and it was delicious!!! It held up so well with the egg mixture, never once got soggy in the middle! Thank you for sharing!

    • Mel says:

      Katy – I may have to use this bread for french toast based on your recommendation. I’ve never done that but always seem to have it on hand…glad it was delish!

  30. JoAnn says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t left a comment for this bread before! I love it. It just came out of the oven, I spread hot butter on it, and the kids are in heaven.

  31. Bliss says:

    Oh My Gosh! This bread almost put me into a coma! It’s SO good! Never thought making French Bread was this easy… I’ll never buy it from the store again!

    Now, could you freeze the loaf right before you’d bake it to make later? Or would you need to freeze it before that final rise?

    • Mel says:

      Bliss – we must be BFF’s because good french bread is balm to my soul and I hear you on it being coma-worthy. If you were to freeze it, I would do it before you let it go through the final rise. Then pop it out of the freezer, let it defrost and go through that final rise and then it can be baked.

  32. Bliss says:

    Mel, it works wonderfully frozen! I could LIVE off of hot French Bread and globs of butter. (I think it’s because I was born and raised in South Louisiana) This hits the spot when I miss being further south. If you ever need a great Gumbo or Jambalaya recipe, I’ll be more than happy to share :D

    • Mel says:

      Bliss – thanks for checking in on the frozen french bread. I agree, I could live on french bread (and butter) alone! And I would love a gumbo or jambalaya recipe – I’ve actually been looking around for a good one of either of those!

  33. Lucy says:

    I love making this bread. I can’t believe I can make a loaf of bread that looks so good and tastes great. Thank you! I like to freeze slices of this and then pull a few out to make french toast with when I get a hankering for some really, really good french toast. We just had it for breakfast this morning, in fact.

  34. Melissa says:

    Just had this for dinner – it was so, so, so good!! So easy to make too!

  35. Hassan says:

    I’m a relatively new bread baker and I’ve tried a lot of different recipes for french bread, but yours is my favorite. It works every time I’ve tried to make it, and my relatives love it. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  36. Whitney says:

    This is sooo good, and sooo easy!! We had it for dinner tonight and we ate one loaf (I could have eaten the whole loaf by myself, but somehow restrained). Will the other loaf still taste this good tomorrow, or should I put it in the freezer?

    • Mel says:

      Whitney – the loaf won’t taste quite as fresh the day after, although it can be helped along by sprinkling it with a few drops of water and putting it in a warm (350-ish) oven for a few minutes. We still eat this the day after and love it but beyond that, I usually freeze it.

  37. Whitney says:

    Great, thank you!! :)

  38. marjorie says:

    Hi! I tried this recipe yesterday and Im amazed on how good it was. Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous recipe. My bread did not really have the nice rectangular baguette shape, and the I was having a little trouble cutting the gashes at the top of the bread. I think I should’ve added a little more flour?
    But other than that…OH MY GOD! It tasted great and my family looooved it. We only have 1/2 baguette left.

    Thanks, again

  39. Suzi Grant says:

    Hey Mel! LOVE your website! It’s my go-to place when I’m looking for recipes to use in my upcoming weeks! We’re actually having your Chicken Gyros tonight – everyone is ridiculously excited! We tried the French Bread last night, and it didn’t even last 2 hours! It is heaven on a pan fresh out of the oven! I couldn’t stop myself from cutting another piece, just to taste it…and another…and another. Hubby and I could seriously live on bread alone!! Making it again today on [kind] demand! ;)

    My loaves looked more like baguettes, and your loaf looks so big and wonderful! I was just wondering what might cause the difference? Thanks so much!

    • Mel says:

      Suzi – I’m glad you like the bread recipe! The end shape result is probably related to how we both form our loaves. When I shape my loaves to put on the pan they are fairly puffy and large to begin with (probably about 4 inches across) and then of course they get bigger as they rise and bake. Either way, I’m glad your bread turned out!

  40. Heather says:

    i’ve made this bread twice in the last week or so… it is delicious!!! it makes good french toast the next morning too. my sister-in-law will be trying this recipe tonight after having it at our house. we may never buy french bread at the grocery store again! thanks for the recipe : )

  41. Bliss says:

    Making this again today, to dip with some Barbecued Shrimp. Will be a hit again, I’m sure!

  42. The Queen Vee says:

    I was trying to figure out how to make this bread if you don’t own a mixer. Any suggestions?

    • Mel says:

      The Queen Vee – You could easily mix the bread dough by hand and leave a wooden spoon in the bowl. After each 10 minute cycle, “stir” down the dough with the spoon or gently knead it down with your hands. It should work just as well!

  43. Jocelyn says:

    Thank you so much for this receipe. I have tried it a couple times with fantastic results. I added some fresh rosemary that i needed to use and 3 heads of roasted garlic. Turned out better then I have ever made!!! Thanks again.

  44. Bliss says:

    Made this again over the weekend. This was the second time that I “forgot” to use the egg wash. ( I say “forgot” because both times, I had the egg wash ready to go, but baby Marie decided she needed attention right then and there) I missed the crunchy, crispiness that the egg wash adds, BUT it was SO soft. Like, sandwich bread soft. Melt in your mouth with the gobs of butter you slathered on soft. So, if you forget the egg wash, no biggie, you still get amazing bread. It still browned up well, and was devoured!

  45. MeckMom says:

    I’ve made dozens of loaves of bread but for some reason I can never master French. It always turns out hard and flavorless. After reading your post I decided to give it one more shot. Although it wasn’t as pretty as yours, my whole family thought it was delicious. We downed both loaves in a matter of hours. Thanks so much for finally breaking me of my bad French bread record!

  46. Natalie says:

    Hi Mel! I just made this bread for meatball subs tonight (your recipe of course). This makes a ton for my small family of 2 and a little one. Can I freeze 1/2 to dough? Would I then shape it into the loaf, let it come to room temp and then rise? I would rather freeze the dough than make 2 loaves and freeze it while cooked. Any help would be great! Thanks for all the fabulous recipes!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Natalie – yes, you can definitely freeze the dough. I usually plop my leftover dough in a greased ziploc freezer bag and put it in the freezer. I take it out about 6-8 hours before I want to use it, then I shape it, let it rise and bake it. Hope that helps!

  47. This was incredibly delicious. Thank you!

  48. Bethany S says:

    We love this recipe around here. I was just curious what combinations of flour you like to use with this. I am borrowing a friends wheat grinder (love!) and experimenting with different ratios of wheat to all-purpose, so I was just curious on this one. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Bethany – I make this french bread a lot and have experimented endlessly with the flour amounts. Just yesterday I made it with nearly all 100% white wheat flour (I ran out of wheat flour right at the end and used maybe 1 or 1 1/2 cups white flour). It was delicious – really hearty and obviously pretty dark in color, but if it is kneaded for a while, it still turns out really soft. I will also usually throw in a cup of ground flax meal and that works out great, too. When I really want to splurge, I make it with all white flour because it is nearly like dessert then. Basically, it is a really foolproof recipe and works well with all or mostly all whole wheat flour – just make sure it is kneaded for a bit longer to help develop the gluten (before going through the ten minute stir down cycles).

  49. Nicole says:

    I just made this bread to go along with some lasagna and it is utterly divine! :) The only problem I had, and I have every time I make bread that has to be formed is that the bottom of the bread loaf goes flat…do you know why it does that? Like it’s a perfect log when I form it and it rises, but then when it’s done baking the bottoms bake out and to the pan instead of being rounded. I don’t know if that makes sense but I obviously have a problem. Any ideas?

  50. Mel says:

    Nicole – hmmm, I’m not entirely sure what you mean. Looking at the picture of the french bread in the post – does your bread have a wider/flatter base than that? The only thing I can think is that it might need a bit more flour to keep its shape and structure. Do you think it could be rising too long before you bake it?

  51. [...] and it has made perfect bread each time!  I found the recipe via pinterest, and it’s from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I altered it just a bit by adding some whole wheat flour in with the white [...]

  52. Kathy says:

    This is the best french bread I have ever made! It was so easy! I will be making this again!

  53. M-

    I’ve been baking French baguettes for about 4 months now. Though my latest ones turned out great, they’ve always been a bit too crunchy for me. Your recipe looks like it may do the trick. I just popped the loaf in the oven. I’ll get back to you with a “tasty” review.

    Thanks!

  54. Shannon says:

    I would think you could form this into 4 skinnier loaves for more of a baguette style bread?

    I’m going to try this later on….I’ll let you know how it turns out :)

  55. Mel says:

    Shannon – yes, you could definitely modify forming these loaves into 4 thinner baguettes. Hope you liked the end result!

  56. [...] Bread with Gruyere Cheese and Fresh Basil Adapted from Taste and Tell who got it from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, who got it from The Sister’s [...]

  57. Casey says:

    Just sliced into this bread…never thought such good bread would ever come out of myown oven! It is amazing!!

  58. Kellie says:

    Made this tonight, and I agree with the poster who said I CAN’T BELIEVE SOMETHING SO GOOD CAME OUT OF MY OVEN! We used it for Taco Loaf tonight, and we’re going to make fish sandwiches with the second loaf tomorrow night. SO YUM! Thanks so much for sharing. : )

  59. Jen says:

    There seems to be tons of really great reviews on this bread! I plan to make it ‘garlic bread’ style tomorrow with my mom’s secret salmon soup (yum!), but I am really interested to know if making this with bread flour would make it any different (or better) then just using all-purpose?? Or maybe half-and-half (half AP and half BF). Can’t wait! (I’ve tried a french bread recipe before and didn’t have such luck, but I’m really counting on this one, your recipes seem to always turn out!)

  60. [...] Monday veggie lasagna french bread [...]

  61. Mel says:

    Jen – I’ve never made this with bread flour but I don’t think it would hurt the outcome. Maybe try it with half bread flour the first time just to see. Good luck!

  62. Kathleen McGuirk says:

    What size loaf pan are we baking this bread in? I want to try it.

  63. Mel says:

    Kathleen – you don’t use a loaf pan for this bread. It is free-formed and baked on a large baking sheet. Hope that helps!

  64. [...] Tuesday curried butternut squash soup with caramelized onions french bread  [...]

  65. Meredith says:

    I made this bread tonight for the first time. I used my bread maker to mix, knead and rise the dough. It made it so easy! It turned out perfect, just like your picture. The egg wash makes a huge difference. My husband cannot believe all your recipes. After he had a piece of the bread, he asked “is this from that website?” Ha! He said “that website is the best”. I agree :)

  66. [...] found a basic french bread recipe on THIS site that got it from THIS site and have been so happy with my variations on the theme that I [...]

  67. Dena says:

    I love that this bread comes together so quickly… 2 hours?! My husband won’t let me buy store bought bread anymore. Thanks alot Mel! ;-)

  68. Salem says:

    Don’t tell my mother…but I pulled up your recipe online before pulling her’s out of my recipe box when I wanted to make french bread today. (It’s been 4-5 years.) Then, come to find out, they are pretty much the exact same. It was amazing! Thanks!

    P.S. I made an offhand comment the other day, I believe in reference to your corn bread, and it was something like “She usually puts her’s in a 8×8, but I wanted more top layer, so I put it in a 9×13.” And my husband, without even asking who I was talking about, or stopping to clarify, just continued the conversation….knowing that when I say “she” and a sentence dealing with cooking, it’s you! =) I thought it was funny! Thanks so much for ALL of the amazing recipes!!

  69. [...] *Note: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.  Recipe from:  melskitchencafe.com [...]

  70. Sharlene says:

    Let me just tell you, this is seriously the BEST and most FANTASTIC French bread that I have ever tasted. I made this for a sandwich bread to bring to a baby shower and let me just tell you, it didn’t even need the chicken salad on it! It was SO GOOD and took my sandwiches to a whole other level. Make this bread! You will NOT be disappointed!

  71. Amber says:

    I made this bread last night…. it was a HUGE hit with the fiance!!!! One question, how much sugar am I supposed to use? 2Tbs or 2Tsp? I got confused becuase it says 2T but everything else asys #Tbs… Thank you for sharing this WONDERFUL recipe!

  72. Mel says:

    Amber – yes, it is 2 tablespoons sugar.

  73. Amber says:

    THANK YOU :)

  74. Eve Bursey says:

    Hi Mel!
    Found your website yesterday on my lifelong search for the “perfect french bread” recipe! Everyone’s comments convinced me to try your so I did. I made it in the afternoon and let it come to room temp this morning. Was a little hopeful that it would turn out to be “the” recipe! Well I must say it really did rise! My mother said refrigerator dough never does but being stubborn I have to try things myself! It really is the BEST french bread I’ve ever made! I have 2 questions though, 1) when I took it out of the fridge this morning & turned it out onto my doughboard it was real “rubbery & dense” feeling! Is that normal? 2) It tastes great but it is extremely chewy. Is that normal? Did I do something wrong? Or is that how it’s supposed to be? I love your website and all your adorable children! Cherish this time of your life because believe it or not it goes quickly! Thanks for all you do!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Eve – bread dough can definitely take on a bit of a different texture right out of the refrigerator if it has been chilled so I think what you felt was normal. Also, flavor and texture change/develop when yeast doughs are refrigerated overnight (or longer). In many cases, this is desirable and is how many artisan-style loaves are made. My guess is that the ultra chewy texture came from letting it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Did you use bread flour? That can also give it a chewy texture. When I make this bread (same day with no refrigeration) it isn’t chewy really, more soft and bready.

  75. staci n says:

    so sorry but i think i missed the type of yeast used…?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Staci – the recipe is tailored for active dry yeast (because it proofs in water) but you can also use instant yeast. That’s what I always use and I just skip the proofing step and throw everything in together to mix and knead.

  76. staci n says:

    Thank you! that is what i have also. Would it be the same amount?

  77. Mel says:

    Hi Staci – yep, you can use the same amount (officially, I think you are supposed to use something like 75% less instant yeast but I always just use the amount in the recipe).

  78. staci n says:

    thank you so much for your help. winter colds have hit all 3 kids and the hubby, homemade chicken noodle soup and french bread are being requested. thank you again for your help and wonderful site!!!

  79. Antoinette says:

    Darn good recipe! My non-bread lover had two pieces with garlic butter on it! All the other bread lovers in the family finished off 1 loaf in one sitting along with our spaghetti. Thank you, definitely a keeper!

  80. Angie says:

    I had never made bread before and some ladies in my baby group said this bread was “it.” I have to agree. It turned out great, to my surprise. So addictive. The whole family loved it and munched on it till all was gone. Makes you want to stop buying bread and just make it. Trying the rolls tonight and the perfect chocolate chip cookie. Loved the Chocolate chip Peanut butter Oatmeal cookies too. Anywho…lovin’ your site and trying one recipe to the next.

  81. Victoria says:

    This bread came out really salty. Everyone said it tasted like a pretzel. I was disappointed. It was really crusty and dark on the outside but gummy on the inside.

  82. Mariah says:

    I’ve made this several times, and it’s always delicious! I’ve even changed it up some, using honey or whole wheat flour. So good! Your recipes are always spot on!

  83. J says:

    This bread is amazing. My husband actually said “I didn’t even know it was possible to make such delicious bread at home. I thought you could only buy it.” Ummm, thanks honey?
    Thanks for sharing so many great recipes, love your site!
    -J

  84. J again says:

    Used the second loaf for French toast the next day, good stuff :)

  85. Shauna VW says:

    I absolutely love this recipe and so did my family! Definitely a keeper!

  86. KT says:

    I love this recipe! I make it all the time, whenever I forget that I want bread for dinner and don’t have time to wait for two rises. This comes out perfectly each time! Thanks so much

  87. adrienne says:

    Made this today to go with my most favorite recipe ever, your creamy chicken wild rice soup. The bread turned out great! I subbed 1 cup of flour for white wheat and the texture is perfect! Thanks Mel!

  88. Lacee says:

    Question- when I sliced the loaves after letting them rise, they kind of deflated. Not a lot, just got a little wrinkly on top. :( Are you supposed to cut prior to letting them rise?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lacee – if you slice the loaves prior to rising, the gashes kind of fill in and don’t hold their shape. Using a really, really sharp knife or actual bread lame (used for slicing loaves) makes a huge difference. I’ve used a knife I thought was sharp enough before and it did the same thing – but when I use a really sharp razor blade, it helps. Also, make sure your bread dough is adequately floured. And underfloured dough will be more likely to collapse a bit.

  89. Jen says:

    Mel…. am I going CRAZY?

    I’m reading all these comments with people posting about “egg wash” and I’m scratching my head wondering how I missed it in your recipe…. yet I’ve read and re-read it and don’t see any mention of the egg wash!!!

    That nice brown crust you have in the photo: is that with the use of egg wash or NOT? Thanks!!!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jen – no you aren’t going crazy. This recipe has been slightly changed over the years and I’m sorry if it is confusing. Several years ago, I used to use the egg wash but I haven’t done so in years and so the bread in the pictures is without the egg wash (which is why it isn’t in the ingredient list anymore). Nothing else has substantially changed in the recipe except for me providing a bit more detail to the instructions.

  90. Kalee says:

    About how long do you think it takes for the bread to “double in size”? I’m going to make this bread tonight (I’m so excited about all the great reviews) but I don’t want to mess it up! :)

  91. Allie says:

    Could you give me an estimate of how long it should take for the loaves to double in size?

  92. Allie says:

    Nevermind, just saw the comment above mine!

  93. Emily says:

    This bread is so delicious!! We make it often- it goes great with a lot of different dinners. :)

  94. Juli says:

    Mel! I love this bread! I make it with bread flour and it works awesome. I use this bread to make your freezer garlic bread (yum!). I tried to double the recipe today and realized I need a bigger kitchen aid. But I only had to use about 9 cups of flour, not 11 to 12 like the recipe states. I’m hoping it still comes out the way the normal recipe does. Ever doubled it? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Juli – I double this a lot and don’t think you should worry about the flour amount. Bread is so finicky…depending on the temperature of my house or the humidity or whatever, I have to add different amounts of flour to many bread recipes. Hope it worked out!

  95. Juli says:

    Mel,
    All 4 loaves turned out awesome. I even sent one home with a friend who just couldn’t believe they were homemade! Thanks so much!

  96. Melissa says:

    All of the reviews were right. This was the best bread that I,personally, have ever made. I will admit that I was skeptical; my bread machine is my best friend, but I wanted to give it the best possible chance and it was soooo worth it! I was going to halve the recipe since there are only three of us, but I am glad I didn’t. I made half into a loaf, and the other half into mini-loaves for French Dips and it got rave reviews all around :) My only regret is that I didn’t find you earlier, Mel!

  97. Amber says:

    Hi, I hope this isn’t a silly question – what kind of oil do you use? I love your blog!! Thanks for all the work you do.

  98. fmands says:

    Oh man, another winner!! Great recipe. I recently decided to try my hand with vital wheat gluten and I added 1 teaspoon to every 1 cup of flour I used. My loaves did not turn out as golden brown as yours. As it was baking for the 25 mins I was reading the comments and I see one mentioned an egg wash. I do not see that in your recipe. Do you use an egg wash to get it that brown? I tend to find anytime I have to “wash” a bread recipe before going in the oven it deflates. Any tips on avoiding that?

  99. fmandds says:

    Nevermind! I didn’t realize that they’re two pages of comments and you already answered my question. Excellent recipe!

  100. jenny says:

    Do you put something on the top of the bread before baking?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jenny – previous versions of the recipe included an egg wash but now (for the last couple years of making it), I don’t put anything on it prior to baking.

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