French Bread Recipe | Small Loaf

This easy homemade french bread recipe makes one small loaf of soft and tender bread.


  • 10 ounces all purpose flour or bread flour - (2 ¼ cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus ½ teaspoon for sprinkling on top
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil plus 1 tablespoon for brushing over top (or spray with olive oil)
  • 6 fluid ounces warm water
  • ½ teaspoon active dry yeast


  • If using a bread machine to make the dough, put he flour, salt, honey, olive oil, and water into the bread pan in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Use dough setting.

Or by hand

  • Add the flour, salt, honey, olive oil, and water to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water to allow it to dissolve.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until the dough comes together. Remove the paddle attachment and replace with a dough hook and continue mixing until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, 10 minutes. The dough can also be kneaded by hand.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the machine and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise to about twice its size, about 1 hour.

After first rise...

  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it 4-5 times to expel excess gas and redistribute the yeast. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Shape the dough into a boule (round ball), an oval, or stretch the dough into a rectangle roughly 6x3 inches to form a baguette. If making a baguette, seal the ends by pinching down with the heel of your hand. Place the dough on a baking sheet and, cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for about an hour.
  • When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400° F (200°C). Using the tip of a sharp knife, make slashes across the top of the bread loaf. Brush (or spray) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle ½ teaspoon kosher salt over the top. When the oven is ready, bake for 15-20 minutes.