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4 Ingredient French Bread (No Bread Maker Necessary!)

This recipe for 4 ingredient french bread is pretty tough to mess up.  It’s delicious and incredibly simple to make.  But the end product is so fresh that it will be hard to put down.  Perfect for delicious sandwiches or as a tasty breadstick, this 4 ingredient french bread is sure to please any palette.

Way back when I lived in Cincinnati, I had one specific co-worker that was known for making delicious bread.  He and his wife would make a few incredibly fresh loaves a year and would kindly share them with some of us lucky to hear the rumor first.  We’d sprint down to his desk and make sure we got a slice before others were in the know.

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Even though that was the better half of a decade ago, I haven’t been able to find a single bakery or store that makes bread as fresh as John and his wife.  But without a bread maker, I wasn’t sure if it would be possible to re-create.

After a few attempts, and some googling and pinteresting, I zeroed in on this delicious 4 ingredient french bread recipe that creates a dense, delicious tasting loaf that is perfect for sandwiches and bread sticks alike.  While nothing will be as fresh as that bread I enjoyed back in Cincinnati, this is a pretty close second!

4 Ingredient French Bread

4 Ingredient French Bread

Prep time: 30 minutes; Sitting/baking time: 1 hour

Total time: 1 hour & 30 minutes

Serves: About 6 adults


  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast (we use two of these packets, which are three for $3.99 > Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast, 3 pk, 0.75 oz Packet)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Other: 1 1/2 cup room temperature water & optional 2 tablespoons garlic powder

Materials Used

Directions (High Altitude – bake for less time if at Low Altitude)

  1. Combine the room temperature water, honey, salt, and yeast into one of your glass bowls and stir slightly to combine.  Allow to sit about 10 minutes until you can see a slight bit of foaming on the top.  Pre-heat the over to bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. To the bowl, add your flour, adding about 1 cup at a time.  Between adding each cup of flour, knead the dough consistently.  Keep adding your flour and kneading until the dough sticks primarily to itself, rather than to your fingers.
  3. Once the dough is sticking to itself, form it into a loaf on your traditional baking pan.  If you’re wanting regular slices of bread, make the loaf a bit thicker, whereas breadsticks should be a bit more spread out across the pan.  Cover the loaf lightly with a paper towel and allow to sit for 30 minutes on the counter to rise.  (aka Your loaf will expand over this time.)
  4. Cut some small slits diagonally across the top to avoid your loaf from splitting elsewhere as it grows in the oven.  Also optional to sprinkle your garlic powder or flavored spices of choice on the top at this point.  Place on the middle shelf to bake 20-25 minutes or until the is a slight golden brown along the bottom of the loaf.  Enjoy!

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Do you have a staple meal item that you love?

What’s your favorite kind of bread / toast?

Create a great life!

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