This crusty French baguette recipe is easier to make than you think! Here’s a video tutorial showing how to make this classic crusty bread.
- 500 grams all-purpose flour (4 cups)*
- 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 12 grams kosher salt (2 teaspoons)
- 350 grams warm water (1 1/2 cups)
Day 1: Make the dough (15 minutes active, 45 minutes inactive)
- Mix the dough: Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Resist the urge to add lots of flour. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes. If the dough is very sticky, you can add a small amount of flour but resist the urge to add lots.
- Proof 45 to 60 minutes: After the kneading is finished, form the dough into a ball and return to the bowl. Proof until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Place each dough into a separate sealed covered container (we use glass pyrex containers with lids), with room for the dough to double in size.
- Refrigerate 2 days: Place containers in the refrigerator for 2 days to ferment (this is where all the flavor comes from!).
Day 3: Shape & Bake (30 minutes active, 2 hours inactive, 40 minutes bake, 20 minutes cool)
- Proof 1 hour: When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place dough onto lightly floured counter and pull ends under dough to form a boule shape (watch video for this and all following steps). Repeat with second dough. Cover with towel and rest 1 hour.
- Fold the dough & rest 10 minutes: After an hour, flip the dough over and pull out the left and right ends. Fold the ends into the center of the dough and gently roll into a log. Pinch the seams on the sides. Be careful not to press too hard while rolling to avoid deflating the dough. Repeat with second dough. Cover with a towel and rest for 10 minutes.
- Pre-shape the dough & rest 5 minutes: Sprinkle the doughs with flour. Flip the dough and pat it gently into a rectangle. Fold in half and use the heel of your hand to pinch the seam and form a log shape. Flip and repeat the process. Repeat with second dough. Cover with towel and rest 5 minutes.
- Shape the dough & proof 45 minutes: Place a clean towel on a baking pan and dust it heavily with flour. Starting from the center of the dough, use your hands to roll the dough into a long baguette shape the almost the length of your pan. Make sure to roll your hands all the way past the ends of the dough to create the tapered point. Carefully transfer the dough to the floured towel and tuck it on both sides to provide support. Repeat with second dough. Cover with a towel and proof for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a cast iron pan or your thickest baking sheet on the rack just below and off to the other side of oven. You’ll pour water into it later to create steam.
- Score the bread: After proofing, carefully move each dough out of the towel and transfer it directly onto the pan. Ensure the dough is straightened and dust it lightly with flour. Use a sharp knife or lame to score each bread 4 times at a slight diagonal, just overlapping pattern.
- Bake at 475 degrees: Place the tray in the oven and add steam: cover your hand with a towel and very carefully pour 1 cup of water onto the cast-iron pan or baking sheet, then immediately close the door. Bake 16 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
- Bake at 400 degrees: Open the oven door and fan it a few times to release moist air. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Storage instructions: Store at room temperature wrapped in a towel for up to 2 days. To preserve the second loaf, you can freeze it: wrap in foil and place in a plastic bag. Store for several months in the freezer. To reheat, bake from frozen for 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
*If you’d like only 1 loaf, cut the quantities in half. The recipe works just as well!
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: French
Keywords: Baguette Recipe, French Baguette,