The inspiration for this quick whole wheat French bread recipe came from my blogging friend, Jamie of Life's a Feast. When I saw her post three gorgeous loaves of what she was calling fast and fabulous French bread, I just knew I needed to try it.
Naturally, I had to put my own spin to it, so I decided to switch up the flour, add some dried basil to the middle, and then add some sesame seeds to the top. I couldn't be happier with the results!
**Please Note - The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Quick Homemade Whole Wheat French Bread is available at the end of this post.
The ingredient list for making quick whole wheat French bread;
- All-Purpose Flour
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Active Dry Yeast
- Dried Basil
- Garlic Powder
- Sesame Seeds
Why this quick homemade French bread recipe works:
This recipe homemade French bread is super fast and fabulous. It comes together quickly in a large mixing bowl, and with no special equipment.
Of course, the dough can also be kneaded in a stand mixer, but why?
This bread is the type you whip up at the last minute when you want to impress but you don't have the time or desire to fool with a loaf of finicky yeast bread, but you still want that great homemade French bread taste!
The basil and garlic are mild but definitely noticeable and the interior crumb of this bread is deliciously light and airy.
What is the key to making a quick French bread?
By starting the bread in a very low oven (175-degrees) it mimics a first yeast bread proofing, and it allows the dough to rise without the standard yeast dough time commitment.
The second "rise" is done immediately after, at an increased oven temperature (400-degrees), for a short period of time.
Once the two "mock rise-times" are complete, reset the oven to 350-degrees and continue baking until the bread has completely risen and are fully baked through the middle.
How can you tell when a loaf of bread is fully baked?
If the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, the bread is fully baked.
If the sound is a hard, dense thud, the bread needs additional time in the oven.
**The following affiliate links are some suggested products I’ve chosen that will aid you in the making and serving of this recipe for Quick Whole Wheat French Bread if desired.
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The quick and easy instructions for making homemade whole wheat French bread;
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
- Add the honey and set aside until the mixture gets foamy.
- Add the butter and salt into a large bowl and pour the boiling water in.
- Stir until the butter melts and then add in the cold water.
- After all the water has been added to the bowl, stir in the foamy yeast mixture.
- In another large bowl, whisk together the flours.
- Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in all but ½ - 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture.
- Stir together until the dough is sticky, soft and supple.
- Add more flour if the dough seems to wet (like mine did).
- A lot will depend on the amount of humidity in the air on baking day.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in additional flour by hand until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Divide the dough into three equal portions.
- Roll each portion out into a rectangle shape.
- Lightly brush the rolled dough with a little water.
- Sprinkle with dried basil and garlic powder.
- Roll the dough lengthwise and tuck under the edges.
- Transfer the loaves to a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Use a sharp paring knife to slash the tops of each loaf.
- Brush each loaf with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake the loaves in a low 175-degree oven for 15 minutes.
- This will take the place of your first rise.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400-degrees and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- This will take the place of the second rise.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the bread is a lovely golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove the bread to a cooling rack and cool completely.
- Slice and serve.
You're going to love this one!!!
Below is the printable recipe card for today’s Quick Whole Wheat French Bread.
If you’ve enjoyed this recipe and look forward to making it (or have already made it), I’d appreciate if you’d take a moment to give it some feedback by way of stars near the comment section at the end of this post. Thank you so much!
Printable Recipe Card
Quick Whole Wheat French Bread
- ⅓ warm water (105°-115°)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½-2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 175-degrees. It's the low heat of the oven at the beginning of baking that will take the place of the rise time.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour and the whole wheat flour. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in the honey and set aside until the mixture becomes foamy.
- Place the salt and butter in a large bowl.
- Pour the boiling water over the butter and stir until the butter melts. Pour in the cold water and then stir in the foamy yeast mixture.
- Gradually stir in enough the flour mixture (approximately 5 cups) to the yeast mixture,
using a wooden spoon, until the dough is soft and supple.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and hand knead in enough of the remaining flour until the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth and elastic. Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and then roll each portion into a rough rectangle shape.
- Brush the rolled dough lightly with water and then sprinkle lightly with the basil and garlic powder. Roll the dough lengthwise, and tuck the ends under to form a neat loaf.
- Carefully transfer the prepared loaf to the parchment lined baking sheet and repeat the same process with the remaining dough. Use a sharp paring knife to carefully slash the tops of each loaf.
- In a small bowl, stir together the egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush the egg wash over each loaf and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Bake in a preheated 175° oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, increase the oven temperature to 400° and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Turn the oven temperature to 350° and bake the loaves for another 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and the loaves sound hollow when tapped.
There, that yeast bread wasn't too scary now, was it?
I sincerely hope you've enjoyed today's quick whole wheat French bread recipe as much as I've enjoyed bringing it to you!
Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe or anything else you've seen on my site, please don't hesitate to contact me directly or leave me a comment in the comment section below. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back to you with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!
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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!