French Peasant Bread

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that’s perfect for sandwiches…or just a simple smear of salted butter!

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!Most of us are familiar with college football and the bowl games.  And we know about college basketball and March Madness.  And Super Bowl Sunday is pretty much a holiday here in the States.  But did you know there is a world cup of bread baking?  Yup, and it’s a pretty serious competition.  The Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie is held every 3-4 years in Paris, and countries have to be invited based on their performance in regional baking competitions.  I told you the Coupe de Monde is a serious event!

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!The last Coupe du Monde was held in 2016, and it produced a stunner.  For the 2nd time in a row, France did not take home the title.  We all know France is known for it’s bread.  I’m pretty sure I could live on French baguettes and cheese.  But in 2016, South Korea won the coveted award of world’s best bread bakers.  (France did finish 3rd, though.  And if you’re interested, the U.S. came in 5th.)  Rather than a sign that French bread is declining in quality, I think this is a sign that bread quality across the world is improving.  Artisan bakeshops have popped up all over the place, and rightfully so.  Bread baking is a true art, and I could sit and stare at a bakery wall full of loaves of bread for hours on end.  I’m weird like that.

But you don’t have to be a Coupe du Monde participant to make excellent homemade bread.  Take this French Peasant Bread for instance.  This is pretty darn easy bread to make at home.  Our local grocery store makes a good French Peasant Bread, and I decided to take a stab at baking this one at home instead.  And I’m pleased with the result!

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!There was a time (aka pre-Robbie) when I decided I was going to do all of the bread baking for our house.  No more store bought breads here.  Then the stork dropped Robbie off on our doorstep, and I quickly learned that bread baking and Robbie parenting are inversely related.  But with that said, I still love to bake bread.  It’s one of my favorite kitchen activities…especially on cold, January days.

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!I’m not entirely sure what French Peasant Bread actually is.  It doesn’t seem particularly French in any way.  Perhaps its name comes from the fact that this is such a simple bread.  Who knows?  But I do know that it produces one darn tasty loaf of bread…well, two actually.  Unlike a classic Italian bread with it’s large, open holes in the crumb and chewy crust, this French Peasant Bread is a bit more dense.  But I wouldn’t call this a dense bread at all.  In fact, this bread would be perfect for sandwiches.  But that would mean I have to avoid eating it all with a simple smear of salted butter.  And that’s a real challenge, my friends.

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!As we head into winter, I highly recommend baking some homemade bread.  Learning to bake bread must be relatively high on New Year’s resolution lists as I often get comments and questions about my homemade bread posts around this time of the year.  This French Peasant Bread recipe is relatively easy, and the ingredient list is fairly short.  If you’ve never tried your hand at baking bread, then give this one a shot!  And, hey, you never know.  You might end up at the next Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie in 2020.  (Heck, attending the Coupe du Monde wouldn’t be a bad vacation at all.  I mean you’d be in Paris sampling some of the best bread in the world.  Sign me up for that one!)

Looking for more homemade bread ideas?  Check out these delicious breads:

Homemade Italian Bread

No-Knead Cheddar Dill Beer Bread

Sunflower Seed Bread

Marbled Rye Bread

Honey Oat Wheat Bread

Cheesy Spinach and Sundried Tomato Focaccia

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!

French Peasant Bread

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that’s perfect for sandwiches…or just a simple smear of salted butter!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 102kcal

Ingredients

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Instructions

  • Using a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir until well combined.
  • Add water and stir until well combined.
  • Drizzle olive oil on the inside of a large bowl. Transfer dough into bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until dough has doubled in size. (Tip: Whenever I bake bread, I let it rise in my oven. I do not turn the oven on, but I do turn the oven light on…this provides just enough heat to create a warm spot with no air drafts.)
  • Line a standard baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust parchment paper with cornmeal and set aside.
  • Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into a 10” round piece of dough. Fold edges of each disc in to create a tight ball of dough. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheet. Cover lightly and let rise in a warm place for 1 more hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake for 15 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 375°F. Continue baking for 18-20 more minutes, or until loaves are golden brown.
  • Let loaves cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing.

This French Peasant Bread is an easy homemade bread that's perfect for sandwiches...or just a simple smear of salted butter!

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32 Comments

  1. DUUUUDE!!! Look at this loaf!!! THIS is near perfection, my friend! In fact I think YOU should compete in The Coupe du Monde de Boulangerie! What do you say???
    Btw, David, while it may seem like “bread baking and Robbie parenting are inversely related” now…as time goes by, I bet they are gonna go hand in hand – at least it did with Lil Shashi and I – of course she was way, way older than Robbie is now when she started learning those life lessons that bread baking teaches – mainly patience! 🙂 Of course then they grow up more and activities seem to take away from bread making – but, sometimes, they move back in with you during their college years and insist on making and breaking bread again 🙂
    Happy Wednesday – so sad we are only in our second week and am craving the weekend!

    1. Wow, you are WAY too kind, Shashi! 🙂 I mean all homemade bread is good, right? I don’t think I’ve ever met a loaf of homemade bread that I didn’t want to devour right there on the spot! You know, that’s a good point about the relationship between Robbie parenting and bread baking. I would LOVE it if he could help me in the kitchen. One day. One day. I’ve got the cutest photo of him in his Daddy’s Little Sous Chef shirt that you sent him, too! Oh, and yes, I agree with you about getting back into the swing of things. It’s nice on one hand, but on the other hand I just want to go back to chillin’ my days away again. Hah! Thanks so much, my friend…the weekend is almost here!

  2. Bread is, by far, my very favorite thing to bake. (And I’m like you–I could live and bread and cheese.). But I never knew there’s a World Cup of bread baking. Do they allow spectators? If so I suggest a blogger field trip. This bread looks fabulous!

    1. I do believe they allow spectators at the World Cup of Baking…wanna go? At the very least, we can eat French bread and French cheese while sitting in a French cafe. Sounds like a tough life, huh? 🙂

  3. I had no idea there was a bread baking World Cup! But this looks like it could be a contender. Warm bread from the oven slathered in butter is my idea of heaven!

    Happy 2018, my friend! Hope yours is off to a terrific start!

    1. There is indeed a World Cup of Bread Baking! I bet you could get some pretty amazing bread there…and it’s in Paris, so that’s always a bonus! Now I’m craving some warm, homemade bread. I might just have to make another loaf this weekend. Cheers back at ya for a great new year, Marissa!

  4. I’m not into this game thing, but baking championship is a totally different thing. Surprisingly, I’ve never heard of this bowl. Also, I’m quite surprised that France is losing its position as the French and Italian breads are still the best, in my book. But I’m glad to know that bread quality across the world is improving. This bread looks stunning, my friend! I like this flour-dusted crust…and with a piece of butter…or cheese…yes please!

    1. Well now you have a reason to get into the World Cup, Ben…the World Cup of Bread Baking, that is! 🙂 I do agree with you that French and Italian breads are amazing, but it’s kinda cool that artisan bread baking is growing such that other countries are starting to gain fame there, too. And now I’m craving some of this bread along with cheese for breakfast…like a European breakfast. (Those Europeans really know how to do breakfast right!) Hope your week is going well so far, my friend!

  5. Looks amazing David! That’s pretty neat about the competition, never heard of such a thing.

    Can I say that bread looks scrum-diddly-umptious, cause it does. No kneading, like 6 ingredients, count me in…perfect addition to a nice weekend dinner!

    1. Yeah, I was pretty impressed when I heard about this competition, too. And apparently it’s pretty legit. How fun would that be to go? Not necessarily compete, just go. (Although it would be fun to compete, too…as long as we got to eat bread when it’s over!)

      I do love spending the weekends making bread. I might have to do that this weekend now! Thanks, Matt!

  6. Completely agree, bread baking is a true art and I am so happy to see more and more artisan bakeries pop up all over London! That said I also love to make my own bread, it is so therapeutic and I love the smell of freshly baked bread. Your French Peasant Bread looks delicious, would love to have a slice or two right now with my cup of tea 🙂 Have a great weekend, my friend!

    1. Bread baking is absolutely therapeutic. I couldn’t agree more, Miriam! I’m not really sure why that is, though. Is it the creating a dough from a few simple ingredients? Is it the smell of that dough as it bakes? Or maybe the taste of warm, homemade bread? Ah, whatever the reason, bread baking remains my all-time favorite thing to make! Hope you have a great weekend ahead, too, Miriam! Maybe go make a loaf of bread? 🙂

  7. That’s kinda funny – a bread baking competition! I don’t know what it is, but I find baking bread super relaxing! This is one beauty of a loaf and I’m pretty sure that I could take a good dent out of it just by myself…with butter, of course 😉 And the smell? Someone should bottle that…or at least develop a candle scent or something. Have a wonderful weekend, my friend 🙂

    1. I wonder how they judge this bread baking competition. I mean I’ve never met a loaf of homemade bread that I didn’t like! 🙂 Oh, man, you’re onto something there with the homemade bread scented candle. That sounds like my heaven! The only problem is I would be so hungry every time we burned it. Haha! Thanks, Dawn!

  8. I love baking bread. My time for baking is early Saturday morning when I usually make a loaf which we keep sliced in the freezer to last us the week, only taking out slices when we need them. And I also make rolls which I take in to work to go with my soup each day. I’ve made a couple of other kinds of bread, but I’d love to have the time to experiment more. You know real fancy breads. I’ve never tried a sourdough one myself yet! This peasant bread though, fantastic! And as you say, just perfect for sandwiches. Yum!

    1. That’s a great idea to bake fresh bread and then store it already sliced, Neil! I like to make 2 loaves when I have time to bake bread, and then I store 1 loaf…but I’ll have to start freezing it sliced. I have a fun bread I want to experiment with later this week…if it works, I’ll post it! Laura is out of town this week for work, so I have a bit of extra time to “play” in the kitchen! 🙂 Thanks, and I hope you had a great weekend!

  9. You are the bread baking king David! I am the same way with bread – there’s just something about it for us foodies I think. I got in the mood to bake bread a few days ago when we got rain here, but I must have not kneaded it enough or something, because it didn’t rise all that much. It was super dense, but still yummy!

    1. Why thank you so much, Nicole! You are too kind. 🙂 I do love baking bread, although I haven’t done it as much lately…and I suspect it has something to do with chasing a toddler around the house. Haha! I’m so sad about your dense bread…but hey, fresh bread is still fresh bread, right? Hope your week is off to a great start so far!

    1. I know! What a fun competition that would be to go and watch, right? And it’s in Paris, so you know there would be plenty of great bakeries to explore, too. 🙂 And I do agree with you…bread and butter could be a meal entirely by itself! Thanks, Kathy!

  10. Your bread looks amazing. I love making bread too, it is my favorite thing to make. There is nothing bread than the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. This recipe looks like it is quite simple to make and I would love to have a slice right now.

    1. I’m right there with ya, Dawn. Fresh bread is my favorite thing to eat and bake. The house just smells so awesome when you’ve got bread in the oven! 🙂 This really is a pretty simple loaf, and it makes for a great snack with some soft butter. Yum! Thanks so much, my friend!

  11. It’s hard to beat a loaf of freshly baked bread. When I first started baking it was rare that if maker sandwiches out of my loaves, though. If wind up eating the whole loaf right out of the oven.

    1. Yeah, I’m right there with ya, Jeff. I can eat a whole loaf of bread when it’s warm out of the oven…easily! That’s why I often make 2 loaves whenever I bake bread. 1 to eat right away and 1 to save for sandwiches. Or just 2 to eat right away. 🙂

  12. Bread baking competition? it’s definitely new information for me. Today I gained some knowledge 🙂 BTW David your bread is perfect and I think you should also be a part of this world baking competition next time!!!

    1. How much fun would it be to see that bread baking competition?? I mean that must be some pretty amazing bread, right? 🙂 I’m not so sure I’m up to the level of championship bread, though…haha. I do appreciate the kind words, Puja! I hope your week is off to a great start so far, my friend!

  13. Bread baking world cup! Serious?! I don’ think I can participate in that, since I have never made my own bread! But this French Peasant bread looks amazing! I am sure you could participate!! By the way, the recipe looks fairly simple and so I am tempted to try 🙂

    1. Well then you should totally start making your own bread, Deepika! Who knows? Maybe you’ll be there at the world baking championships one day! 🙂 Baking homemade bread really is so much fun, and I find it incredibly relaxing, too. It’s amazing how just a few simple ingredients can come together to create such a delicious creation! Seriously…give homemade bread a shot sometime!! Thanks so much for the comment, my friend!

  14. Homemade bread really is the best. I was too intimidated and avoided it for years. When I finally tried it, I discovered that it wasn’t actually too hard at all, even for a non-baker like myself. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Yes! I love this comment, Frank! You are totally right that homemade bread sounds super intimidating, but it really isn’t that hard at all. Sure, it takes a few times practicing to get the hang of it, but it’s not that hard. Plus, homemade bread is just so darned tasty!! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend!

  15. I’ve always been intimidated about doing home made bread. But you say this is an easy one so I will give it a try and let you know how it goes.

    1. Hey there, Mary Ann! You should totally try your hand at making this bread. I agree that baking homemade bread sounds super intimidating…but it’s really not as hard as people think! I’d be happy to pop over if you need any help! 🙂

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