Instructables

Traditional baguettes by hand

Featured
Picture of Traditional baguettes by hand
Bread making can be one of the most zen things a cook can do. And while companies who make bread machines and bread mixes have a vested interest in convincing you that it is a time consuming, difficult process requiring a ton of equipment or specialized mixes; in fact, it's a really simple, really easy process.
This instructable will walk you through making two loaves of baguette bread. Following the French tradition, measurements for flour and water are by weight. Because there can be a huge variance when using measuring cups, I've found this method the most successful.
For a traditional white recipe you'll need:
  • 18 ounces of bread flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons dry active yeast, or 1/3 ounce of fresh yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt (I use Kosher salt that I've pestled down to a smaller grain)
  • 12.5 ounces of water
Tools: Mixing bowl, kitchen scale, counter-top or other smooth surface, bowl scraper, clean hands, baking sheet, kitchen scissors or razor, oven.

 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Measure and Mix

Picture of Measure and Mix
3573333077_ae696d01f9.jpg
3573333145_cf2bf27b38.jpg
3573333183_1a70228e86.jpg
3573333303_fd9accfa6f.jpg
3573333303_fd9accfa6f.jpg
Measure your bread flour into large bowl.
Add salt
Add yeast to flour and crumble into the flour with your fingertips. (I don't proof the yeast, I've never found it to be necessary.)
Make a well in the flour mixture and pour in the water.
Using your scraper, fold the water and flour mix together into a shaggy blend.
1-40 of 84Next »
Cyncha2271 year ago
What wonderful breads you have made! I saw the tutorial, and the other breads as well. I would love to know about the dark loaf with sunflower seeds (maybe)! I have moved across the country and plan to try the baguette as soon as I am able after we get into our own house. I'm really inspired by your post! I am just getting into breads after making pizza for decades. I think it's time, and you are my inspiration! Thank you!
bob.superfly made it!2 days ago

good recipe ,ive been trying to conquer making baguettes for about a week or so with various recipes and mixing the dough in my bread maker,none really worked out very well apart from this recipe and method ,great instructions ,will deffo be making more in the future.

bagu2.jpg
thank you for this! mine turned out wonderfully! next time I think I will make four smaller ones though. Next up to try is sourdough!
temp_-1883630288.jpg
Absolutely fantastic. I made this recipe today with the sole purpose of turning it into garlic bread to go with dinner. I ended up turning one loaf into garlic bread and saving the other to be cut up and eaten with butter. Even my fussy partner said it was delicious.
I will definitely make this again.
I used 510 grams of bread flour, and 360 grams of water as I measure in grams instead. I also used instant dried yeast. I added a tiny bit extra flour as I was kneading and to prove, heated a wheat bag and placed that under the bowl, as it was taking a rather long time to rise. Thanks heap for the recipe!
SoapyHollow (author)  KaraaKinetiic11 days ago
Awesome! Yay! :)
Absolutely fantastic. I made this recipe today with the sole purpose of turning it into garlic bread to go with dinner. I ended up turning one loaf into garlic bread and saving the other to be cut up and eaten with butter. Even my fussy partner said it was delicious.
I will definitely make this again.
I used 510 grams of bread flour, and 360 grams of water as I measure in grams instead. I also used instant dried yeast. I added a tiny bit extra flour as I was kneading and to prove, heated a wheat bag and placed that under the bowl, as it was taking a rather long time to rise. Thanks heap for the recipe!

Whoo Hoo! My first time ever making bread. Unfortunately my attempt to upload a picture of it has failed for some reason. It's a little burnt on the bottom, a little doughy in the middle, and a little too chewy overall, but for a first attempt I am very pleased with the results. Thank you for this awesome Instructable! :-)

cnc-bee9 months ago

For baguettes you should do a pre-dough

1/3 of the flour - same weight of water. Pinch of yeast. Mix and let rest at room temperature for 12 hours. Deduct that from the main recipe. It will start to bubble and will have a strong sour smell - that's what you want! Then proceed as normal and mix the predough in when you do the main dough.

Thank you! My baguettes look amazing. Can't wait to share them at this potluck tonight! Woo hoo for homemade bread!
photo.JPG
dvinson11 year ago
My baguettes! Thank you!
20130307_214910.jpg
dvinson11 year ago
I'm making this right now! I'm on the last step of just waiting for the oven to preheat, I'm excited to eat this bread! Hopefully I did it right, should I brush the top with egg white??
I've made "french" bread a few times and the problem has always been the cuts, because my recipe says to cut it after the second rise before going to the oven. When I do that, it always deflates the bread a lot. I'm gonna give this one a try and as soon as I do I let you guys know.
Thanks for sharing :)
CrazeexGood5 years ago
French bread pizza!
The pizza dough recipe is very similar to a plain bread recipe. Just add 1 table spoon per 100gr of flour.

And btw, what is French bread pizza? (I'm French) Do you mean well risen dough?

One more thing, you are missing a very important part in your baguette making process : the shaping!

Here is a link were they explain the whole process of baguette making
http://aulevain.canalblog.com/archives/p20-10.html

Basically, you need to capture air in the dough by pressing down the edges to the centre. This should be done once every 20 minutes while the dough is rising.

Then you can shape the finished product into a baguette shape rolling from the centre to the edges with your fingers wide spread apart.

Not sure if this makes sense...

Happy bread making!
french bread is a typeof bread sold in america french bread pizza is a baquaut with melted chese on top and add pizza toppings
french bread is a typeof bread sold in america french bread pizza is a baquaut with melted chese on top and add pizza toppings
SoapyHollow (author)  CrazeexGood5 years ago
Mmmm! If you want to do that, add a little olive oil to the bowl for first rest, and then for second rest, press the dough out to fit your pizza tray or baking tray, and brush it with olive oil and and let it do a brief (20 minute or so) second rise. Bake for just a couple of minutes, then add all your toppings and bake for another 15 or so minutes. I'll be sort of a foccaccia / fluffy deep dish. (You could also add a tablespoon or so of oil to dough when you're mixing it up to make it a little softer.) Man, now I want pizza. :)
jdenton22 years ago
Merci!
crestind5 years ago
Will this recipe work if I use all purpose flour instead of bread flour?
Great recipe! Somehow I managed to screw it up partially, and got thin area of raw dough in the center of one of them (too thick?), but the other loaf turned out fantastic! Crispy crust, soft center. :)
HPIM5082.JPG
try going "sandwich" size... and check the temp on your oven that it's not too hot
xoxoxox
I read somewhere that you can make bread flour by adding 1 tablespoon of wheat gluten for every cup of all-purpose flour.
jonnis3 years ago
Nice recipe. Made a double batch today, and the baguettes came out great. A little larger then i expected, but that is just a plus. They look a little pale in the picture, but they do have some color. I just didn't have any milk or eggs left to brush them with.

 
DSC00020.jpg
jamiec533 years ago
I made some and it was awesome! It's really good toasted. Thanks for the recipe!
jamiec534 years ago
:) That was a Cheap Trick
SoapyHollow (author)  jamiec534 years ago
Hee! :)
Do you bake with a cookie sheet thing or just on the grills?
SoapyHollow (author)  brooklynlord4 years ago
I use a heavy jellyroll type baking sheet, and preheat it at the same time that I preheat the oven.
mAlfunkti0n4 years ago
Made two baguettes last night using this instructable and they turned out great! I will probably never buy bread from the store again considering the taste and price of ingredients.

Thank you!
SoapyHollow (author)  mAlfunkti0n4 years ago
Yay! I just made a batch today, but I added the zest of two lemons, and about a teaspoon (guessing, I didn't measure) of cardamom. So amazing. Point being, the recipe is super adaptable, so go crazy adding stuff! (Just remember if you're adding wet stuff, like non-dried veggies or fruits, that you may need to increase your flour and your yeast a bit to compensate for the extra moisture.)

Glad the 'structable was useful for you!
serjinio4 years ago
Dear SoapyHollow, i am really new to cooking, i didnt use any oil in step3- resting ("butter/crisco/your fat of choice") , it was some hard ,if it possible please, add oil to intro ingredients part, thank you.
the oil was to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl, it had nothing to do with the texture. You probably overworked your dough or did not let it rise enough the last time just before baking.
thanks.
serjinio4 years ago
Hi, thank you, its really good.
SoapyHollow (author)  serjinio4 years ago
Yay! I'm glad you liked it. (Also, how adorable is your icon baby? So cute!)
Sassy Cat4 years ago
I tried your bread and it came out beautiful. I think I could have let it raise a little longer, but my husband said it was the best bread I have ever made. I didn't have bread flour, but I added 1/4 C. gluten to my all purpose flour and it worked great. (Thank you, rattyrain, for the tip) I am excited to have this recipe because our favorite bread has been Albertsen's French Bread, but now I can make bread as good as theirs. Thank you for sharing.
SoapyHollow (author)  Sassy Cat4 years ago
Oh Yay! I'm so glad it worked for you. I love bread making now that I've discovered how easy it really is. :) Be careful with letting it rise too much, I've had breads fall on me when I let 'em go too long, and ended up with nan bread instead of french bread. Heh. :)
schneb4 years ago
I'm eager to try this. I've been making '5 min. artisan bread' for the last few months and worry I'll wear out my family's enjoyment of that by over-use. This will be a nice way to give some variety and you make it look 'doable'. 

so thanks!

Just an FYI--this instructable is featured at another site (they give a link that acknowledges the instructables source). I assume there's no copyright infringement, but whether there is or isn't, it's gotta count as a solid endorsement of some kind. 

Here's the link: 
zedomax.com/blog/2009/05/29/baking-diy-how-to-make-traditional-baguettes-by-hand/
 
WastedOne4 years ago
Made this today. Very Nice! Now have Onion and potato soup cooking to have it with.
zaboss5 years ago
Thank you for this Instructable. I have never (atleast not for 50+ years) baked. Blew wifes mind to think that I do this. DELISH.. Thanks again. John
1-40 of 84Next »