If you like the French Baguette🥖, you may want to try my simple homemade Baguette recipe. 😉👍 You don’t need a baguette pan, bakers couche, pizza shovel, baking stone/steel, and other fancy baguette baking tools. With the limited equipment, you can still get the crispy crust and chewy soft inside.
French baguettes, the Italian ciabatta, and Foccacia are some of the best bread I know. It is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and has a super delicious crumb.
I used many attempts to learn how to bake them. I came up with my recipe, which I think works well.
Quick notes and tips before baking Baguettes
- You can make the Poolish dough 2 hours before mixing the main dough. Use lukewarm water if using this method. Or what I do is that I mixed my Poolish dough in the evening before I go to bed. Cover and put in the fridge overnight. Let the cold Poolish sit at room temperature for 1 hour before using it.
- How long the baguettes should rise (after you have shaped them) can also vary depending on what temperature is in the room.
- If you have a baking stone or baking steel, you can also use it for baking baguettes.
- It would also be wise to measure the length of your oven and/or baking stone, baking steel, and transferring board before shaping your baguettes. So, you are sure that your dough will fit in your oven.
- I don’t have a bakers couche, so I only use a dusted kitchen towel and pre-cut parchment paper for proofing my baguettes.
- To check if the baguettes are ready to bake, dip your finger in some flour, and gently poke in your dough. If the hole disappears completely, the dough is under proofed. If the hole dent pops half way back out, the proofing is just right. If the hole stays entirely dented in, the dough is over-proofed.
- Use a very sharp knife, razor blade, or bread lame for scoring the baguettes.
- To get a nice crust, try to create some steam in your oven by putting a baking pan on your oven floor with some lava rocks or rolled towels, then pour a half cup of hot water immediately after placing the bread in the oven.
The code for these delicious baguettes is good quality flour with min. 12 grams of protein per. 100 g., a proper kneading, and three times raising!
If you have tried this recipe or any other recipe on my blog, please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
Pin me on Pinterest!
You will need:
Sponge / Poolish dough
- 175 grams (1/2 cup + 3 tbsp + 1tsp) water
- 150 grams (1 1/4 cup) bread flour
- 3 grams (3/4 tsp) instant dry yeast
- all the sponge / poolish dough
- 175 grams (1/2 cup + 3 tbsp + 1tsp) water, lukewarm
- 7 grams (1 3/4 tsp) instant dry yeast
- 350 grams (2 3/4 cups) bread flour
- 10 grams (1 1/4 tsp) fine salt
- 1.5 tbsp sugar (optional)
Making the sponge / poolish dough
- In the evening, before you go to bed, make the sponge or poolish dough by stirring water, yeast, and flour together and place it in the fridge (4 degrees Celsius) for a minimum of 12 hours.
Or you can mix it and let the Poolish dough sit at room temperature or warm place for a minimum of 2 hours.
For the main dough
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve all the sponge dough with lukewarm water, then stir in the instant dry yeast. Add half of the flour and salt. Using a dough hook, start kneading while gradually adding the rest of the flour. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Knead until it passes the windowpane test.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl or container (lightly greased), cover, and let it rise in a warm area for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, carefully punch the dough down, cover, and rise for another 45 minutes.
- While waiting, you can prepare your baker’s couche, tea towel, or baking paper dusted with rice flour.
- Divide: Then weigh the whole dough, divide it into four equal portions of about 250 grams, and shape them into squares. I used my kitchen scale to make sure that all my baguettes have the same weight.
- Pre-shape: Working on one dough at a time, stretch it outwards, fold the left side over to the middle, and fold the right side. Roll once from the top down and then over itself from the bottom up into a tight roll like a jelly roll. Seal the seams.
- Place rolls seam side up on a floured couche, tea towel, or baking paper and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Cover them with a light cloth or plastic wrap and spray with some water so that the dough won’t get dry.
- Final shape: Take one dough (seam side up) and gently pat/flat it into a rectangle. First, fold the top half down to the middle, push it away (to create some tension to the dough) and seal. Fold the new top-down to the middle again (slightly overlapping the first fold), push it away. Do this 2 to 3 times until you create tension. Then use your thumb to seal the seam and your wrist to seal the curl of the dough. Work your way from the right side of the dough to the left. Make sure your seams are relatively straight and properly sealed. Please watch my video tutorial here on how to shape your Baguettes.
- Using your hands, roll the cylinders evenly by gently stretching them to the desired length and make points in the end. I recommend shaping your baguette roughly the same length as your oven (also measuring your baking stone and the peel or transferring board that you will use to transfer the dough into the oven).
- Final proof: Place the shaped baguettes on a lightly floured couche or parchment paper, seam side UP (if using floured couche) or seam side DOWN (if using parchment paper), dust the top with light flour. For easy transferring the baguette to the oven later, I’m laying parchment paper over my couche or transferring board.
- Cover with light cloth and proof at room temperature for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough passed the poke test. The final proof depends on your kitchen temperature.
- Preheat oven (with fan) to 250C/480F with a baking stone/steel and steam (lava rocks or baking tray with a folded tea towel or whatever works for you).
- Five minutes before the dough is ready to bake, boil the kettle for your steam.
- Prepare a large pizza shovel or large peel or thin chopping board lined with parchment paper and a transfer board (floured) for transferring each baguette from the couche to the parchment paper for baking.
- Scoring: Transfer and gently roll each baguette into a large peel (floured), seam side down, if not using parchment paper. Arrange the baguettes as straight as possible and dust off excess flour. Be gentle with the dough, so we do not deflate them when transferring.
- Once all the baguettes are on the parchment paper, using a bread lame or razor blade, make one long score or three scores on each baguette. When scoring, use a swift and firm motion to ensure nice and clean cuts. Each slash should be a little bit shallow to the dough and overlap slightly with the end of the slash before it.
- Baking: Immediately slide the baguettes (with parchment paper) onto the baking stone/steel as straight as possible. Lower the heat to 230C / 450F (change from fan to convention) and add boiling water to your steam and spray more water. The more steam, the better!
- Bake for 15 minutes, brush or spray the baguettes with water, turn them, and bake for another 10 minutes at 190C /370F. Leave for longer if you want a more deep golden color.
- Cool baguettes for approximately 30 minutes before cutting.