Vegan French Bread

Easy Homemade Vegan French Bread

French bread, with its perfectly crispy crust and soft, airy interior, is a staple in many households. But what if you’re following a vegan diet and thought you’d have to bid adieu to this classic delight? Fear not! With just a handful of basic kitchen ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions, you can whip up your own delicious vegan French bread right in your kitchen. Get ready to impress your friends and family with this easy, homemade vegan French bread!

Vegan French Bread Loaf

Let’s delve deeper into the nuances of each step and explore some tips to ensure your bread turns out perfect every time.

  1. Quality Ingredients Matter:
    • While the ingredient list for French bread is simple, the quality of those ingredients can greatly affect the final product. Opt for high-quality flour, preferably unbleached all-purpose flour, which will yield a better texture and flavor. Additionally, make sure your yeast is fresh to ensure proper rising.
  2. Kneading Technique:
    • Kneading the dough is an important step in developing the gluten structure in the dough, which gives French bread its characteristic chewiness and texture. A standing mixer with the dough hook attachment is preferred to knead the dough to ensure even development. Alternatively, you use the heel of your hand to push the dough away from you, then fold it back over itself and repeat. Rotate the dough as you knead to ensure even development.
  3. Rising Conditions:
    • Yeast is a living organism, and its activity depends on the environment it’s in. To ensure a successful rise, place your dough in a warm, draft-free area. If your kitchen is cold, you can create a slightly warm environment by preheating your oven to the lowest temperature, then turning it off, placing the dough bowl on a baking sheet on the middle oven rack, and cracking the door open.
  4. Shaping Techniques:
    • Shaping the dough into a traditional baguette shape can be a bit tricky. To achieve the iconic elongated shape, gently stretch the dough into a rectangle (it doesn’t have to be perfect!), then roll it up like the cinnamon roll technique. Roll the dough tightly, sealing the seam with your fingers, then taper the ends slightly. For individual rolls, simply shape the dough into balls and flatten them slightly before placing them on the baking sheet.
  5. Scoring for Expansion:
    • Scoring the dough not only adds a decorative touch but also helps control the expansion of the bread while baking. Use a very, VERY sharp knife or a bread lame to create swift, diagonal slashes along the surface of the dough. Be careful not to press too hard, as this can deflate the dough.
  6. Steam for Crispy Crust:
    • To achieve that classic crispy crust on your French bread, create a steamy environment in the oven during the first few minutes of baking. You can achieve this by placing a shallow pan filled with ice cubes on the bottom rack of the oven or by spritzing the dough with water just before placing it in the oven. The steam helps the crust develop before it sets, resulting in a light and airy interior.
  7. Cooling and Storing:
    • Allow your freshly baked vegan French bread to cool entirely on a wire rack before slicing into it. This allows the internal moisture to redistribute, ensuring a tender crumb. Once cooled, store any leftovers in a paper bag or a loosely sealed plastic bag at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. Avoid holding the vegan French bread in the refrigerator, as it will dry out faster.
Homemade French Bread Loaf

By paying attention to these details and incorporating these tips into your baking routine, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of homemade vegan French bread. With a little practice and experimentation, you’ll soon be enjoying the satisfaction of creating bakery-worthy bread right in your own home. Happy baking!

More Garden Grub Bread Recipes:

Vegan French Bread

If you make my vegan French bread (or any of my recipes!), don’t forget to post a picture on Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!

@chefsummerstorm

Homemade vegan garlic bread 🧄🥖😋 The French bread and garlic bread recipes can both be found on my blog 💛 #garlicbread #garlicbreadrecipe #vegangarlicbread #homemadegarlicbread #bread #frenchbread #frenchbreadrecipe

♬ Sunshine – WIRA
Vegan French Bread

Easy Homemade Vegan French Bread

Author Chef Summer Storm – garden grub
Learn to easily make vegan French bread at home with just a handful of basic kitchen ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rest Time 0 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American, French
Servings 1 loaf

Equipment

  • Standing mixer with dough hook attachment
  • Cooking thermometer

Ingredients
 

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp water, warmed to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (IMPORTANT!)
  • 2 tbsp organic cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing
  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed

Instructions
 

  • Warm the water to 110 degrees Fahrenheit and add it to the standing mixer bowl. The water needs to be at this temperature to activate the yeast.
  • Add the sugar and active dry yeast to the water, give it a quick stir, and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, the yeast should have risen to the top and become super frothy. If the yeast does nothing, it may be spoiled, and I recommend starting over with new yeast.
  • Now add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour to the mixer with the dough hook attachment on low speed and mix until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the flour.
  • Add in the rest of the flour and continue mixing at the lowest speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the flour. Once all of the flour is incorporated and a dough has formed, knead for 3 minutes.
  • While kneading, if the dough separates into two chunks, simply press them together with a rubber spatula now and again to make them merge together. On the other hand, if the dough starts to become super sticky and cling to the sides of the bowl, add 1 to 2 tablespoons more flour at a time until a sturdy but soft ball of dough forms. In the end, the dough should be smooth and slightly tacky but not sticking to the bowl. *Humidity, temperature, altitude, and a few other factors can impact how much flour yeast doughs need, and this is why you may need to add a bit more than the recipe calls for.
  • Lightly grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and gently toss the dough around to coat it in the oil. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the dough and then wrap the top of the bowl in plastic wrap.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size. *You must allow the dough to double in size, or you will have a dense loaf of bread.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, lightly grease your counter with olive oil. With your hands, shape the dough into a rough 9 by 13-inch rectangle.
  • Tightly roll the 13-inch side up to create a loaf shape, and pinch the ends together to seal them shut.
  • Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper, and gently lift and place the dough onto the pan.
  • Using a VERY sharp knife, slit a few diagonal lines across the dough.
  • Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place 6 ice cubes in a small pan, such as a bread pan, and place it on the bottom oven rack. Immediately place the sheet pan of dough on the middle oven rack. Bake for 25 minutes. *Adding the ice cubes into the oven helps create a more crisp crust.
  • Allow the bread to cool, then slice as desired and enjoy!
Keyword bread, french bread, loaf of bread
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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