Bread Machine French Bread

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Bake a French bread in your bread machine with just 4 ingredients and 5 minutes of hands-on time. Press a button and let the bread maker do all the work to make an excellent white bread you can use in countless easy recipes.

A sliced white bread is on a white platter next to a blue and white striped towel.

If I need a homemade white bread for my bread machine, I turn to two essential recipes, my favorite Italian bread or this 4-ingredient French bread recipe.

While the Italian bread makes amazing sandwiches or a perfect dinner companion for dunking into pasta sauces, this French bread has a much different crust that makes absolutely amazing bread puddings or croutons with tons of texture and an amazing bite.

Once you've tried this easy recipe, you're going to love finding all new ways to use it!

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Why This is the Best Recipe

As the author of The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook, I've baked hundreds of homemade breads in my bread makers.

I think this is the best bread machine French bread recipe because:

  1. Embraces the Bread Maker: This recipe does not pretend to be what it is not. This is a bread to be baked with the ease of your machine. Simply press a button and let the bread maker do all the work. Is it a traditional French bread shape? No. Will it be a useful addition to your bread routine? Absolutely.
  2. Amazing Crust: Unlike other bread machine recipes, this French bread bakes up with a very thick, very crispy crust. Be sure you have your bread knife handy for this one.
  3. So Versatile: Bake up a loaf today and then use the stale version of this bread in countless other bread-based recipes like bread pudding, homemade croutons, or sausage stuffing.


The ingredients to make a French bread in a bread machine are on the counter.

French bread is such an easy bread machine recipe because it requires the fewest ingredients possible to make homemade bread:

  1. Bread Flour
  2. Water
  3. Kosher Salt
  4. Instant Yeast

There is not one little unnecessary thing in there!

Add the Water First

As with every bread machine recipe I've ever made, we start by adding the liquid ingredients to the bread pan first.

Be sure your paddle attachment is in place:

Water is in the bottom of the bread machine pan.

Add the Dry Ingredients

Add the flour directly on top of the water.

Measure the salt and sprinkle it around the perimeter of the pan.

Use the back of a spoon to dig a well in the center and add the yeast to that well.

The flour and yeast are in the bread maker pan.

NOTE: Of all the ingredients required to make this French bread, the quantity of flour is the most important to your success. I always weigh the flour for my bread machine recipes to ensure I have just the right amount.

Baking Instructions

Place the bread pan in your bread maker. Select the White Bread or Basic program.

My favorite Cuisinart bread machine has a French bread program that I tested with this recipe and the crust was so thick, it baked onto the walls of the bread pan and I couldn't remove the loaf at the end of the baking cycle.

When I tested it again with the White bread setting, it popped right out of the machine with no problems.

Troubleshooting Tips

As the bread maker mixes the ingredients, the dough ball should come together in just a few minutes. Keep an eye on the machine at this point.

If the dough is sticking too much to the sides of the pan or not forming a ball, you can add additional flour just 1 teaspoon at a time, until it shapes up.

However, if the dough looks far too dry and shaggy, you can add additional water, just 1 teaspoon at a time, until it forms a nice ball.

Be careful to not over-water it though. This is what my dough ball looked like at the end of the mixing phase:

The dough is being kneaded in the bread pan.

How to Use Bread Machine French Bread

The sliced French bread is on a white platter next to a blue and white striped towel.

Traditional French bread is shaped into baguettes, round boules, or dinner rolls.

Obviously a French bread baked in a bread machine is going to have the traditional bread maker pan shape.

You could slice it for sandwiches or toast and use as a basic white bread with minimal ingredients. The crust texture is quite thick and crispy.

However, I think that this bread makes incredible homemade croutons and would be perfect in my favorite Thanksgiving sausage stuffing.

It is also an essential ingredient for my New Orleans bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

More Bread Machine Recipes

If you love baking homemade bread in a bread machine, you will also love these family favorite recipes:

📖 Recipe

A sliced white bread is on a white platter next to a blue and white striped towel.

Bread Machine French Bread

5 from 1 vote
Make a loaf of French bread in a bread machine with just minutes of hands-on time. While not a traditional French baguette shape, a bread maker French bread is perfect for slicing for sandwiches or making homemade stuffing, croutons, or bread pudding.
TOTAL TIME 4 hours 35 minutes
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 4 hours 30 minutes
YIELD 1 1.5-pound or 2-pound loaf


1.5-pound Loaf

  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups (411 g) bread flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon yeast

2-pound Loaf

  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 4 cups (548 g) bread flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast


French Bread in Bread Machine:

  • Add the ingredients to your bread machine’s baking pan in the order listed from water to yeast.
  • Select either the Basic or White program setting based on your machine’s options. Select the coordinating setting for your loaf size on your machine and press “Start.”
  • When the loaf is done, remove it from the bread pan and transfer it to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Recipe Notes

The bread should be removed from your bread machine within 10 minutes of the end of the baking cycle or the crust may start to get soggy from steam.
The bread will keep for 3 - 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
COURSEBread Machine

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The photo collage shows the sliced French bread next to the dough being kneaded in the bread machine.

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