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One Hour French Bread from The Food Charlatan
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4.92 from 71 votes

One Hour French Bread Recipe

This delicious yeasty French bread recipe 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! One hour, I promise!!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Rise Time20 minutes
Total Time55 minutes
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8
Calories: 200kcal
Author: Karen


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


  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Do it now so that your oven is nice and hot when you put the bread in.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Add the softened butter and 1 cup of flour, and stir together with a wooden spoon.
  • 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.
  • Knead for 6-7 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Prepare a baking sheet or baguette pan** with nonstick spray.
  • 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.)
  • Use a sharp serrated knife to make 3-4 half-inch slits on top.
  • Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 20 minutes.
  • When the loaf or loaves have roughly doubled in size, remove the towel.
  • 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.
  • Transfer the bread to the oven.
  • 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.
  • 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.
For a great accompaniment, make my Restaurant-Style Olive Oil and Balsamic Bread Dip. It takes all of five minutes - you won't regret it!
Source: I adapted this recipe from a recipe card I got at a church activity. One of the ladies shared it with the group.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 465mg | Potassium: 65mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 2mg