Chewy French Bread

A chewy and versatile bread, great for dipping in soup, as a sandwich, or just eating with a pat of butter!

Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword 5 ingredient bread, chewy bread, french bread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 20 slices
Calories 116 kcal
Author Sue Ringsdorf


  • 1 Tablespoon yeast - I use Red Star
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 cups warm water - not hot, not cold!
  • 5-6 cups all-purpose flour - or until right consistency


  1. In large standing mixer, combine the yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water. Be careful to use warm water, not hot.
  2. Mix and let sit for about 15 minutes to get the yeast working.
  3. Gradually add 5-6 cups flour until you get just the right consistency. You want the dough to be soft but not too sticky.
  4. Grease a large bowl with canola oil and add the dough. Punch the dough down into a nice smooth ball. Cover with a clean dishtowel and set it in a warm corner of your kitchen.
  5. Let the dough rise until doubled in size. Punch down and smooth it out, and let it rise again.
  6. Form into two large oblong shapes (or you can make several smaller loafs or even buns). Place on a large greased cookie sheet or on a french bread pan. Cover with a towel and let rise again, about 30-40 minutes.
  7. Cut slits on top of loaves with scissors or serrated knife. Mix one egg white and 1/2 teaspoon salt and brush this mixture on top of the loafs.
  8. Bake on 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until bottom is slightly brown and crunchy, and top is nice and golden brown. Remove and let cool on baking rack.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  1. Using warm water will activate the yeast mixture. After about 10-15 minutes, it should be foamy.
  2. Add flour until you get the right consistency. It should be slightly sticky, but easy to handle.
  3. The dough will rise differently each time you make it, depending on the temperature/humidity inside and outside your house.
  4. Different climates also affect how fast dough rises. In Texas, my dough rises pretty quickly due to more heat and humidity.
  5. This bread makes a terrific Beef Au Jus Sandwich or Pulled Pork Sandwich. My recipes can be found at Just search in the sidebar.

Storing Tip: This bread is best fresh the first day! It can be stored in airtight bags on counter for 2-3 days.

Freezing Tip: You can freeze this bread in freezer bags for up to three months.


Nutrition Facts
Chewy French Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116
% Daily Value*
Sodium 233mg10%
Potassium 35mg1%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Protein 3g6%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 1.5mg8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.