French bread is a classic bread that can be served with just about anything. With it's soft delicate inside and flaky, rich crust, French bread tastes great with all sorts of cuisine. If you don't want to spend money at the bakery buying the real thing, you can make fake French bread that's just as good.
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Buy a boxed mix for basic white bread. Find these inexpensive and easy to prepare bread mixes in the baking aisle of your grocery store. You can make your bread a little healthier by using whole grain mix, but real French bread should be made with white bread mix.
Follow the package directions for mixing the dough and the suggested time table for letting the dough rise. Leave the dough to rise for the entire recommended time. Baking the dough before could cause the bread to collapse midway through the baking process.
Sprinkle a countertop or cutting board with all-purpose flour. Dust your hands with flour too; this will make the dough easier to handle and keep it from sticking to the work surface or your hands.
Roll the dough out onto the floured work surface. Lightly dust the dough with flour so it doesn't stick to your hands.
Shape the dough into a classic French bread loaf shape by rolling it back and forth until it becomes elongated and has formed a long, thin roll. Roll the dough out so that the loaf is a uniform thickness from end to end. This will help it bake evenly and rise consistently.
Use a serrated knife to cut five or six diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf. Cut deeply so the slashes will remain in the dough during baking. The slashes will create the classic design on top of your French bread.
Brush the top of the loaf lightly with melted butter. This will help it brown during baking and give it a rich, buttery flavor.
Bake the bread according to the directions on the bread mix package. The bread should be done when it has risen nicely and turned golden brown.