French Baguette

So, I have shared with you my dream of opening a Pizza and Wine Bar in Austin.  Well, there’s a little more to that story…

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

The Pizza and Wine Bar hasn’t always been a “Pizza and Wine Bar.”

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Instead, it actually started out as a bakery.

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Then, it turned into a cupcake shop.  (For the record, this was all before cupcake shops were everywhere.)

Really, this was all before I knew much about baking in general.  Or cooking, for that matter.  It seems I was several steps ahead of myself even back then.

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Anyways…to prepare for my bakery or cupcake shop (which I was totally going call the San Diego Cupcake Factory, by the way — cute, right?), Dustin and I decided it would be helpful to start baking my own bread and pastries at home to familiarize myself with good recipes and processes.  So, I got some books and I started baking. It was all very domestic.

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

And I failed.  Again and again.

It seemed bread and I would never be friends — if I was the one baking it.  Still had no issue actually eating it.  I’m actually quite good at that part.

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

So, when I made this French Baguette the other day within a few hours and it came out of the oven warm, flavorful and delicious, I felt victorious.

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

The point of sharing this story with you is to acknowledge and normalize that baking bread can be somewhat scary — even for something that is actually quite simple.  Really, though, people have been baking bread for centuries, after all.

French Baguette recipe and images by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

This recipe is so darn simple, quick and tasty, you’ll feel like a pro as you pull your golden loaf of French yeasty-goodness from the oven.

Yes, this baguette requires kneading, rise time and all that fun bread-making stuff, but the time you actually spend working on it is mere 15-20 minutes.  Good.  Deal.

Try it out for yourself and feel like a bread-making pro!

French Baguette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This French Baguette recipe is so darn simple, quick and tasty, you'll feel like a pro as you pull your golden loaf of French yeasty-goodness from the oven.
Author:
Recipe type: Easy
Serves: 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups warm water
  • 4 cups bread flour, plus extra for kneading dough
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • ¼ cup water (for brushing baguette)
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over the warm water and let sit until it becomes foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix until well combined. Add the remaining 2 cups flour and combine until dough is stiff. There may be some flour that doesn't get incorporated into the dough. This is okay.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Add more flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Add ½ tbsp. olive oil to a large, deep bowl and transfer dough to bowl, turning once to lightly cover all sides of the ball of dough with the oil. Cover bowl lightly with plastic wrap until the dough has doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Lightly oil a flat baking sheet with remaining olive oil. Punch down the dough and form into a long loaf, long enough to cover the entire diagonal of the baking sheet. The dough will be about 3 inches wide. If you prefer more stick-like baguettes, separate the dough in half and make 2 loaves instead. Let dough rise another 30 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Make 3-4 diagonal slits/slashes using a sharp knife. Lightly brush the top of the loaf (or loaves) with water. Bake 15-25 minutes or until golden on top. Cool on wire rack.

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Comments

  1. li says

    It’s great you’re honing your baking skills and not giving up.

    I used to fail in bread making until I attended some baking classes and did a lot of research in the internet as well as testing out recipes.

    Kneading the dough until smooth and elastic means checking the windowpane test.
    http://www.thekitchn.com/bakers-techniques-how-to-do-th-70784
    http://www.cookistry.com/2010/09/technique-windowpane-test.html
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyb86ECObTM
    It is easier to use a heavy duty mixer (like kitchen aid) to knead the dough.
    If kneading by hand it might take about 15 minutes or more to get to smooth elastic stage. Kneading until elastic is crucial as it develops the gluten to make the bread rise.
    Besides kneading- shaping, proofing,scoring the bread and baking using steam to develop the crust involves many steps and techniques. King arthur flour has some videos on bread making
    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/videos/baking-skills

  2. Heather says

    I too have a love/hate relationship with bread. I love bread and want to make my own, but it just never turns out. But this was fabulous! Thank you!!!

  3. Charlotte says

    Lacey – I was scarred by baking when I had two bad pizza crusts in a row but this recipe is fool-proof and DELICIOUS! Thank you so much. I love all of your recipes and this one will be in the mix for a long time to come.

  4. Rebecca says

    I gave this recipe to my 15 year old daughter who loves to bake and it turned out amazing! So simple!

  5. Joy says

    Wow, this is the third recipe of yours I’ve tried and it worked out fantastically! One question, could I make 2 of the cups of flour whole wheat?

    Great recipe, thanks!

  6. says

    My girlfriend got me a baguette pan for christmas since I’ve been wanting one ever since we went to Paris last summer. On New Years Eve, I decided to try it out for the first time. I read a ton of different recipes and decided to go with some tutorial on youtube which was a huge mistake because the guy said to use 4 tablespoons of salt! Not to mention that everything else seemed to go wrong (dough too stringy, too wet, no surface tension after kneeding for 20 minutes). When it was all said and done, the bread looked wonderful, but was hard as a rock and tasted like a salt lick.

    Today, I’m trying it again and using your recipe (which I had saved from NYE). EVERYTHING looked fine while mixing, kneeding, and rising so I feel like everything is going well. The baguettes are cooling as I type and the smell is heavenly. Thanks for posting this great (and easy to follow) recipe! The next time I make it, my girlfriend will post the details in her blog (spontaneoustomato.com) and we’ll definitely link back to you!

    ~Paula

  7. says

    I made this recipe as well and loved it. I double the recipe and it comes out more like a french bread. My kids and husband are so in love with this bread.

    I substituted the sugar with honey and it came it very moist, it was delicious. I also added oregano, and basil on top to make it like an Italian bread. One of our favorites when we do have bread. Thanks.

  8. Jaime Lynn Braden says

    I just made this for dinner to go with tomato-basil bisque. IT WAS AWESOME! This is the greatest bread!!! It turned out so well and I am not experienced at all with baking bread! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m never buying french bread ever again!

  9. Niki says

    I had never made bread before although I always wanted to. So when I found this recipe on your site the other day I figured I’d give it a shot. Not only was it wicked easy, but it actually turned out really well! I’m never buying baguettes again. Thank you so much!

  10. Kim says

    Made the French baguette today. It was very easy to make, and delicious. It even looks pretty. Thank you for the recipe! My family enjoyed very much.

  11. Kim says

    Just came across your recipe and am excited to try. I was just in Paris for the first time and absolutely fell in love with the baguette!

    • says

      Hi Michael. Not French, eh? Please let me know what makes you say this — it is my understanding that a baguette is considered “French” based off its ingredients (which I thought I followed), its size/length and the slits. I’m always interested in learning what’s correct, though, so please let me know how I may not be fully accurate. Thanks!

  12. Karen says

    Wow… that sounds pretty easy. I actually made yeast rolls for the first time on Easter, so I’m ready to tackle bread now. Would you believe I’ve actually got a funky pan that’s specifically designed to bake loaves of French bread, but I’ve never used it. I’m going to break it in this weekend.

    btw… you need to change your little bio blurb up top. You are now the mother of two adorable girls. ;)

  13. says

    What a beautiful baguette – mine would never come out looking like that. I’d like to echo your dream of having ANY type of career in Austin.

  14. says

    Lacey,
    My cooking goal this year is to master homemade bread that tastes as good as it looks. I’m totally intimidated by bread. I really need to conquer my fear that I can’t make good bread. Your baguette will be my next attempt. Thanks for the recipe and the encouragement for timid home bakers to keep trying!

    • says

      I wish you the best of luck on your cooking goal this year, Jeanne! I agree that bread can be super intimidating. I hope this baguette recipe helps you conquer your fear a bit more — I expect that it will, but I’d love to know how it goes.

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