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How to Make French Baguettes

by Victor @ Taste of Artisan

There is nothing like a freshly baked French baguette on a Sunday morning. Or any morning for that matter. Crusty and beautifully colored on the outside, buttery soft and chewy on the inside, with a tiny bit of butter – it’s one of my favorite breakfast foods.

Two homemade French baguettes on a baking sheet, one cut open in half showing airy crumb.

Baguettes took me the longest to master. Perhaps it’s because my bread baking adventure started (many years ago) right after I baked my second loaf of no-knead bread and I lacked necessary experience. So many factors here that can affect how your baguette will look and taste.

Three golden brown homemade baguettes on a marble table.

What French baguettes are made of?

A traditional French baguette is made of flour, water, yeast and salt. It’s fascinating how these four simple ingredients produce a beautiful, flavorful, crusty baguette. What’s even more fascinating is how different bakers, using the same ingredients, can make baguettes that differ from each other quite substantially sometimes.

Up to about a century ago making bread with natural leaven was the rule for bakers in France. Later it was a mix of natural leaven and baker’s yeast, which made the crumb lighter and more open. Lately, many bakeries seek efficiencies and switch to using baker’s yeast as using natural leavens requires more work.

Other factors that define a baguette’s appearance and taste

As was mentioned above, many French baguettes, while using same ingredients, differ in appearance and taste. This is largely due to the process that is employed. You can can make the dough rise very quickly using warm water and warm ambient temperature but it will lack flavor. Slowing down the fermentation process, known as cold retarding, results in complex flavor and improved taste. Thus, how you ferment the dough, how long you retard it, how you proof it, how you shape, score and bake it – all contribute to how the final product looks and tastes.

Baguette making process

This baguette recipe uses baker’s yeast and is influenced by the method used by Anis Bouabsa, winner of the 2008 Best Baguette in Paris contest. In an interview, Anis mentioned using baguette dough that has 75% hydration (meaning the ratio of water to flour), very little yeast, hardly kneaded, folded three times in one hour then placed in the fridge for 21 hours. He also added that baguettes are not fully risen when placed in the oven, it is the wet dough and the very, very hot oven (480F) that make baguettes get the volume.

The ingredients

In this recipe I use are King Arthur Flour all purpose flour, very commonly used for baguette making among home baking enthusiasts, water, yeast and salt. I also add a bit of honey. This is a big no-no for baguette purists, but that little hint of sweetness is what everyone I baked my baguettes for liked.

The equipment

The essential pieces of equipment to make a great tasting baguette are an oven and a baking stone. You want a large and, importantly, thick baking stone. It won’t crack easily and will promote a much better oven spring for your baguettes. Like this heavy duty baking stone. Even better, go to your local pottery supply store and get a Cordierite kiln shelf. They are thicker and can withstand spills with aplomb. You can also get one cut to your specifications.

Another piece of equipment that is extremely helpful is the Baker’s Couche that you will need for proofing. I used to get away without one for a long time but the are so effective and convenient, and in very inexpensive nowadays.

A bread lame is another tool you will be glad you have.  It’s essential for scoring baguettes. I can use a serrated bread knife to make pretty good scores, but a lame will be much easier for novice bakers.

Finally, you will need a large pizza shovel or something similar to load baguettes in the oven. I find that that the easiest way to do it is to place the baguettes on a large piece of parchment paper, score then slide on the baking stone.

 Mixing the dough and stretch and folds

The first step is to mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for about 10 minutes, followed by 3 stretch and folds over a period of one 1 1/2 hours, every 30 minutes. In each stretch and fold iteration, pull one side of the dough and fold onto itself. At the end of each iteration I pick up the dough ball and turn it up side down.

Homemade-Baguette-Stretch-FoldDo this in a warm room to get yeast activity going, otherwise the dough will have a hard time rising in the fridge. Examine the surface of the dough before putting it in the fridge and look for tiny blisters and slight sour milk smell. If you observe both, then the dough is ready to go in the fridge. If not, I let it sit at room temperature for another 1/2 to 1 hour.

Cold retarding

Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap to prevent the surface from drying out and place in the fridge for 12 hours. After 12 hours the dough will have doubled in volume. If not quite doubled, take it out and let stand in warm place for 1-2 hours. Oven with the light on is warm enough for this purpose. Alternatively, you could let the dough ferment in the fridge for another 8-10 hours.

Preheating the oven and steaming

Some time after taking the dough out of the fridge, start preheating the oven to 500F, with a baking stone positioned in the upper part of the oven and a small bread pan with hot water and a rolled kitchen towel inside, on the lower rack. Position your baking stone such that short side is parallel to the door. Water pan is needed for consistent steam release during baking to help the baguettes rise nicely in the oven (also referred to as oven spring) and prevent surface hardening.  The towel helps control steam release.

Baking stone and water pan preheating in the oven.

Shaping baguettes

Turn the dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 3 equal pieces, shape into rectangles and let relax for 45-60 minutes.

Stretch into rectangles and roll each rectangle as shown below. Start with the longer side, fold it inside the rectangle and seal the seam with your thumb. Do it tightly enough but being careful not degas the dough. Repeat two more times until you formed a cylinder.

French Baguette Recipe

Seal the seams using your palm and stretch the cylinder to desired length by gently rolling it with your hands.

French Baguette Recipe

Proofing

Cover with flour (a mix of regular flour and rice flower works best as rice flower does not absorb water too well and prevents sticking) and place on a baker’s couche, seam side up.  Let proof for 30-60 minutes at room temperature. You can tell that the dough is ready for baking by a gentle poke with a finger. If the dough is sufficiently proofed the indentation springs back very slowly.  If it’s under-proofed, the dough will spring back quickly.  You can read more about this and see pictures in the Basic Artisan Sourdough Bread post.

Baguettes proofing on a floured couche.

Scoring

Transfer the baguettes onto a piece of parchment paper, seam side down, and dust off excess flour. Using a bread lame or a razor blade, make 3 cuts, in a gentle but firm motion.  Bakers call this scoring. If the baguettes keep sliding when making cuts, hold them with one hand at the top end and make cuts from top to bottom. Scoring baguettes helps them open up and nicely rise in the oven, or as bakers call it to have an oven spring.

French Baguette Recipe

Loading baguettes in the oven

Once the baguettes are ready to bake, simply slide them off with the parchment paper onto the hot baking stone. Be careful with opening your preheated oven, it will be hot and steamy, and may burn your face if you are too close when opening the door. Using a water spray bottle, spray some water in the sides of the oven to boost the steam.

Baking

Once your baguettes are in the oven, reduce temperature to 475F. Bake for about 15 minutes, remove the water pan, rotate and bake another 15 minutes at 450F, until deep golden brown.

Close up of French baguette crumbs and crispy crust.

Three homemade French baguettes on a baking sheet, one cut open in half showing airy crumb.

French Baguette Recipe

5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: European, French
Keyword: French baguette, homemade baguette
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising and proofing: 14 hours
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 158kcal
Author: Victor

Ingredients

  • 500 g all purpose flour King Arthur brand is recommended about 3 1/2 cups, using 'scoop and swipe' method
  • 360 g water about 1 1/2 cups + 1 Tbsp
  • 10 g salt about 2 tsp
  • 3 g instant yeast about 1 tsp; also known as Quick Rise or Rapid Rise yeast
  • 25 g honey about 1 Tbsp

Instructions

  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  • Over a period of 1 1/2 hours, do 3 sets of stretch and folds, flipping the dough upside down after each set.
  • Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight for about 12-14 hours.
  • Turn the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 3 equal parts and shape into rectangles. Cover and let rest for 45-60 minutes.
  • Starting preheating the oven to 500F, with a baking stone positioned in the upper half the oven and a bread pan filled with hot water on the bottom rack.
  • Stretch each dough rectangle slightly and fold into a cylinder, sealing the seams. Using your hands, roll the cylinders gently stretching them to desired length, about 14-15 inches.
  • Place on a lightly floured couche, seam side up. Cover and proof at a room temperature for about 30-60 minutes, or until the dough has sufficiently proofed.
  • Transfer the baguettes to a piece of parchment paper, seam side down and dust off excess flour. Using a bread lame, a sharp knife or a razor blade, make 3 scores on each baguette. When scoring, use a swift and firm motion to ensure nice and clean cuts.
  • Open the oven, taking caution not to get burned by steam, and slide the baguettes off onto the baking stone. Close the oven and reduce temperature to 475F. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the water pan, rotate the baguettes, drop the temperature to 450F and continue baking for another 15 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Notes

I highly recommend measuring out the ingredients using a kitchen scale, like this inexpensive scale. Even though I provided the measurements in U.S. customary units, those are imprecise and your results may be very different from mine. Additionally, measuring flour in cups does not take into account the flour's hydration, which is impacted by how fresh the flour is and how it was stored.

Nutrition

Calories: 158kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1.9mg

 

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47 comments

Ruth January 18, 2020 - 11:05 pm

Hi Victor,
I got your find your recipe about French baguette, but I do not know what 500 grams of flour it means and the 360 grams of water. I google up and it says ” about 4 cups and other sites it says 2 cups. Also how about the water measure it? It says 1.52 cup. Could you specify in cups please. I live in Colllingwood Ontario and I can not find Arthur King flour. I am planning to use unbleached organic flour.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan January 19, 2020 - 12:38 am

Ruth, I highly recommend getting an inexpensive kitchen scale ($10) and measure out the ingredients. I scooped a cup of flour 4 times and got 4 different results, from 138 grams to 146 grams. Fresh and properly stored flour is more hydrated and weighs more (per cup). If it lost some water, it will weigh less, again, per cup. If you use cups, your results may be very different from mine. I updated the recipe with the U.S. customary units but I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING THEM.
< Unbleached organic flour sounds good.

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Jay January 3, 2020 - 11:41 pm

I did it! Wonderful outcome, authentic etc. Thank you.
My only question: 500F put bread in and turn down to 450 or 475 for 15 min?
Last 15 min 450.
The pic recipe differs on oven temp from the “print” recipe. 475 or 450.
Vancouver Island, Canada.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan January 4, 2020 - 3:17 am

Hi Jay, thanks for pointing that out. I’ve been baking baguettes at both of those temps so no wonder I made that typo. Both work great. I like the 475F a little better as it gives, IMHO, a slightly thicker, crispier crust. Starting at 450F produces a slightly thinner crust. The color and crumb are practically the same.

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elyn tromey January 2, 2020 - 10:52 pm

I am so thrilled to have found this recipe. I used a King Arthur baguette recipe for years, using a metal baguette tray. They were okay, but I thought they could be better. So, I got a couche and a stone and did the KAF recipe as well as this one here. This one makes waaaay better baguettes by far. I’m so thrilled, thank you for sharing it!

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan January 2, 2020 - 11:33 pm

So happy for you, Elyn. I know that feeling when you bake or cook something that tastes and looks perfect. I had that feeling just a few days ago when I finally got my challah bread just like the one from my childhood, like the one that my grandpa would get at the farmer’s market. It’s not rich, has barely any egg in it, intensely colored and somewhat crusty, and absolutely delicious. My family is crazy about it too, they keep asking me to bake more.

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le Chef Ian December 25, 2019 - 4:30 pm

Five stars…

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Karin Roberts December 14, 2019 - 2:17 am

This is the perfect ratio of ingredients! I don’t know if it was this recipe or the use of a cloche, but this is the first successful baguette I’ve ever made! I intend to split the dough in 2 parts and try to make a slightly larger loaf but if you follow the recipe and make 3, you will not be disappointed. A cast iron with water in the oven does create a good amount of steam.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan December 14, 2019 - 3:08 pm

Hi Karin, happy to hear that I was able to help you make a better baguette. Thanks for your feedback and happy baking!

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Diane November 29, 2019 - 6:58 pm

How high do you want the water in the pan or is there a certain amount of wetness/moisture the towel needs to be for steaming purposes? I haven’t tried using a towel before and want to make sure I have the right proportions. Thanks!

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan November 30, 2019 - 12:46 am

The level of water is quite arbitrary, you want the water to remain there for the duration of the initial baking (with steam). If I add the pan closer to baking time, in a hot oven, I would fill it half-way. I would fill the pan almost full, with the towel in, if it goes in a cold oven. This is because a good half of the water will evaporate during preheating. There is no hard rule here. The towel helps with slow, even steam release. Either way, after adding, you need to wait for it to start boiling. You can add boiling water to the pan, or cold, your choice, but that will determine how long it needs to be in the oven before boiling.

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Vernon November 13, 2019 - 2:04 pm

I have been using the baguette recipes from Julia Child, Rose Beranbaum (the Bread Bible) and Jacques Pepin, besides watching the episodes of the French Chef where Julia is running around with a thermometer in the French baking school in Paris. (and YouTube videos) I sometimes use a biga or old yeasted dough from the freezer for the first mixing.
Having prefaced this, I think this recipe is the best; having accurate quantity amounts, rise temperatures, times, etc. I could not get the large holes you show in the photograph, but with this recipe I got larger holes than I normally get. Some recipes suggest holes can be increased by a longer original mix of the flour and water, but I think the larger bubbles (holes) in your bread might have to do with a more gentle folding and pinching of the baguette dough? Maybe the room temperature & timing of the final rise? Nice job Victor!
I spend my winters in France and am always sampling baguettes.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan November 13, 2019 - 2:39 pm

Hi Vernon, your comment truly made my day. I’ve been working on my technique, and the recipe to a lesser degree, for years, and I am happy when someone recognizes that.
>
You are correct in your assessment. Bigger holes, no doubt, have to do with higher hydration, gentle handling, no punching down, proper fermentation, proper bench rest, longer proofing, better oven spring (a function of good steam, good scoring), better gluten development. Frankly, after having baked hundreds of baguettes over years, I don’t focus on my technique any more, it sort of became a second nature. I do recall though, that when my yeast during bulk fermentation is not as active as I want, I get smaller holes and less of an oven spring. It most likely has to do with the ambient temperature, or temperature of the water I use. I’ve learned to let the dough ferment a bit longer, until I see some healthy rise, good sour milk smell and blisters on the surface.
>
The fridge temperature can impact the openness of the crumb too. A fridge is a fridge, right? I though so for some time, and used my basement fridge which is no frost-free and runs cooler than my kitchen fridge. I’d get an OK rise in it. A rise is a rise, I thought, but once I tried my upstairs fridge and saw a big difference in how the dough rose more, was more airy, I moved my operation. I like to see the volume double, if not, I’d let it sit outside until it does, then move on to the next step.

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Vernon December 14, 2019 - 5:48 pm

Victor,
I am over in Paris now, and I found a couple bakers that mix their water, flour and a small amount of yeast and put it directly in refrigeration, then the following morning mix in the salt and then let in rise for baking. I have done something similar, that is I mix the water, flour and yeast then let it sit a couple hours before mixing in salt. Then let it rise over night in a cool place. Another baker told me the large holes in his baguettes come from the excessive amount of water in the recipe.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan December 14, 2019 - 8:38 pm

Hi Vernon, you lucky dog… I wish I were in Paris right now 😉 I’ve heard about that technique, Essentially, it’s equally as effective to retard bulk fermentation as it is the proofing stage. I’ve tried that in the past but I just find it easier for my schedule to retard the proofing stage.
>
About the salt, it inhibits yeast activity so some bakers add it later, after autolysing or, as you mentioned, even after bulk fermentation. I am not sure if it’s as effective when using commercial yeast, and most bakers in France use commercial yeast or a combination of commercial/natural leaven at the very least. The challenge with adding the salt way later is that it may not dissolve properly and you may find grains of salt in your baguette. I remember Chad Robertson mentioning that as well in his Tartine bread book. A customer returned a loaf after finding big grains of salt in it.
>
That said, if it works, it works. There are so many great ways to make a great tasting baguette, in many ways it boils down to someone’s personal style/preference. And yeah, I totally agree, higher hydration makes bigger bubbles. The challenge is to balance higher hydration/bigger bubbles with aesthetic appearance. You won’t care if your baguette has big bubbles if it looks like a long flat ciabatta.

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Lori November 3, 2019 - 6:25 am

I have a Miele combination convection and steam oven. Do you have a suggestion for what percentage steam I should try instead of the towel method. Thank you so much.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan November 3, 2019 - 1:09 pm

Lori, I have never used or even seen that oven, so I can’t make any suggestions. I would recommend searching YouTube and Google for ‘bread steam combo oven’ and try to find that information. I checked a few videos on Youtube, I don’t see anyone setting a percentage for steam, rather they set darkness, and the type of bread. Their model are likely different. That said, I don’t steam my oven too much. It’s more of a gentle, slowly released steam. When I open my pre-steamed oven, I don’t get plumes of steam, I feel it but don’t really see the steam. Hope this helps.

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Kiyo October 18, 2019 - 4:45 pm

Aloha Victor! You mention an oven temperature of 750 degrees however I would like to confirm you mean 450 degrees. The baguettes look amazing! We enjoy making bread at home.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan October 18, 2019 - 4:48 pm

Aloha, Kiyo! Yes, it should be 450F. 750 was just a typo in the body of the post. The recipe is correct.

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Guy October 14, 2019 - 4:51 pm

Perfection yo. Simple, classic, and easy to make. The only issue was that I did not know stretching and folding involved pulling each corner over with each iteration and was only doing one single stretch and one single fold per iteration. The texture definitely improved once I actually started doing it the way you’re supposed to! they actually do quite well being frozen, then thawed in the fridge overnight and thrown in the oven in the morning before bringing somewhere.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan October 15, 2019 - 12:17 pm

Absolutely, the improvement in texture is very apparent after even two sets of stretch and folds. I applied this technique to my no knead bread and it came out practically a different bread. By the way, at what point do you freeze your baguettes, after they are fully proofed?

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Amy Korobow August 26, 2019 - 8:05 pm

Thank you!

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan August 29, 2019 - 2:50 pm

You are very welcome!

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Elliott May 30, 2019 - 9:48 pm

Hello
Great recipe! I have taken my own journey with baguettes and followed a similar path. In the end, it remains pretty simple.
I noticed a couple of typos: On the printable recipe, step 8, I think you meant seam side ‘down’ for this scoring step. And on the online recipe, the temperature should be turned down to 450, not 750.

I also had a couple of questions:
You reduced the water recently by 25 g, why?
You are resting the dough in rectangles for up to an hour now, instead of 15′. Why?
And, you made a point of removing the water for the last 15. I tried misting at the beginning and then tried it at the end with a fine water bottle and I get a nice crust when I mist at the end. I will try removing the water as you suggested to see what that does to the crust.

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Victor @ Taste of Artisan May 31, 2019 - 2:58 pm

Hi Elliott,

I appreciate your comments and questions. Indeed, they should be seam side down, corrected. The thing with 750 is strange as I see 450. Must have typed 750 then corrected but it stayed in cache. I cleared the cache so that should be fixed too.

I reduced the water as several people emailed me about challenges they were having working with higher hydration dough and baguettes ‘not looking as pretty’. This level of hydration still produces excellent crumb and the buguettes hold their shape better. That said, feel free to increase hydration. I go as high as 80% sometimes.

I increased the rest time as I like how much more relaxed the dough becomes and it makes it easier to shape and roll out. If my dough rises too much (sometimes I keep it in a cool veranda instead of fridge) I let it rest 15-20 minutes only.

As far as steaming goes, I suggest go with what works for you. Different ovens bake differently too so one needs to account for that too. But typically bakers steam initially (10-15 min) to get a nice oven spring then dry bake to get the color and crispiness.

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Glenn January 17, 2019 - 8:33 am

I’m getting great results with this method, I have been playing with the rising time since I want a fresh baguette with dinner. I do the stretch and folds in the morning and keep it in the microwave with the light on until I see some rising. I then move it to the fridge taking it out around 4pm, let it warm up and proceed from there. Today I added the honey for the first time, I’m anxious to see how that changes the flavour. I have also found that 80% hydration seems fine. I am using a baguette tray for baking them. I’m curious if they would work out well if I made them in the evening and left them in the fridge for 20 hrs? Also, any idea how mixing them in a mixer would change the outcome?

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victor January 17, 2019 - 11:59 am

Glad to hear about your success with baguettes, Glenn. Honey adds a tiny bit of sweetness, I love it. My family loves it too. I also sometimes add 5% rye flour, what a flavor boost.

You can retard baguettes in the fridge for 24 hours and even longer (I’ve gone as long as 48 hours). The trick is to make sure they don’t over-proof, so you need to tweak the amount of yeast/fridge temperature variables. I would normally do a few stretch and folds, let the dough start rising, maybe get it increase 40-50% in volume, then in the fridge. After the fridge, take it out, pre-shape, 20 min bench rest, shape, proof for 30-60 minutes, then bake.

Mixing in a mixer actually works quite well. When I am busy I simply throw all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl and mix with a paddle attachment (not a dough hook) for 10 minutes on speed 4. This is for 80% hydration, otherwise the paddle attachment won’t work. Then shape into a nice ball, throw in a bowl seam side down and refrigerate overnight. Then it’s the same routine – pre-shape, rest, shape, proof, bake.

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Yasmin December 16, 2018 - 2:45 am

Thanks for this fabulous recipe.
I am a total amateur from Durban South Africa. I have managed perfect baguettes AT home since I found your recipe..I don’t add the honey but they taste lovely nonetheless and usually eaten with 30 mins.
We don’t Get good bread easily here..it’s all factory produced…so really glad to be able to make these..
Siyabonga ..thank you

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victor December 16, 2018 - 5:16 pm

Happy to hear that my blog post on baguettes helped. I love baking bread and do it almost every 2-3 days as here in Canada we also aren’t spoiled by good bread. There are some micro bakeries that sell good bread but it’s very expensive and a good drive away from me. Also, while their baguettes are good, I don’t think they are as good my own in mu humble opinion. I’ve started a new blog, Taste of Artisan, where I will be posting my favorite bread recipe and more… you are welcome to come and visit.

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Veronika December 2, 2018 - 3:51 am

Hello, great recipe! The only thing is I can’t get such massive bubles as you’ve got on the pictures. Could you perhaps give me some pointers how to make a bugette so emmental-like? 🙂

Thank you.

Veronika

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victor December 2, 2018 - 1:32 pm

Emmental-like, ha? I like that analogy. You want to make sure your dough double or even triples during the first rise (bulk fermentation), then you shape and let the baguettes proof. For big holes, try to handle the dough very carefully when you shape it. Also make sure you proof enough. You should have good results. I am planning on re-writing this post as my technique improved quite a bit since. I started a new blog, Taste of Artisan, dedicated to all DIY artisanal foods and will be moving this post there. For now, I’d like to suggest reading this post here, it’s about bread but the technique is very similar. I think you should find it helpful. If you have more questions, let me know. https://tasteofartisan.com/artisan-sourdough-bread-recipe/

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jasmine November 9, 2018 - 7:13 pm

This was excellent. I am a trained chef and have spent the past few years trying to perfect bread. I make a new recipe every weekend. This was one of the best I have tried-especially without a starter. It has the flavor and consistency of a starter bread without the hassle. I proofed in fridge about 17 hours.

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victor November 10, 2018 - 8:32 am

Thanks for the compliment, Jasmine. This means a lot. Back in the day, I spent months perfecting this recipe and reading every interview with the best French baguette bakers and collecting every tip they shared. I need to retake the pictures, the ones on the post don’t do them justice. When I bring these baguettes to work, people fight over them.

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Chuck October 25, 2018 - 10:44 pm

Victor,

Thanks for your recipe and techique notes. I tried this earlier this month and had modest success. The bread tasted good but i expected more rise and other signs of fermentation (the dough didn’t smell particularly yeasty, there were no surface blisters and the dough balls were not as smooth as your pictures). My kitchen is pretty cool here on the northern California coast- high fifties F to mid sixties F this time of year unless we have the windows closed and the oven is raging, I also had some trouble with the transfer onto the stone, mostly due to too small of a stone (remedied with a new, larger kiln shelf) but also due to inexperience. I often use parchment paper and slide it right on the stone with the loaves. I should have done that, knowing that the size of the landing pad is not very forgiving. As fall progresses, I’ll have more time to work on this.

I’m curious where your sausage and salumi pages went? Will we see them ever again?

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victor October 26, 2018 - 8:25 am

Hi Chuck, thank you for sharing your experiences. It took me some practice initially, but once it clicked with me it became quite easy with consistently great results. To help with your dough, try using warm water, about 85F. That should aid with yeast activation. Or use a pre-ferment. The night before, mix 100g each water and flour with 3 grams of quick rise yeast and put in a fridge. This will ensure proper yeast activity even at colder temps. You will have to subtract these amounts from the final dough recipe.

There is nothing wrong with baking on a piece of parchment paper, I now do it most of the time as I find it much easier to transfer dough with it. Breads, pizza, calzones…

For the stone, do yourself a favor and go to your local pottery supply store and get 3/4″ – 1″ kiln shelf. They can cut to size. I had mine cut to 16×21 inches. It’s heave and resides in my oven permanently. Super durable and handles spills without a problem. I’ve had it for almost 3 years now. I can bake 3 20″ baguettes on it without a problem, or two large bread loaves.

As for the sausages, they are still here, just not liked. I’ve started a new blog, Taste of Artisan, dedicated to bread baking, sausage making, chocolate making and more. Everything for DIYers who love homemade, artisanal food. All relevant content will be migrated there over the next couple of months.

Here is the link to my favorite bread recipe that I make every 2-3 days now. Lot’s of details and pictures to help see the process.
https://tasteofartisan.com/bread-recipes/sourdough/artisan-sourdough-bread-recipe/

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Cristina Rosu July 12, 2016 - 11:19 pm

Thank you so much for providing this recipe. Today was my second time using it. The first time, I followed the directions but deviated by fermenting countertop for 48 hours, which produced a really amazing flavour but the dough had a bit too much moisture and it didn’t hold shape very well. The second time around (today) I felt I had a bit more control because of my previous experience. I added a pinch more flour and rolled out half the dough on a generously floured surface after the 3 – 20 minute intervals. I decided I would just bake it to see what happened. A gorgeous baguette happened. Of course, it didn’t have the flavour imparted by a fermentation period but it rose perfectly and got a really nice crust too. Currently devouring it still warm with rilette de canard and feta. I’ve tried other recipes in the past with little success (a loaf that felt more like a small boulder). This was a revelation. Thank you again so much – you’ve provided a solid foundation for others.

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victor July 12, 2016 - 11:34 pm

Thank you for the compliment. Glad you liked my recipe. I noticed the same thing – no matter what the baguettes come out very tasty. I, on occasion, forget about the dough in the fridge for days, it would rise too much and deflate, and the baguettes would look quite poor coming out of the oven, but they would taste fantastic nevertheless. I like it when that happens, it gives me a chance to experience something new and get inspired.

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Doris Wright July 3, 2016 - 12:23 pm

Can’t wait to try this recipe!

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Povareshka February 7, 2016 - 3:57 pm

Thank you for your wonderful recipe. This was my second time making baguettes and with your recipe and techniques, it turned out wonderful!!
I bake lot,more pastries than anything else,never though I’d be making bread at home!!

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victor February 7, 2016 - 4:05 pm

You are very welcome. Glad to hear you had success with my recipe. Baguette recipes are very simple, but it’s the process that makes a huge difference. Get the process right and you will see amazing results.

I’ve been experimenting with higher hydration dough for my baguettes with very good results. I like how the crumb is softer and more open. Try increasing water little by little (1-2%) with each bake and see how you like it. The dough will be a bit trickier to work with, but I find that with experience and practice it’s not that big a deal.

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Albany Jane November 25, 2015 - 8:46 am

This is a great baguette recipe! It’s been my most successful and delicious baguette to date. The crumb is lovely, and the crust browns up so nicely. Thanks so much for such a straightforward recipe!

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victor November 25, 2015 - 10:12 am

Glad to hear that Jane. I tried many techniques and this one is my favorite by far. Anis Bouabsa really knows his baguettes.

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Filomena Meffe October 10, 2015 - 12:06 pm

Today I am trying your baguette recipe for the first time. Unfortunately the pizza stone has not yet arrived from Amazon so I am going to have to compromise by using a baking sheet. I was wondering if I could challenge you with a Sicilian Brioche recipe. I went to Sicily in July for my niece’s wedding and one very hot evening, my cousin brought me and my family to a wonderful gelateria that served huge slabs of their famous Italian gelato in as many flavours as you wanted on a deliciously soft and flavourful Sicilian Brioche cut down the middle, much like an ice cream sandwich. My cousin pointed out that there was a method to eating this dessert. You start by eating the gelato first with a spoon and then gradually squeeze the sides of the brioche together until a thin layer of gelato remains. You then give up on the spoon and eat the rest like an ice cream sandwich. It was so refreshing and filling that I simply skipped dinner. I have hunted down a few recipes for this brioche and I think I may have found a few that sound authentic. I was wondering if you’d like to try this one which may be the “one”:

Sicilian Brioche:
500 gm white flour with high “w” (Manitoba flour)
15 gm brewers yeast
80 gm granulated sugar
80 gm whole milk
180 gm whole eggs (3.5 eggs)
180 gm softened butter
15 gm honey
7.5 gm Marsala
(mix the honey and Marsala and set aside)
8 gm salt
yolk and milk for brushing

Using Mixer:
mix flour, yeast and sugar and start at low speed
Add milk, then eggs and increase speed to average
work it all in until dough is smooth and homogeneous
add softened butter little by little
add the Marsala and honey mixture
As soon as liquid is absorbed, add salt
Keep mixer going a few minutes more
Put dough on a worktop with flour and form a ball
Bring dough from the edges toward its lower part
Put dough in fridge for 1 hour

Then remove dough from fridge
Take 60 gm pieces and from balls
Put on a tray for baking
Tear off 15 gm balls of dough to make little balls which will go on top of the bigger balls
(these are called the “tuppo” in Sicilian)
Make a small dent in the bigger balls in the centre and place the smaller balls on top of the dented area
Cover the balls with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours in a tepid place
The volume should double
Then brush surface with mixture of milk and yolk
Bake at 200 degrees celsius for 10-15 minutes

the recipe does not say how many it would make

Where do you get brewer’s yeast and Manitoba flour in Toronto?
Anyway, hope you take up the challenge and let me know how it goes!

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victor October 10, 2015 - 9:44 pm

This is quite a challenge, but sounds like something I would love to take on.

Manitoba flour, from what I know, is a flour with high gluten content, made with hard winter and hard spring wheat. No idea where to buy it in Toronto, but since this type of flour is widely used for baking in Italy, I would start with Lady York on Dufferin street. I know they carry some specialty flours from Italy. Brewer’s yeast is easy, torontobrewing.ca carries many different kinds. I know many have successfully used Nottingham for baking.

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Memoria December 10, 2014 - 2:26 am

Your baguettes look perfect, but the steps seem so long haha. I’ve been successful with baguettes only once. I think I followed the Cordon Bleu cookbook. Good job on these and great process photos!

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Victor December 10, 2014 - 8:41 am

A good, flavorful baguette requires some patience and time, but the steps are easy. After a few tries you will naturally feel how the dough behaves and will be able to make a great baguette on a consistent basis. I taught my friend and my father-in-law to make baguettes. Showed them once, gave them a detailed recipe, and after 2-3 tries both of them were able to make excellent baguettes. Nothing hard about it. My father-in-law makes them weekly now and sends me pictures, he loves his baguettes.

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