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Homemade Baguette Recipe [+Video]

There is nothing like an authentic French baguette! It’s crusty and beautifully colored on the outside, and buttery soft and chewy on the inside. There are just a few tricks to the perfect baguette recipe!

Two freshly baked baguettes on a cooling rack. The baguettes have a paper wrap and tag around the center of the loaf.

I feel like sometimes we put boundaries up on our culinary capabilities. For some it might be a fluffy, buttery croissant or someone else it might be a homemade apple pie. We think it’s too hard or maybe not worth the effort. It’s just easier and quicker to buy it at the store. Am I right?

The baguette definitely falls into that category. I’ll just leave it to the professionals at the bakery. Not anymore! These homemade baguettes are so worth the time and effort!

Next up is the kouign amann! My next culinary feat! But back to this phenomenal baguette recipe! They are perfect for dipping in soups, making sandwiches, slicing for dips or crostinis, or wrapping up for a friend with these adorable tags!

Two loaves of baguette bread. They are criss cross on top of each other, and the top loaf is broken to show the soft interior.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make This Baguette Recipe?

You might think to make an authentic French baguette you are going to need all sorts of fancy ingredients. That couldn’t be further from the truth! All you need is 5 simple ingredients!

  • Bread Flour
  • Water
  • Instant Yeast
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Kosher Salt
Seems too simple right? The ingredients are simple, but making the baguettes is a little more involved. We will walk you through each step!

What is Poolish?

Have you ever heard of a poolish? I’m going to be referring to the poolish a lot, so let’s make sure that it is clear.

In short terms, the poolish is the bread starter used in French baking. It’s a simple combinations of flour, water, and a leavening agent (in this case yeast). It is left to ferment for a period of time and is used to make the delicious taste and texture of baguettes.

How to Make a Homemade Baguette Recipe

Baguettes come together in several steps. I will walk you through each one. More detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card.

Poolish

Combine the bread flour, water and yeast in a covered bowl or container the night before. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 8 hours (10-12 hours is even better). I love to use this plastic container for storing the poolish overnight.

Combine the Dough

Add all the ingredients for the dough to the poolish. I recommend measuring the ingredients by weight rather than by the typical cups, teaspoons, tablespoons, etc.

Stir all of the ingredients thoroughly and then use your hand to squeeze the dough until is comes together. Cover the bowl or container and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Stretch and Fold

I turned to YouTube to watch a demo of how to stretch and fold the dough properly. It just helps me to watch it being done. I used this video.

You will do three stretch and fold with the dough with a 30 minute resting period between each stretch and fold.

Two loaves of freshly baked baguettes on a wire cooling rack. The baguettes have a paper tag tied around the center.

Prep the Baguettes

Now we need to do all the prep work to bake these little beauties! First we will prep the oven. Place one of your racks on the very bottom position and the other right in the middle. Place a cast iron skillet on the on the bottom rack and a baking stone (or baking steal or sheet pan) on the middle rack. Then turn on your oven to 500 degrees F for 1 hour.

Take your baker’s couche or linen and dust it with flour so it’s ready for your shaped dough to rise for the final time. Place a piece of parchment on a pizza peel or unrimmed baking sheet.

Pre-Shape & Rest

Take your dough and cut it in half with a dough scraper or knife (don’t tear it!). Lightly flour your work surface and press one piece of dough out into a rectangle. On the short ends, gently fold in each corner to the center and barely press it with your finger tip to seal.

Then for the long ends into the center and gently press to seal so there is a seam down the length of the dough. Repeat the same steps with the second piece of dough and then cover them both with plastic wrap and let them rest.

Shape into Baguettes

Rather than try to explain this step in words here, watch this video that shows how to shape the dough. Once you have a thin log, move the dough to your baker’s couche or linen and then scoot the couche up on both sides of the baguette to help the dough hold its shape. It’s like a cozy little hammock for the dough.

Repeat the same process for the second piece of dough.

Two loaves of fresh baguettes on a white tea towel. They are baked to a golden brown.

Let the Dough Rise

Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap and let them rest for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.

Score

Carefully flip each baguette over onto a cutting board, then move each baguette to the parchment lined pizza peel or unrimmed baking sheet seam side down. Use a sharp knife to cut 4-5 slashes on the top of the dough so the bread can expand while they bake.

Bake

We have made it to the bake! Get ready to bust out your baking ninja skills!

Fill a small bowl with ice cubes. Quickly open the oven, slide the whole piece of parchment paper with your baguettes onto the baking stone. Quickly pour the ice cubes into the cast iron skillet on the bottom rack and close the door. How long did it take you? I feel like we should have a competition to see who can do it the fastest!

Lower the oven temp to 475 degrees F. Bake for 25-40 minutes. Start checking at 25 minutes and bake to the color you want.

Cool

Allow the baguettes to cool completely before slicing for optimum flavor. It all started with poolish and now you have this beautiful loaf of bread!
A couple of broken pieces of baguette. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

What to Eat with Baguettes?

Let me just start by saying these baguettes can eaten plain and life is happy! They can also be used for sandwiches, to dip in soups, or sliced and dunked into yummy dips. Here are a few suggestions:

Sandwiches

Soups

Dips

Two loaves of freshly baked baguettes with a paper tag tied around the middle.

How Do You Store a Baguette?

Place in a plastic storage bag or wrap in foil and store at room temperature. Baguettes will keep for 2-3 days.

How Long Will a Baguette Keep?

Stored properly, a baguette will keep for 2-3 days.

What is the Difference Between French Bread and a Baguette?

A baguette is typically longer in length and smaller in diameter than French bread.  

Baguettes have a crispier crust also.

 

Who is ready to conquer this homemade authentic baguette recipe? The ingredients are simple. We have walked you through each step. Ready. Set. Go!

More BREAD SIDES You’ll Love:

 

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Two freshly baked baguettes on a cooling rack. The baguettes have a paper wrap and tag around the center of the loaf.

Baguette

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Prep Time: 16 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 16 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 2 baguettes

Ingredients

Poolish

  • 89 Grams Bread flour 3/4 cup
  • 89 Grams Water 6 Tablespoons+1 teaspoon, slightly warm
  • 1 Gram Instant Yeast 1/4 teaspoon

Dough

  • 240 Grams Bread flour 2 cups
  • 31 Grams All-Purpose Flour 1/4 cup
  • 163 Grams Water 1/2 cup+3 Tablespoons, slightly warm
  • 1 Gram Instant Yeast 1/4 teaspoon
  • 6 Grams Kosher Salt Morton, 1 1/4 teaspoons

Instructions

For The Poolish

  • The night before, make the poolish.
  •  In a large mixing bowl, or I prefer plastic container with a lid, combine the ingredients for the poolish. 
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or the lid and let it stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours, but preferably 10-12 hours.

Combine the Dough

  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the baguette dough into the bowl with the poolish.
  •  I put the container on my scale and then press tare and repeat after each ingredient so I can just weigh in grams.
  • Stir until well combined using your hand to stir and squeeze the dough until it comes together. Place the lid or more plastic wrap on and set aside for 30 minutes.

Stretch and Fold

  • After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, you will do a series of three stretch and folds with the dough. 
  •  I watched this video to learn.
  • With the dough still in the bowl, lightly dampen your hand with water so the dough doesn’t stick to you.  Pull on one side of the dough out to the side and stretch it up and then fold it down over the top of the dough.
  • Rotate the bowl 90 degrees and do the same with the next side.
  • Do this again until you have stretched all four sides of the dough up and over on itself. 
  • Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 more minutes.
  • Repeat for two more rounds: Stretch and fold the dough for the second round. Cover and let rest for 30 more minutes. 
  • Stretch and fold for the third round. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 more minutes. This will take a two hour process from when the dough is mixed to when it is ready to be shaped. Four 30 minute resting periods with three stretch and folds in between.

Prep the Baguettes

  • While the dough is resting the last time, prepare the cloth and ovens.
  • Position one oven rack in the very bottom position in the oven and another rack in the middle position. Place a cast iron skillet or heatproof pan on the bottom rack and a baking stone (our preferred way or a steal) baking steal, or a sheet pan turned upside down on the middle rack. 
  • Preheat your oven to 500 F with these items in the oven for 1 hour. 
  • Lightly flour a baker's couche or a linen towel to let your shaped dough rise on. Finally, prepare a pizza peel or an unrimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Pre-Shape & Rest

  • Using a dough scraper or knife, cut the dough into two pieces. Do not tear it! 
  • On a very lightly floured surface, press one piece of dough out into a rectangle and very gently, easily stretch the short ends out. Fold each short end into the center to barely touch and press down with your fingertips to seal. 
  • Next, fold each long end into the center and press with your fingertips to seal, creating a seam down the length of the dough. Set the dough aside and repeat this process with the second piece. Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Shape into Baguettes

  • With the seam side up, press the first piece of dough into a thin rectangle by starting at the top left edge and folding down the dough about 1/2" and pinching to seal it with your fingertips, working your way across the top. Repeat this process, continuing to fold down on the dough and sealing to create a tight log. Once you have a thin, tight log, turn it seam side down. Using both hands, roll the dough on the counter-top, working it into a long thin snake shape. Move the piece of dough to your prepared towel or baker's couche. Scoot the towel or couche up on both sides of the baguette to create folds to hold the dough's shape like a hammock of dough. Repeat this process with the second piece of dough.

Let the Dough Rise

  • Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap and let them rest for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.

Score

  • Place a small cutting board right beside one of the baguettes. Gently pull up on the towel to flip the baguette over onto the board. Move the baguette over to the parchment lined pizza peel or unrimmed baking sheet. Gently flip the baguette back onto the parchment paper, so that the seam side is down once again. Repeat with the second baguette. Using a very sharp knife, cut 4-5 slashes in the top of the baguettes to allow the bread to expand and grow while baking.

Bake

  • Fill a small bowl with 2 cups of ice cubes. Quickly open the oven and gently slide the whole piece of parchment paper with the baguettes onto the preheated baking stone. Moving very quickly pour the ice cubes into the preheated skillet under the stone on the bottom rack and immediately shut the oven door. Lower the oven temperature down to 475 F. Bake for about 25-40 minutes or until dark as baguettes should have a very dark crust. Begin checking them at 25 minutes to decide on the color you want.

Cool

  • Allow the baguettes to cool completely before slicing for optimum flavor.

Notes

Cool completely, place in a plastic storage bag or wrap in foil to store.  Baguettes will keep for 2-3 days.
Nutrition Facts
Baguette
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 654 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1173mg51%
Potassium 165mg5%
Carbohydrates 132g44%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 22g44%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Two freshly baked baguettes on a cooling rack. The baguettes have a paper wrap and tag around the center of the loaf.

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Must Have Patriotic Foods for This 4th of July! 🇺🇸

About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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Must Have Patriotic Foods for This 4th of July! 🇺🇸