Crusty French Bread Recipe

I love to bake but I lost my baking mojo when Mitch was diagnosed with multiple food allergies a year and a half ago. It’s hard to want to bake when you have someone so close to you that could potentially die from what you are cooking.

But recently, Mitch underwent a series of skin prick (scratch) testing and we were given the OK to start reintroducing a handful of baked allergens (via oral food challenges) back into his diet which we have been slowly doing over the past few weeks.

Crusty French Bread Recipe

When we began introducing baked allergens into Mitch’s diet, we decided to start with wheat since wheat is a staple in so many foods. For his first challenge, we started with a wheat only french bread, made with an all-purpose flour that does not contain barley.

Crusty French Bread Recipe

This recipe is free of soy, peanut, tree nuts, dairy, fish & shellfish, with an egg free option. This recipe does contain wheat.

Below the crusty layer of this french bread recipe lies a bread with a soft, delicate texture. This bread is the perfect addition to your favorite soups, pasta, and sandwich dishes.


Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water (100° to 110°). Add the sugar, salt and let sit for 10 minutes to proof. If mixture doubles in volume, yeast is active.
  2. Add oil and 2 cups flour. Beat until blended. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  3. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
    (Tip: To create a warmish place, turn your oven on to its lowest setting possible (around 150° F/ 65.5° C), let it heat up to that temperature, then turn the oven off and open the door of the oven wide for about 30 seconds to dissipate some of the heat.)
  4. Punch dough down and return to bowl. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  5. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a 16-in. x 2-1/2-in. loaf with tapered ends. Place loaf on baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 25 minutes.
  6. Optional: Beat egg white and cold water; brush over dough.
  7. With a sharp knife, make diagonal slashes 2 in. apart across top of loaf.
  8. Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.

Have you introduced baked allergens back into your child’s diet? What allergens did you try first?

(Disclaimer: Please be sure to check all ingredients for allergens before making any recipe. Even though these ingredients were safe when I wrote this recipe, manufacturing practices can change without my knowledge.)

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  1. t says

    ive got to say that looks like a long roll rather than a french baguette. its how some of my early attempts also turned out. the characteristics should be irregular sized holes in the crumb and a thin crispy crust but theres alot of detail that goes in to getting that which makes it one of the hardest breads to make.

    french baguettes are made with low protein (9-11%) T65 flour, it needs to be low protein to allow stretching and will also get a crispy crust. americans apparently use all purpose flour due to the difficulty of getting t65 but in my experience it is nowhere like the proper taste and tends to turn grey probably because of the cheap and low amounts of anti-oxidents in the cheap ap flour. hydration levels should be between 65-80%. 80% is hard to work with but many french bakers use that level. the only other things that should be in it are yeast and salt, definitely no oil.
    many use a 100% hydration overnight poolish, i just leave my mixed dough overnight, this develops flavour and means you dont have to punch down the dough several times which degassed it and you wont get the right crumb.
    after the first rise it needs to be handled as little and lightly as possible when rolled in to the baguette otherwise you will get a dense crumb from degassing it too much and will not get the large irregular sized holes. this takes some practice.
    when formed let rise for 40 min then bake at 250c for 20-22 minutes with steam for first 10 minutes.

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