One Hour French Bread

One hour, I promise!! This delicious yeasty French bread has only one 20-minute rise before going into a screaming hot oven for another 20 minutes. At the end you have golden crusty goodness just waiting to be slathered in butter or dipped in oil and balsamic!

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

Eric got home from work today and came into the kitchen (where else would I be) to say hello. After we hugged, I was stirring something on the stove when I heard him counting under his breath. 1…2…3…4…and on 5, he shut the fifth cupboard door that I had left open while making dinner. (He even dinged as a reinforcing tactic.)

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

(this is my old house, we moved last year)

I took this photo over a year ago. You would think I would learn (because I smack my head all the time) but usually when I’m cooking I’m in a hurry. My brain subconsciously thinks to itself, “you don’t have time to shut that drawer right now. You gotta get this cumin in the taco meat STAT.” Or whatever it is I need to do next.

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

It’s gotten to the point that whenever I bend over in my kitchen to put something away, I try to remember to come up slowly and check around for rogue cupboards. We got a new fridge a few months ago and it starts beeping at me when I leave it open. This happens approximately 12,000 times a day.

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

After he counted the open cupboards, Eric probably turned around and started counting children. 1…2…3…4…5…6…7. I have 7 children under the age of 7 in my house right now.  (Ages 6, 6, 5, 4, 3, 1, and 3 months. I think.) My best friend and her husband are on a trip to Sweden (!!) and I volunteered to take her 4 kids for a week. No one is dead yet, thank you very much. Pray for me, my friends. Pray no one dies, and that if they do, that it wasn’t by my hand.

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

So who’s got 3+ hours to make French bread for dinner tonight? Not this girl. (Hello, just start counting the kids in my house.) But I think I could handle 1 hour bread. This stuff is SO good. I’m not sure that I’ll ever go back to my trusty double rise French bread. I mean, that recipe is delicious, but so is this one, and ONE HOUR!

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

It’s got the most gorgeous crust, and yes, part of that is because of the baguette pan that I used. (It’s not the one I linked too, that’s just a similar one.) Eric grandma (Nana) recently gifted me her old baguette pan and I was super excited to try it out. I love the crispy crust it makes all over the bottom. But you can totally shape the loaf on a regular old baking sheet, no fancy pans required. It will still be delicious bread in the end. Soft and tender in the middle, crispy crust on the outside. Yes please! Pass the butter.

One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan

P.S. Check out Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies I just posted if you missed it. They’re going crazy on Pinterest!

If you make any of my recipes, be sure to share them on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it! I love that.

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One year ago: Classic Shepherd’s Pie with Crispy Cheddar Topping
Two years ago: Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Three years ago: Snickers Brownie Bars


One Hour French Bread

Yield: Serves 8-10

Recipe by The Food Charlatan


  • 1 and 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast*
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3-4 cups all purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 egg white, optional (for brushing)


  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Do it now so that your oven is nice and hot when you put the bread in.
  2. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine warm water, sugar, yeast, and salt. You want the water to be like a nice warm bath water. Feel it with your wrist.
  3. Set your bowl on the preheating oven and wait a couple minutes. If you see bubbles from the yeast reacting, move forward. If not, you may have killed your yeast with too hot water. Dump it and start over!
  4. Add the softened butter and 1 cup of flour, and stir together with a wooden spoon.
  5. Use the dough hook (or continue with the wooden spoon) to stir in the rest of the flour. Start with 3 cups total in the recipe (including the cup you added in step 4). Then add the last cup 1/4 cup at a time to see how much you need. The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl but still sticky. (see photos) I usually add most of the fourth cup.
  6. Knead for 6-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  7. Prepare a baking sheet or baguette pan** with nonstick spray.
  8. At this point you can either shape the dough into one large loaf that is about 12-14 inches, or you can make 2 smaller loaves. (I made two smaller loaves to fit in my baguette pan.)
  9. Use a sharp serrated knife to make 3-4 half-inch slits on top.
  10. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
  11. When the loaf or loaves have roughly doubled in size, remove the towel.
  12. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk up 1 egg white. Make it nice and frothy. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops and sides of the bread. You can use all or most of the egg white.
  13. Transfer the bread to the oven.
  14. Bake for about 20 minutes. You will know it is done when the top is shiny and golden, and the bottom of the loaf is browned. The longer you leave it in, the crispier your crust will be.
  15. Let cool for a bit and then devour hot with butter!


*That's about 1 and 1/2 packages. I buy Red Star yeast in bulk.

**I baked my bread in a baguette pan that Eric's grandmother used to use. She gave it to me recently and I wanted to try it out. But I've made this recipe on a regular old baking sheet and it works just fine, it will just be a different shape. Here is a baguette pan that would make a similar shape to the pictures shown here, or here is a regular French bread pan if you prefer larger loaves. Just remember the larger your loaves, the longer you will have to leave it in the oven.

Source: I adapted this recipe from a recipe card I got at a church activity last month. One of the ladies shared it with the group.

You should totally take an extra 5 minutes and make this Restaurant-Style Olive Oil and Balsamic Bread Dip. HEAVENLY!

Restaurant-Style Olive Oil and Balsamic Bread Dip from The Food Charlatan


Other bread recipes to try!

One Hour Yeast Rolls (Reesy Rolls) << this was a classic for Eric growing up. You can tell by this photo I posted these a long time ago!

Reesy Rolls (One Hour Yeast Rolls) from The Food Charlatan


Garlic and Rosemary Skillet Bread << Alllll the garlic

Garlic and Rosemary Skillet Bread from The Food Charlatan


Other dinner bread recipes to love:

One Hour Dinner Rolls from Yellow Bliss Road
Homemade French Bread from Cake and Knife
Classic Crusty Herbed Dinner Loaf from Sugar Dish Me
One Hour Sandwich Bread from Foodie with Family
Easy No Knead Yeast Rolls from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen

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  1. Linde says

    I add a handful of asiago cheese to the mix, plus I sprinkle more on top. It’s amazing that it only takes an hour. I love that I can make it sort of spur of the moment.

  2. Bev says

    Hi Karen. First, let me say that I really enjoy the recipes you’ve posted. I’m glad I stumbled on to your site. Second, that’s really funny about Eric counting the open cabinets and drawers. My hubby used to do the same thing because I never closed the cabinets and drawers – until I knocked myself silly once. Then I got smart, I guess, and learned to close anything I opened. But then the joys of our lives came. It didn’t take long before the cabinets and drawers were once again left open and my husband dusted off his counting finger and started counting again. Ha ha. All that aside, I can’t wait to try this French Bread recipe. One hour – can’t beat that! Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Thanks Bev, I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipes! I love how you call them “the joys of our lives”, that’s cute, haha. We have even LESS brain power to remember to shut drawers when there are littles all over the place. Nothing gives me more guilt than when one of them smacks their forehead on an empty drawer though. Ooooops!

  3. Laura says

    You and I could totally be related… oh wait. Adam does the same thing to me. Or I do the same thing to him? Hahaha! We were actually just talking about this the other day and I was trying to explain to him how I might need to get something out again, or put something back. And he was like yeah, so then you open it. Hmph. Some people just don’t understand super important things like leaving cabinet doors open.

    • Janice says

      It’s so funny that you two are both leave-cupboard-doors-open people – I’m almost fanatical about closing them. Maybe that’s why, haha! I’ve hit my head way to many times, I’m a danger to myself :)
      I think I could live on bread and butter alone, this looks so good- that crust!

    • Misty says

      Haha I just had this conversation for the millionth time last night. Only difference is that it’s Paul that leaves everything open! It makes me insane!

    • says

      Laura, YES! I constantly am thinking, oh I will need another spice out of that cabinet in less than a minute, why bother shutting? 5 cupboards later…

      And mom, we all know you could live on bread and butter alone. When I was a kid I used to think you were so gross for the amount of butter you put on your bread. Now I put on more. Full circle, mom. Full circle.

  4. Shanna says

    I could live off french bread and butter. So glad I will be able to make it in an hour now. Wait, that actually might be dangerous! Thanks for the recipe, Karen.

  5. Delia says

    I love the cabinet door story. Just curious, do you also neglect to put lids back on jars tightly? I dated a guy once and on the second or third date, he looked at me and said, “I’ll bet you never put a lid back on tight.” I thought he was nuts until I caught myself doing exactly that. Bread in one hour – way too dangerous. But it looks soooo good.

  6. stephanie says

    omg…seven kids…nope! may you all survive this week in tact ;) <3

    i think i'm actually the opposite of you – i close doors too much! as in, open a cabinet, get out something i need…then realize i also needed two other things from the same cabinet. return to cabinet, remember to grab only one of the two things, rinse repeat…

    but listen, i think next time eric comes in and is counting the doors and looks to you, i want you to go white in the face. eyes wide, mouth slightly agape…and look at him and say "poltergeist!"

    ps, i totally forgot to buy bread to make garlic bread for one of our meals this week (and i'm stubborn and go to the store only once a week, not one trip more, not for even one little thing!) so i'm totally gonna try this! excellent timing :)

  7. says

    Haha! It’s the complete opposite with me – I’m shutting doors before I’m done with them. So yeah, our cabinet doors will probably run down before their time. ;P This bread in one hour? YESS! Pass the butter!! Definitely going to try next time I’m looking for a quick(er) bread recipe (which, come to think of it, any time I’m looking for a bread recipe it’s usually a quick one…).
    Lexi @ Sempre Dolce recently posted…Skillet Brownie w/Chocolate Espresso Whipped CreamMy Profile

  8. stephanie says

    i’m with thomas – usually bread recipes just get me. i’ve been able to do biscuits, pizza dough, naan, and pita breads, but ‘regular’ bread? forget it. not even hamburger buns.

    but i took a chance on this bread and it totally worked! i have to say i honestly was shocked. i might even make it again tonight. for just the two of us i cut down the recipe to make one loaf –
    3/4c warm water
    pinch of sugar
    1T yeast
    1t salt
    1T butter, softened
    2 c flour

    i kneaded it by hand for seven minutes. i used the egg white wash too, and the timing and temp were spot on. thank you thank you! (we had it with a NYT sausage ragu recipe over penne & a salad.)

  9. says

    The bread is great. You sound like you work really art. Eric sounds like a little bit of a douchebag. I hate to say it, but maybe if he wants to keep all the cupboard doors closed he should be the one cooking. And the counting under his breath–that’s just petty.

      • says

        Hey there! I must have not written the story very well if that’s how Eric comes off in this post. My husband is neither petty nor a d-bag. It’s a joke between us and we laughed about it, which is why I wrote the story down. Someday when we’re old we will look back on this post and laugh about how Eric was always trying to save me from bruising my head. I hope you enjoy the bread recipe!

  10. Trish Pines says

    This is a great recipe! My family loved it and the first loaf was devoured. Any tips on shaping the bread? I also used a baguette pan so probably could have made three loaves instead of two. Thanks for any tips!

    • says

      Hey Trish! I always just mold the dough into the shape that I want. My mother in law likes to roll them out into a rectangle and then roll them up, tapering the ends. I’m glad you liked the bread!

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