French Bread in Bread Machine Full Methods Easy

2 loaves in linen cloth view 1 - 500x550

French Bread from Bread Machine to Oven

Jeff Baygents
This makes about 1 long French Bread loaf or 2 short loaves with several options. It also illustrates how to have a crusty or a soft crust, discusses storage, and other tips.
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Prep 2 hrs 15 mins
Cook 35 mins
Resting Time 40 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Servings 24
Calories 99kcal


Main Ingredients

  • 1⅔ cups buttermilk Alternative: 1⅓ cups milk (in place of every 1⅔ cups buttermilk)
  • 3 tsp salt non-iodized, coarse or sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 3 Tbsp. Vital Wheat Gluten optional (for more chewiness)
  • 1 tsp active, dry yeast

Miscellaneous Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil for baking sheet
  • 2 Tbsp. corn meal mix for baking sheet
  • 1 medium egg Optional: Egg white whisked with 1 tsp water (only if softer crust is desired)
  • ½ cup water Optional: water for oven (for steaming)


Bread maker

  • Place all "Main Ingredients" in their order into the bread-maker (liquids first).
    All ingredients added to bread machine view 2 - 200x160
  • Start the Bread maker using the standard "dough" setting. If using a Zojirushi brand, that setting is usually course # 11 (dough).
    Pressed START for course nbr 11 view 1 - 175x150

Shaping the Dough

  • After the dough is ready, remove it from the Bread maker and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Make it into a rectangular shape about 24 inches long and about 8-12 inches wide.
    Dough rolled into rectangular shape view 1 - 250x330
  • You can make either one long loaf or cut it now into two for 12-inch (max) to 18-inch (longer, thinner) loaves. The longer, thinner loaves are more traditionally French.
    French Bread 05 - 200x275
  • From the long side, roll it up to maintain the long length. Pinch the seam & ends closed (using water as a sealant).
    Pinch seam view 1 - 200x150

Baking Sheet Preparation

  • Lightly oil a baking sheet (olive oil or cooking spray). Sprinkle the sheet lightly with corn meal (maybe about 2 Tbsp.). Lay each dough loaf onto the baking sheet, seam side down. If there are 2 loaves, space them apart by about 3-inches minimum. Cut angled slits on the top, about 3-inches apart and ½-inch deep.
    cut angled slits
  • Cover the dough loaf/loaves with a cloth for about 40 minutes to rise about double in size. About 15 minutes before this rest period is done, set the oven to preheat to 375°F.
    cover dough for rising period
  • When rest period is done, prepare for the type of desired crust. For crusty results, lightly brush the top(s) with olive oil. Or, for softer crust, brush the top(s) with water (or with egg white whisked with 1 tsp water.
    French Bread 10 - 200x200


  • If your oven bottom is designed for allowing it, pour the referenced "water for oven" there. Then, bake dough for about 30-35 minutes.
    place loaves dough in oven

Serving After Baking

  • Remove bread from the oven and place onto a wire rack (or other surface for aerated cooling) to cool for about 10 minutes at least.
    French Bread Loaves
  • IF SERVING NOW: For dipping in a seasoned oil, you can slice a loaf anywhere from about 1/3 to 2/3-inch thick. For just standard French Bread slices, consider about 1-inch thick.
    Cutting to serve slices


Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 312mg | Potassium: 53mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg


Resources About This French Bread in Bread Machine

This French Bread in bread machine recipe makes 2 short loaves with several options. And, if you want a 2 lb. dough, tap the 1.5x on the “Recipe Resizer” feature. Typically, French bread going to be long, skinnier loaves and not real wide. Or, it can be one long loaf by skipping the optional step of cutting the dough in half.  It also illustrates how to have a crusty or a soft crust.  This bread is super chewy and is excellent for subs, slices for dipping or garlic bread, or bulk tearing off chunks for serving. You can make French Bread using bread machines easily.  Vital Wheat Gluten is optional but it does add an extra level to its chewiness.  There are notes for dry and cold storage below as well.

We make this in the Zojirushi bread maker but there are no steps specifically for that kind of bread machine. In other words, you can make this recipe in your own bread maker, as long as you just put in the ingredients as mentioned in the recipe and start it on

How to Impact the French Bread Crust: For Soft or Crusty

When rest period is done, prepare for the type of desired crust. For crusty results, lightly brush the top(s) with olive oil. Or, for softer crust, brush the top(s) with water (or with egg white whisked with 1 tsp water.

Oven Steaming

If your oven isn’t designed for receive water for steaming, you have another option.  You can place another baking sheet (or other baking container) with the water in it, below the bread shelf. The steaming effect will enhance the overall bread.

For Storage

After you’ve made French Bread in bread machines and baked them, you can store the excess loaves. Any unsliced loaves or slices can be put into an appropriate bread bag for storage. Typically, you use a thinner bread bag for hard crusts and a thick bag for maintaining soft crusts. For freezing, if using a thin bread bag (for a hard crust), you’ll possibly want to put that bagged bread also into a thicker plastic bag to avoid freezer burns and hard bread.

French Bread in bread machine - 300x275
French Bread in bread machine – Storing Excess Bread

Also, please know that the bakery chefs don’t like the idea of refrigerating nor freezing baked bread, as it changes its consistency, longevity when thawed, and flavor. But, my wife and I are fine with it and do it all the time. I just ensure I use appropriate bagging for storage. We save valuable time, effort, and money. And it still tastes great to us!

Thawing and Serving

Remove the loaves from the freezer (or refrigerator) and leave them in their one bag (if you double-bagged, you can remove the outer one). After the bagged bread has set out for about 1-2 hours, they’re ready for serving. Or, they can removed from all bags and heated in a 350 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes (on the oven shelf or on a baking sheet). You can optionally sprinkler (by hand) some water droplets across the loaves to aid in moisture retention.

Gourmet Seasoned Bread Dipping Oil for this French Bread

Click here to see a true Gourmet Seasoned Bread Dipping Oil that’s great with this bread. For learning more about breads in France, click here.

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