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French baguettes

French baguettes

This classic of French baking is rather different from the recipe for leavened bread, it's a question of making a good crust and light crumb along the whole length. To succeed, you should know that there are two secrets: water first of all (much more than for normal bread), and the working of the dough, which is also very different.

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Last modified on: October 24th 2017

For 6 baguettes, you will need:

How long does it take?

PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
41 min.4 hours 5 min.20 min.5 hours 6 min.
Preservation: For the crunchy, only a few hours, but can easily be froozen.
At what time?
When will I finish if I start the recipe at a certain time?
When should I start for the recipe to be ready at a certain time?
Work this out...

Step by step recipe

Stage 1
French baguettes : Photo of step #1 In bread-making, the water temperature is always important. It's not a fixed value, but related to 3 other temperatures: 1) the temperature of your flour, 2) the room temperature in your kitchen, and 3) the basic temperature of this recipe, which is 56-60°C.

You can calculate the temperature of the water for this recipe in one click, using this small calculator.
Stage 2
7 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #2 Put in the mixer bowl 1 kg plain white flour (French Type 65) and 550 ml water.

Knead for 5 minutes at minimum speed, to well mix water and flour.

Note: For the best way to knead, see: A few tips for effective kneading at home.
Stage 3
1 hour
French baguettes : Photo of step #3 Cover with a plastic sheet and let stay for 1 hour.
Stage 4
10 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #4 After this time, add 18 g salt, 250 g leaven and 7 g yeast.

Knead for about 10 minutes, ideally dough should be at the end of kneading at 73°F (23°C), or better try the window-pane test.
Stage 5
1 hour 30 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #5 Put the dough, roughly shape in ball, in a plastic container, covered with a plastic sheet, and let stay for 1h30.
Stage 6
3 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #6 After this time, pour the dough on your working surface...
Stage 7
10 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #7 ...and scale pieces of 300 grams.

Note: if you plan to make half-size baguettes, you should scale 150g pieces instead.
Stage 8
15 min.
Shape pieces of dough in balls, like in this short video on the right.
Stage 9
15 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #9 Let stay dough lumps on your working surface for 15 minutes, covered with a plastic sheet.
Stage 10
15 min.
From lumps, shape baguettes as shown in this video.
Stage 11
French baguettes : Photo of step #11 If you use baguettes moulds, put lumps directly in, cover with plastic sheets and let stay for 1 hour.
Stage 12
1 hour
French baguettes : Photo of step #12 If you don't have moulds, put lumps on floured linen, then cover with plastic sheets and let stay for 1 hour.
Stage 13
1 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #13 Preheat your oven at 460°F (240°C), slash top of lumps...
Stage 14
20 min.
French baguettes : Photo of step #14 ...and put in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Note: As when baking any bread, you should ensure that the oven is filled with steam for the first 15 minutes of baking. This page shows you how; it really is the secret of golden-brown, crusty loaves..
Stage 15
French baguettes : Photo of step #15 You will really appreciate the very light crumb and the crunch of the crust...
Stage 16
French baguettes : Photo of step #16 ...of good French baguettes.

Remarks

You can make baguettes as for other bread: plain or with different flours, or with added seeds, grains, etc.

If you want more information about making your own bread, you can look at this dedicated page.

Nutritional information

% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories by day for a woman (change to a man).

How much will it cost?

For 6 baguettes : 1.95 €
Per baguettes : 0.33 €

Note : These prices are only approximate.

Change currency:

Source: From Thomas marie
Grade this recipe :

More recipes?

This recipe use (among others)
Plain white flour (French Type 65)Plain white flour (French Type 65): You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: New hamburger buns, Bacon rolls, Ali Baba bread, Cretan Bread, Mustard baps, ... All
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Confit of carrots with bacon, "Buttonhole" quail eggs, Pistachio powder or paste, Pumpkin (or potimarron) soup, Sesame fried scampi, ... All
LeavenLeaven: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Bacon rolls, Naan, New leavened bread, Special small breads, Cretan Bread, ... All
SaltSalt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Minestrone, Gingerbread, Smooth mixed vegetable soup, Warm chicken salad, Scallop and leek pancakes, ... All

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Your 25 comments or questions on this recipe

  • At last, the french bakers secret !
    Posted by jo september 15th 2008 at 19:52 (n° 1)
  • I am confused. The recipe is for normal french baguette but it calls for leaven. I thought leaven was only used for making sourdough french baguettes. Is the recipe then for normal ("white") baguette or sourdough?
    Posted by anonymous coward et bogos november 30th 2008 at 05:16 (n° 2)
  • Yes, you're right, usually there is no leaven in classical baguettes recipe, but sometimes there is only a small part of leaven who is there mostly for the taste (yeast is more important for dough growing). This kind of baguettes are called "French traditional baguette", and I'm suppose to call this recipe like that, but I think it's not very signifivative in translation to english. Anyway, if you want only a completely "white" baguettes, you can suppress leaven from this recipe.
    Posted by jh december 1st 2008 at 09:35 (n° 3)
  • Thank you for a clear, well detailed page. I made my all leaven baguettes using T65 flour following your instructions, the only variation was an overnight rest for the dough, and no dried yeast. Hopefully these images come through for you. Thanks again. Gill from Cheltenham. the crumb inside And excellent recipe.
    Posted by gillthepainter may 10th 2010 at 14:32 (n° 4)
  • And lovely photos and baguettes, congratulations!
    Posted by jh may 10th 2010 at 14:43 (n° 5)
  • Hi, my food processor doesn't have the right attachments (only a sharp blade, no dough hook), can I still make these fabulous baguettes? I do have a bread maker. Txs..
    Posted by Anonymous november 27th 2010 at 10:43 (n° 6)
  • Hi, Using the sharp blade is not a good idea, I think your dough will not be good. Maybe using your bread maker, just for the kneading step, is a good idea. At last you can knead with your hands, like in the old times, but it's a bit tiring...
    Posted by jh november 27th 2010 at 15:21 (n° 7)
  • Is this original recipe from one of Kayser's books, Ioff so, which one?
    Posted by Brad june 19th 2012 at 21:56 (n° 8)
  • No, it is not the verbatim recipe. Just an inspiration from Kayser's way.
    Posted by jh june 20th 2012 at 08:19 (n° 9)
  • Hello,

    Here's a new version of the recipe, more simple and more efficient.
    Posted by jh january 3rd 2014 at 16:40 (n° 10)
  • Hello!

    I was using the old version, could youpls keep it for reference? thanks!
    Posted by Anonymous january 8th 2014 at 15:27 (n° 11)
  • Hello!

    Sorry, no, but this one is much better and give tastier baguettes.
    Posted by jh january 9th 2014 at 08:43 (n° 12)
  • much simpler as well. Thank you again.

    Where the old one came from? Actually I saw a french baker in Youtube ising that method, playing the dough in a big plastic box. Is that method a traditional one?

    Salut!
    Posted by Paulo january 23th 2014 at 18:27 (n° 13)
  • Hello,

    The old one was coming from the web, and the new one from a great French baker who teach me.
    Posted by jh january 24th 2014 at 08:58 (n° 14)
  • I sow many recipes ask to leave the dough in the refrigerator for night ? is it necessary ?
    Posted by david february 18th 2016 at 14:05 (n° 15)
  • Not absolutely necessary, but this improve the taste of the baguettes.
    Posted by jh february 19th 2016 at 12:38 (n° 16)
  • Bonjour😊
    I would like to add some seeds, but how many grams and do I have to add more water?
    Merci beaucoup!
    Posted by Daniela november 8th 2017 at 22:26 (n° 17)
  • Hello daniela, You're welcome!
    Yes, you can add seeds (very good idea btw) , about 20% of the weight of flour. Check out this recipe for some advices: seeded loaf.
    Posted by jh november 9th 2017 at 16:06 (n° 18)
  • I've got very god baguettes with seeds. I have pictures but I don't know how to download it. Thank you again for yours recipes!😊
    Posted by Anonymous november 12th 2017 at 16:30 (n° 19)
  • do you have the recipe in weights and measures?
    Posted by Yolanda january 15th 2018 at 14:03 (n° 20)
  • Click on the button,Measures: "USA"
    Posted by jh january 15th 2018 at 20:03 (n° 21)
  • If I wanted to make this with a poolish (sponge) would I just replace the leaven with the same amount of poolish?
    Posted by Karen march 22th 2018 at 07:04 (n° 22)
  • Recipes using leaven and recipe using poolish are different, and could no be replace simply because there is 3 main ways to use poolish : "Third" = 30% of total amount of dough, "French" = 50%, and "Vienna" = 80%.
    For this recipe you could start by a French one (50%), and see what you got?
    Posted by jh march 22th 2018 at 17:24 (n° 23)
  • So if I understand right, I take 50% of the yeast, flour and water and make a sponge from that? I could try that, that wouldn't be difficult.
    Posted by Karen march 22th 2018 at 19:35 (n° 24)
  • OK for water and flour, but a lot less yeast.
    Posted by jh march 23th 2018 at 20:33 (n° 25)

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