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

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For 6 baguettes, you will need:

Change these quantities to make: 2 baguettes 3 baguettes 6 baguettes 12 baguettes 18 baguettes
How long does it take?
Time required for this recipe:
PreparationRestingCookingStart to finish
41 min.4 hours 5 min.20 min.5 hours 6 min.
At what time:
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1
French baguettes
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
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
Cover with a plastic sheet and let stay for 1 hour.

Stage 4 - 10 min.
French baguettes
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
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
After this time, pour the dough on your working surface...

Stage 7 - 10 min.
French baguettes
...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
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
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
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
Preheat your oven at 460°F (240°C), slash top of lumps...

Stage 14 - 20 min.
French baguettes
...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
You will really appreciate the very light crumb and the crunch of the crust...

Stage 16
French baguettes
...of good French baguettes.
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.
For the crunchy, only a few hours, but can easily be froozen.
From Thomas marie.
Nutritional information
Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
3,681 Kcal or 15,412 Kj113 gr845 gr18 gr
184 %43 %80 %3 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
202 Kcal or 846 Kj6 gr46 gr1 gr
10 %2 %4 %<1 %
Per baguettes
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
614 Kcal or 2,571 Kj19 gr141 gr3 gr
31 %7 %13 %<1 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).
Possible allergens in this recipe: Gluten
How much will it cost?
  • For 6 baguettes : 2.13 €
  • Per baguettes : 0.36 €

Change currency:

Note: Be careful, these prices are only an estimate, you can consult the table of prices by ingredients used for this estimate.

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This recipe uses (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: Bacon rolls, Pizza dough, Poitevin twist, Benoîton, Cretan Bread, ... All
WaterWater: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Morel risotto with Vin Jaune and Mont d'Or, Pizza dough, Yeast-based flaky dough (for croissants), Tomato foccacia, Mustard baps, ... All
LeavenLeaven: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: New leavened bread, Jura bread, Special small breads, Saucipain, Ocean bread, ... All
SaltSalt: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Crème de foie gras, Raw beetroot mousse with walnuts, Bisto-style canapés, Escalope of veal in a cream sauce, How to slow cook meat, ... All
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Your 36 comments or questions on this recipe
  • Thanks for your recommendations, jh! The baguettes turned out really well and were highly praised by my French husband!
    Posted by DD august 19th 2023 at 13:32 (n° 36)
  • Hi, yes you can add wholewheat flour, I suggest that you start by a replacing T65 by something like 15-20% of wholewheat for a first try.
    That's OK too for instant yeast, but reduce weight of yeast by 25-50% in this case.
    Posted by jh august 18th 2023 at 07:09 (n° 35)
  • Hi, I'm using T65 flour and would like to add some wholewheat flour to the mixture for a nice earthy taste. Would you know what is the proportion for mixing T65 and wholewheat flour?

    Can I use instant yeast to replace fresh yeast?
    Posted by DD august 18th 2023 at 04:44 (n° 34)
  • Last time I did my bread with Bertinet's method, my neighbor downstairs came up and complained that it's too noisy!
    It was noisy indeed but so much fun, that's why I'd like to try making the baguette with this method :)

    And thank you for the info about Respectus pannis! Very interesting. I understand that we could just leave the dough resting with very little kneading and it would turn out just fine but I'm surprised to read that this new movement really does rely on a very long resting time and a very little levain...
    I just received Manitoba and T65 flours; might try both your baguette and bread with respectus pannis system this weekend. Merci bcp JH!
    Posted by Frey february 10th 2021 at 14:12 (n° 33)
  • You can, it's gonna be a bit long, and a bit tiring too, after all in the old times, bakers do everything only with their hands...
    According to that, there is in the French bakery a new movement that is growing up, for a different way of making bread: less salt, less kneading, less yeast or leaven, but much more resting time at almost ambient temperature (16-18°C), it's called "Respectus pannis" if you want to check out.
    Posted by jh february 10th 2021 at 13:41 (n° 32)
  • Merci JH!
    I come with another question; instead of using a mixer/kitchen machine, can I use Bertinet's method (slap&fold) to knead the dough?
    I understand that it will take longer than using a machine, but is it possible?
    Posted by Frey february 10th 2021 at 09:25 (n° 31)
  • Oups, sorry I've forgot the ultimate advice: check out (if you haven't yet).
    Posted by jh february 5th 2021 at 10:46 (n° 30)
  • JH you're amazing. Thank you so much for keeping this site up-to-date and answering questions and putting recipes!
    I will try your baguette recipe this weekend. Super excited!
    Posted by Frey february 5th 2021 at 10:36 (n° 29)
  • Hi Frey,
    It is, but please notice that's a different way that using leaven to make bread.
    Keeping a part of your dough, in the fridge for one night, and using it in your daily dough (usually 10-20% of the weight of normal dough), is a way of making bread.
    Using leaven in your dough (and in that case soured dough is useless) is another one, and different.
    Using soured dough is easier, but less tasty than using leaven.
    Have fun in bakery!
    Posted by jh february 5th 2021 at 10:27 (n° 28)
  • JH, you're the best, thank you!
    I also heard that you can keep a portion of your old dough as 'soured dough' and add it when you are making a new batch of baguette dough and this will enhance your dough.
    Is that true?
    If I'm using your recipe for 3 baguettes (500 gr) flour, how many soured dough should I keep/add from the previous batch?
    Thank you again JH!
    Posted by Frey february 5th 2021 at 10:11 (n° 27)
  • Hi,
    Yes, you can.
    Posted by jh february 5th 2021 at 09:51 (n° 26)
  • Hi, my sourdough (leaven?) is 100% wholemeal wheat and not rye.
    Can I still use it for the recipe without changing the weight measurement?
    Thank you!
    Posted by Frey february 4th 2021 at 20:03 (n° 25)
  • OK for water and flour, but a lot less yeast.
    Posted by jh march 23th 2018 at 20:33 (n° 24)
  • 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° 23)
  • 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° 22)
  • 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° 21)
  • Click on the button,Measures: "USA"
    Posted by jh january 15th 2018 at 20:03 (n° 20)
  • Do you have the recipe in weights and measures?
    Posted by Yolanda january 15th 2018 at 14:03 (n° 19)
  • 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° 18)
  • 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° 17)
  • 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° 16)
  • Not absolutely necessary, but this improve the taste of the baguettes.
    Posted by jh february 19th 2016 at 12:38 (n° 15)
  • 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° 14)
  • 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° 13)
  • 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?

    Posted by Paulo january 23th 2014 at 18:27 (n° 12)
  • Hello!

    Sorry, no, but this one is much better and give tastier baguettes.
    Posted by jh january 9th 2014 at 08:43 (n° 11)
  • Hello!

    I was using the old version, could youpls keep it for reference? thanks!
    Posted by Anonymous january 8th 2014 at 15:27 (n° 10)
  • Hello,

    Here's a new version of the recipe, more simple and more efficient.
    Posted by jh january 3rd 2014 at 16:40 (n° 9)
  • No, it is not the verbatim recipe. Just an inspiration from Kayser's way.
    Posted by jh june 20th 2012 at 08:19 (n° 8)
  • Is this original recipe from one of Kayser's books, Ioff so, which one?
    Posted by Brad june 19th 2012 at 21:56 (n° 7)
  • 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° 6)
  • 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° 5)
  • And lovely photos and baguettes, congratulations!
    Posted by jh may 10th 2010 at 14:43 (n° 4)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • At last, the french bakers secret !
    Posted by jo september 15th 2008 at 19:52 (n° 1)
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