This Soft French Bread Recipe will help you make the best French Bread that has soft crust, fluffy ,light crumb and that tastes delicious.
What you will love about this soft French Bread Recipe
- This soft baguette recipe helps you make the best soft french bread in about 2 hours (125 minutes; from the dough making till the bread is baked)
- We can mix and make the french bread dough in less than 5 minutes!
- In this easy French bread recipe, you don’t need to knead the dough and so it is super easy to make.No kneading,No mess, less waiting time than regular bread recipes.
- We don’t need to use a stand mixer or any other special equipments.
- The resulting French bread is so soft and super delicious.This Soft baguettes remains soft longer, than a regular bread.
Ingredients for making soft French Bread
- Flour: 357 g or 2 3/4 cup
- Warm water: 210 ml or 1 cup-2 tbsp
- Instant yeast: 1 tsp (Active dry yeast 1 and 1/4 tsp)
- Salt : 1 tsp
- Melted Butter or oil : 42.6 g or 3 tbsp
- Sugar or honey : 1 tbsp or more according to your preference
How to make soft French Bread
We can make this Easy no knead Soft French Bread in six simple steps
1.Prepare the Baguette dough
Into a bowl, add in the lukewarm water, honey/sugar, salt, yeast and stir to dissolve the ingredients in water.
Water should be slightly warm and not hot.Preferably 95 F or warm as that of a baby food.
If we use hot water, it will kill the yeast cells and if the water is cold, the yeast cells will not be active and it may take long time for the dough to rise.
Add the melted butter into this.
I have made this soft baguettes using olive oil instead of melted butter as well. Both way the baguettes turned out well.
I prefer using melted butter than oil as butter has a pleasant and delicious smell and flavor which you can sense in the baked baguettes as well.
Now add in the flour little by little.
Stir and combine.
Using hands feel the dough and make sure there are no dry patches left behind or there are no lumps in the dough.
Form it into a dough ball.
If you like no knead bread recipes, then you will love these Easy to make No knead Bread recipes.
Light and Airy Ciabatta Bread recipe
Soft and delicious No knead dinner rolls
No knead Rustic Dutch oven bread
Wrap the bowl with a plastic film and let the dough stand rise in a warm environment for 30 minutes.
This proofing time may vary according to the ambient temperature.
If the room temperature is cold, it may take around 45 minutes.
If you want to skip double proofing, you might love these Easy Faster One Rise Bread Recipes
Quick and Easy Dinner rolls recipe
Delicious One Rise Cinnamon Rolls Recipe
3.Divide the Baguette dough
After 30 minutes of rising, our dough has risen slightly (that’s okay our baguettes will be light and soft).
Transfer the dough on to a lightly floured work surface.
Degas the dough.
Divide the dough into three equal parts.
Take one portion, tuck in the edges towards the center and form it into a round ball.(Once you go through the video, you will find it super easy).
Place three dough balls and cover them with a bowl or kitchen towel.This will help the surface of the dough ,not to get dry.
Keep them covered for 8-10 minutes.
This resting time will give some time for the gluten strands to relax.And this will give more elasticity to the dough and will prevent the dough from tearing while we shape the baguettes.
4.Shape the baguettes
After 10 minutes, take the dough balls one by one.
Place it on a lightly floured work surface so that the seam side is up.
Using hands or using a rolling pin flatten the dough.
I made one end very thin so that it will easy while shaping.
Roll it just as we roll a jelly roll.
Then elongate the dough gently while rolling so that each of them is approximately 20 cm in length.
Pinch the ends to seal.
Place the shaped french bread on to a baking sheet.
If your baking tray is not non sticky, then use a parchment paper to line.
The baguettes will not stick to my tray and so I have not used parchment paper.
Unlike crispy French baguettes dough which uses 80% hydration dough, our dough is not sticky and so we don’t need a baguette pan or couch to make this baguettes.
Now our shaped French baguettes are ready for the final rising.
Cover the baguettes with a damp kitchen towel.
Let the dough sit and rise in warm environment for 45 – 50 minutes.
After the final rising, lets give and egg wash to the baguettes.
Lightly beat one egg and brush it on the surface of the risen baguettes.
This egg wash will give a nice shine and golden color to our French bread when baked.
Score the bread dough (almost .25 cm deep slash), with a sharp knife.
Why do we need to score the bread
The purpose of scoring is primarly to control the direction in which the bread will expand during “oven spring”
By scoring a bread,we are intentionally creating a weak spot on the surface of the loaf preventing the loaf from bursting at any other weak spots created during shaping.
Thus scoring the bread dough will help the bread to expand beautifully and helps the bread to not to crack open at undesirable spots.
When should you score the bread.
Scoring is generally performed just before loading the loaves in the oven
How to score bread effectively
- Use a very sharp knife or razor blade or bread lame to quickly score the surface of the loaf.
- I found smearing some oil on the knife will prevent the dough from sticking into the knife
- Use a firm,smooth and rapid motion while scoring bread.Make deep and slightly angled slash.
Why does my bread collapse when I slash it
If the bread dough is over proofed(if the second proofing took longer time than the recipe states),then the bread can collapse.
As this soft french bread recipe is a low hydration dough, the chance of collapsing is much lesser than real french baguettes dough.
6.Bake the soft French Baguettes
Place the baking tray into the 375 F or 190 C preheated oven.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
As we are not looking for a crispy crust ,we don’t need the presence of steam inside the oven. So we don’t need to spray the shaped dough with water and we don’t need a high baking temperature to make this soft crust bread.
After baking you will get golden brown beautiful french bread that smells delicious.
To make the crust even softer, smear the top with some butter.
Can you bake the whole dough in a loaf pan to make a soft sandwich bread
Yes you can.Watch the video on making Super Soft White Sandwich Loaf here.
If you are baking this bread in a loaf pan, you don’t need to divide the dough and can roll and shape it into a large single log.
Place the shaped dough into a loaf pan.
And then wait for the final rise (45-50 minutes)
Bake the bread at 350 F preheated oven for 34-35 minutes.Reduce the baking temperature to 325 F and bake for another 4-5 minutes
The top of the soft sandwich loaf will start browning at around 25 minutes of baking.It doesn’t mean our loaf is done.
At this point if we take it out, the center of the bread will have a doughy texture and it will smell very “yeasty”
So wait for until the soft sandwich bread is baked properly.
Watch the Video to see How easy it is to make Homemade Soft French Bread
Soft French Bread Recipe
- 357 g Flour or 2 3/4 cup
- 210 ml Warm water or 1 cup-2 tbsp
- 3 g Instant yeast or 1 tsp (Active dry yeast 1 and 1/4 tsp)
- 6 g Salt or 1 tsp
- 42.6 g Melted Butter or oil or 3 tbsp
- 12.5 g Sugar or honey or 1 tbsp or more according to your preference
Prepare the Baguette dough
- Into a bowl, add in the lukewarm water, honey/sugar, salt, yeast and stir to dissolve the ingredients in water.Water should be slightly warm and not hot.Preferably 95 F or warm as that of a baby food.Add the melted butter into this.Now add in the flour little by little.Stir and combine.Using hands feel the dough and make sure there are no dry patches left behind or there are no lumps in the dough.Form it into a dough ball.
- Wrap the bowl with a plastic film and let the dough stand rise in a warm environment for 30 minutes.This proofing time may vary according to the ambient temperature.If the room temperature is cold, it may take around 45 minutes.
Divide the Baguette dough
- After 30 minutes of rising, our dough has risen slightly (that’s okay our baguettes will be light and soft).Transfer the dough on to a lightly floured work surface.Degas the dough.Divide the dough into three equal parts.Take one portion, tuck in the edges towards the center and form it into a round ball.Place three dough balls and cover them with a bowl or kitchen towel.This will help the surface of the dough ,not to get dry.Keep them covered for 8-10 minutes.
Shape the baguettes
- After 10 minutes, take the dough balls one by one.Place it on a lightly floured work surface so that the seam side is up.Using hands or using a rolling pin flatten the dough.I made one end very thin so that it will easy while shaping.Roll it just as we roll a jelly roll.Then elongate the dough gently while rolling so that each of them is approximately 20 cm in length.Pinch the ends to seal.Place the shaped french bread on to a baking sheet.Now our shaped French baguettes are ready for the final rising.
- Cover the baguettes with a damp kitchen towel.Let the dough sit and rise in warm environment for 45 – 50 minutes.After the final rising, lets give and egg wash to the baguettes.Lightly beat one egg and brush it on the surface of the risen baguettes.This egg wash will give a nice shine and golden color to our French bread when baked.Score the bread dough (almost .25 cm deep slash), with a sharp knife.
Bake the soft French Baguettes
- Place the baking tray into the 375 F or 190 C preheated oven.Bake for about 25-30 minutes.After baking you will get golden brown beautiful french bread that smells delicious.To make the crust even softer, smear the top with some butter.
Thursday 16th of February 2023
Baked these today and they turned out wonderful. The taste is fantastic. I hated (not really) to cut into one of the loafs because they looked so good but the smell just got the best of me. I was planning on waiting for my wife to get home to take a picture of them. What a great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing these with us. Look forward to trying some of your other recipes.
Tuesday 14th of February 2023
HELLO BINCY CAN I ADD EGG IN MY DOUGH? IF YES HOW DO I REDUCE LIQUID AMOUNT - THX GOD BLESS YOU
Tuesday 14th of February 2023
Hi just too, these out of the oven and they look so good! Can’t wait to try them! I was wondering if I doubled the recipe should I double all the ingredients including the yeast?
Tuesday 14th of February 2023
I’ve tried many of your recipes and loved each and every one of them! I’m trying this on now and I know I’ll get great results. Your recipes and videos are very detailed and because of that I’m confident to try different breads. Thanks and keep them coming!
Tuesday 14th of February 2023
Hi, I made this recipe, and my baguettes came out very dense. They were also thinner than yours in the picture. I'm wondering if I may have rolled the dough too thin? Or maybe I rolled it up too tightly? The bread sure smelled and tasted good! I could not get the link for the video to open! Kathy