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“There are two very important things I've learned from making French bread. You don't need a special pan (though I use one now) to have it rise and hold its shape. The trick is you don't let it double in size. It rises in the oven to its full shape. The other thing I like to do is to put a pan of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven. This makes a nice crisp crust. I received this recipe from my sister-in-law. When she makes this recipe, she makes 3 loaves on a cookie sheet. I make 2 in the French bread pans.”
READY IN:
35mins
YIELD:
2 loaves
UNITS:
Metric

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Place hot water in large bowl.
  2. Add the shortening, salt and sugar.
  3. Stir and let stand until lukewarm.
  4. Sprinkle yeast over all.
  5. Beat until smooth.
  6. Add 3 cups flour and beat until mixed.
  7. Work in 2 cups flour with a wooden spoon.
  8. Gradually knead the last 1-1/2 cups flour in until no longer sticky-about 3 minutes.
  9. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  10. Punch down and place on floured board.
  11. Roll out to a rectangle.
  12. Cut lengthwise in half.
  13. With each strip, roll up lengthwise and pinch seams.
  14. Roll gently back and forth with hands to desired length and to smooth loaf out.
  15. Lightly grease cookie sheet or use French loaf bread pans.
  16. Cover and let rise for 25 minutes.
  17. Cut diagonal slashes across bread about 1/4" deep.
  18. Preheat oven, pour boiling water on large cookie sheet to fill.
  19. Place cookie sheet on bottom rack in oven.
  20. Brush loaves with warm water and place bread on higher rack in oven above water.
  21. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes.

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