Govanhill Cookbook

French Bread


  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey, optional
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Heat water (and honey if using) between 120-130° F
  2. In a large bowl, stir together 3 1/2 cups flour, salt and yeast. Add hot water and honey.
  3. Stir until a soft ball forms, adding more flour if necessary. Turn out on floured surface. Knead 3 – 5 minutes until dough springs back when pushed.
  4. Roll into 11″ x 13″ rectangle and divide in half.
  5. Roll each half tightly lengthwise, seal seams and fold ends under. Place seam side down on parchment paper lined baking sheet, then cut diagonal slits in tops.
  6. preheat oven to 425° F.
  7. Spray loaves with oil, cover loosely with parchment or towel and let rise 20 minutes (or more if needed), until double in size. Beat water and egg white together and brush tops with egg wash.
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tops are brown. Loaves sound hollow when tapped.

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