Our 'Foolproof' Crusty French Bread Recipe

To celebrate National French Bread Day in the United States, we thought we’d share our easy and delicious crusty French bread recipe, best eaten just out of the oven…

Celebrate National French Bread day in the USA with our easy recipe for an authentic French baguette


An Easy French Bread Recipe…

  • 750g plain flour
  • 20g dried active baking yeast
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 450ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp polenta
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water


1. For the perfect French bread recipe, start by combining 1/3 of the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.  Slowly bring in the warm water, then beat the mixture, before finishing with a dough mixer. Finally, add in the remaining flour using a wooden spoon.

2. Knead in enough flour to make a stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. After approx. 10 minutes, shape into a ball before placing into a grease-lined container to prove. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm space.

3. Once the dough has almost doubled in size, take out of the container and divide the dough in half. Place on a lightly-floured surface, before covering and letting it rest for a further 10 minutes. When rested, roll each half into large rectangle. Roll the dough into a baguette shape (starting from a longer edge of the rectangle). To seal, moisten the edges with water.

4. Sprinkle a large baking tray with the polenta, before placing the loaves (seam-side down) onto the tray. Lightly beat the egg white with 1tbsp of water and brush on. Blanket the loaves with a clean damp tea towel and let them rise until they’ve almost doubled in size, or for around 40 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 190 °C / Gas mark 5. Whilst the oven is warming up, cut 3 or 4 diagonal slits across top of each loaf. Bake the loaves for approx. 20 minutes, before brushing with the egg whites.

6. Put back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow on the inside when knocking. If required, cover loosely with foil to prevent over browning. Remove from baking tray, and cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy a host of fine foods and French wines aboard luxury hotel barge, Rosa as she sails Gascony and Bordeaux

Bon appetit!

If you like the taste of our freshly made French Bread recipe, you’ll love the freshly baked loaves served aboard our luxury French cruises, complete with a generous helping of creamy locally-made butter and other local-sourced toppings. On many of our cruises, you can even accompany our chef to the local boulangerie to watch the experts at work (and sample their delicacies, of course!)

Talk to our Cruise Specialists to find out more about our luxury French barge cruises.

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