A solid French bread recipe is one that every home chef should keep in their apron pocket. It’s the perfect compliment to nearly any dinner whether it be pasta, soup, salad, or a classic meat and potatoes meal. Not only that but it’s great for making sub sandwiches or toasting for breakfast. Today, I’ll be sharing a classic recipe for Whole Wheat French Bread. Trust me–this loaf makes an appearance at all of our family gatherings and it’s always a hit. There are so many other bread recipes that I love, but at the end of the day, I always come back to this one.
Do I need a bread machine to make Whole Wheat French Bread?
Nope, not at all. I make all our bread from scratch and I don’t even own a bread machine, so it’s totally doable without. In fact, all my bread recipes on my blog can be made by hand. I do use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, which is very helpful but not required. The original recipe I adapted this from used one, but after my mom’s bread machine died, we discovered you can make it by hand instead! Yay!
Do I need any special flours?
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have realized that I use a wide variety of specialty flours–local, organic ones being my absolute favorite. (Right now, I have seven types of flours/starches in my pantry…) Anyway, this recipe doesn’t use anything hard to find! Just plain old all-purpose and whole wheat. If you want to get fancy, you could swap bread flour for the all-purpose and use white whole wheat flour instead of regular. But like I said, to keep it all simple, you don’t need anything out of the ordinary to make a great loaf of bread.
How do I make Whole Wheat French Breadr
To make the bread, start by adding all the ingredients to a large mixing bowl. If you have a stand mixer, fit it with the dough hook attachment and mix the ingredients on low speed until a cohesive dough forms. If you’re making it by hand, start by mixing the ingredients with a wooden spoon. Once it starts coming together, knead the dough by hand to make sure everything is evenly incorporated. Cover the bowl with a clean dish towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
When the time is up, lightly flour a clean work surface and turn the dough out onto it. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a rectangle that is a half inch thick. Then, use your hands to tightly roll the dough back into a loaf form. Tuck the two ends underneath and transfer the bread to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the loaf again and let it rise for 45-60 minutes.
Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and use a sharp knife to score the top of the loaf. Make each cut 3-4 inches long. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top of the loaf is golden brown. Let cool before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
Other Bread Recipes to Try
Whole Wheat French Bread
- 1 ¼ cup water (80°F)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 ½ tsp sugar
- 1 ¼ tsp Celtic sea salt
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (or 1 ½ tsp bread machine/fast rise yeast)
- Add all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle about is ½ inch thick. Roll it up from the long and until it forms a loaf. Tuck the ends on each side underneath.
- Transfer the bread to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the loaf with a clean dish towel and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
- When the rising time is almost up, preheat the oven to 375°F. Use a sharp knife to score the top of the loaf. Make each shallow cut about 3-4 inches long.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until the top of the loaf is a nice golden brown. Let cool before slicing.