Baguettes redux: an easy (almost-no-knead) recipe for the kneading challenged.

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The elusive perfect baguette.

Beautifully browned, crisp/crackly crust, fabulous flavor.

Can you make baguettes at home as good as those that come out of the oven at your local bakery?

Well, it depends on the bakery.

Can you make baguettes as tasty and gorgeous as those from a bakery with talented artisan bakers, using the best ingredients (namely, water, flour, salt, and yeast – period), and baking in a steam-injected, imported French brick oven?

No, probably not.

But wait; don’t despair. Can you make baguettes as tasty and gorgeous as those from a bakery using previously frozen loaves, filled with chemicals, distributed from a commissary a thousand miles away from the bakery?

Or baguettes equal to the soft bread wands labeled “baguette” in the supermarket bread section?

Absolutely.

As the artisan bakers in our King Arthur bakery do, we’ll use just four ingredients – King Arthur Flour, yeast, water, and salt – to make a baguette that’ll do any home baker proud. A rest in the fridge gives the dough terrific flavor. And, since this recipe makes enough dough for four baguettes, you can tweak your technique baguette by baguette, one day at a time.

In the end, making baguettes at home is always a work in progress. The more you bake, the more you learn, the more you hone your skills.

And trust me – no baguette you bake at home is ever a complete bust. It may not be as light as you want, as crisp-crusted, as flavorful – but that’s why croutons and crostini were invented.

So, let’s dive in. This isn’t a classic baguette recipe; it’s an easier-for-beginners, no-knead formula.

Well, ALMOST no-knead; I find a minute or so in a stand mixer (or under your hands) does wonders for the baguette’s texture. Enjoy!

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Let’s start by measuring the dry ingredients into a bowl. The key ingredient in any baguette is flour. In this version, we use King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour – which is, in fact, the closest American flour to what a typical French baker would use for baguettes.

How do we know? Because France’s “godfather of bread,” the late Prof. Raymond Calvel, chose KA in a blind “bakeoff” as replicating most closely his preferred French flour.

The flour/liquid ratio is important in this recipe. If you measure flour by sprinkling it into your measuring cup, then gently sweeping off the excess, use 7 3/4 cups. If you measure flour by dipping your cup into the canister, then sweeping off the excess, use 6 3/4 cups. Most accurate of all (and guaranteed to give you the best results), weigh the flour: you’ll need 33 ounces.

And, here’s another monkey wrench: flour absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. This dough, made in the dead of winter, will be much stiffer than it is at the end of a long, hot, humid summer. With that in mind, I’d suggest increasing the flour to 34 or 35 ounces in summer, to avoid dough that’s unworkably sticky.

Note: If you follow this recipe on our recipe site, you’ll notice it calls for 8 cups (34 ounces) of flour. That’s because Sue Gray, my longtime fellow test kitchen baker, and the author of this recipe, prefers a very slightly stiffer dough.  Go either way; your choice.

Combine the flour with 1 tablespoon of regular salt (or 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt); and 1 tablespoon of instant yeast.

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Put 3 cups (24 ounces) of lukewarm water in a mixing bowl, and add the dry ingredients.

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This is where the “almost no-knead” part comes in. Rather than just stir the ingredients together, as most no-knead recipes ask you to do, I actually beat them together to make a rough, sticky dough…

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…like this…

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…then switch to the dough hook and knead very briefly, just 1 to 2 minutes. STICKY but cohesive…

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…and look how the gluten has developed, just from that short knead.

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Next, put the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl or bucket; I’m using a 6-quart dough-rising bucket here.

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Why did I use such a big bucket for this small amount of dough?

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Because within about 2 hours at room temperature, it’ll look like this.

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Next, I’m going to refrigerate the dough overnight. This improves the baguette’s flavor. Here’s what it looks like going into the fridge; notice how close it is to the circular ridge in the bucket.

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And the next morning – check out that same ridge in the bucket. See how the dough has shrunk?

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That’s fine; it reached its maximum height, fell, and as long as you leave it in the fridge it’ll remain fairly dormant – up to about 7 days, after which the yeast will start to lose its stuff. Try to use all the dough within a week; or plan to freeze some when it’s at this point.

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Next, grab a scant 1 pound of dough (about 1/4 of the batch, 14 1/2 ounces) out of the bucket. It helps to oil or wet your hand first. Look how the gluten has continued to develop overnight – nice!

Want to make two baguettes? Grab two pieces of dough.

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A scale helps you assess your “eyeballing” accuracy skills. Pretty close!

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Place the dough on a very well floured surface, and shape it into a rough oval. I’m using our silicone mat here; it makes cleanup easy.

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Fold the dough in half the long way.

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Press the edges together, using the heel of your hand.

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Flatten it into an oval again…

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…fold…

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…and press the edges together again.

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Notice how the dough has automatically lengthened itself from an oval to a preliminary baguette shape. This fold/seal, fold/seal shaping method is classic, and it works; if I skip it, and simply roll the baguette to size under my hands, the finished loaf doesn’t rise nearly as well. The folding adds needed structure, particularly in this very slack (wet) dough.

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Now it’s time to gently roll the dough under your cupped fingers to form the classic baguette shape: about 15” long, with tapered ends.

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Put the baguettes on a parchment-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet. Or, if you’re using a pizza stone, simply place on a piece of parchment.

I didn’t do a great job tapering these ends… sigh. Could be better, but I’m not into fussing with dough endlessly for the sake of perfect appearance.

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Let the baguette(s) rise, covered, for about 90 minutes. They should get pretty puffy. Don’t worry if they spread outwards rather than up – they’ll ”pick up” when they hit the oven.

Speaking of, towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450°F.

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Use a sharp knife to quickly, and assertively-but-gently make 3 or 4 diagonal slashes in the loaf. Hold the knife at a 45° angle, rather than perpendicular.

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The cuts should be fairly deep. Your baguette(s) will start to deflate. Don’t panic! Quickly spritz with warm water, and get them into that hot oven.

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Notice how a deflating baguette responds to 450°F heat! Kind of flat…

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…quickly becomes nicely fat! Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.

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The loaves should be nicely browned; actually, I pulled these out a bit prematurely; they should be darker than this. And see what I mean about those non-tapered ends?

Oh well… Baguettes are always a work in progress for me.

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Nice interior, though.

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A good, crackly crust…

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…and trust me. These taste great! Perfect for sandwiches, or simply dipping in seasoned olive oil.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for The Almost-No-Knead Baguette.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Iggy’s Breads of the World, Cambridge, MA: Baguette, 13 ounces, $3.29

Bake at home: Baguette, 13 ounces, 53¢

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Erin in PA

    I am at the beach right now, but as soon as I get home I am definitely trying this! Made the ciabatta bread featured on BB awhile ago before I left for the beach – YUM!!

    Reply
  2. Lish

    These look marvelous and wonderfully easy. I know what I am making for my Dad’s birthday dinner, baguettes and homemade cheese spread for an appetizer, maybe some of that wonderful Moroccan dipping oil I bought from KAF catalog! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Oooooh, I LOVE the Moroccan dipping oil! Just drizzled it on some baked tofu for lunch. I know, you’re saying “baked tofu??” Hey, it’s good -when you drizzle Moroccan dipping oil on it, anyway… PJH

    Reply
  3. breadchick

    I’m so glad to see someone else shapes baguettes the same way I do. I was just thinking it has been a long time since I made baguettes and the weekend is upon us.

    Definitely works – as I said, I tried skipping the folds – not as good. Hope you’re looking forward to some yummy sandwiches this weekend :) PJH

    Reply
  4. Maggie Kasten

    I have a question about the salt. The recipe says to use “regular” and not kosher salt. What’s the difference and why would kosher salt be a problem? Would this warning apply to sea salts? How about bread baking in general? Thanks! By the way, I love reading the blog and have become a King Arthur Flour Company fan because of it!

    Thanks for your kind words, Maggie. The difference is simply in the measuring – you’d use about 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher (or similarly coarse) sea salt, instead of 1 tablespoon. Use it if you like – PJH

    Reply
  5. Maria

    Oh dear, my nemesis and yet, divine inspiration — a baguette. *Deep breath, and a shudder!* Well actually, to be honest, anything resembling real yeast bread kinda shakes me up.

    As I’ve posted before, I’ve been baking for just the last few years, with some so-so success with anything containing yeast. In other words, hubby was happy to eat it, but I don’t believe it was blue ribbon, er… or even fuschia ribbon. Nonetheless, as we’re suppose to have a cooler, wetter weather this weekend, I’m going to attempt this.

    You got with the “almost-no knead” part. I’ll let you know how I fared on Monday.

    I CAN do this!

    Remember the Little Baker That Could – “I THINK I can, I THINK I can…” :) PJH

    Reply
  6. Mike T.

    Hi PJ. Mmmmm…. I just made a batch of these for a family get together last weekend. I also took some dough and rolled balls (under the cupped palm of my hand, 3oz each) and made rolls. They were delish! And so easy! ;-)

    Good for you, Mike – thanks for the endorsement! PJH

    Reply
  7. Mrs. Hittle

    These are gorgeous. May i ask what difference is made by using regular versus Kosher salt? i’m a little bit of a geek.

    Just the way you measure – kosher would be about 1 1/2 tablespoons, vs. 1 tablespoon for table salt. Geek? Just curious! PJH

    Reply
  8. Melinda

    Oh, yum! I just made a recipe today for veggie sliders that needed a baguette and the options at the local market were unsatisfying. I meant to check out a recipe on my next baking whim and look, here this is. Can’t wait to try it!

    Reply
  9. Margie

    How much dough would I weigh out for individual hamburger buns? To clarify, I mean how much for each individual bun? Thank you!

    Probably 3 to 3 1/2 ounces would make a nice size bun, Margie – PJH

    Reply
  10. Jill

    Looking forward to trying these out on the weekend. About 10 years ago, a friend bought me baguette pans from KAF. I have never used them. Do you recommend using them for this recipe (and do I grease them?), or should I just bake on parchment?

    By all means, Jill, use the pan. Yes, grease it first; and if it’s the perforated one, and it’s the first time you’re using it, you might want to season it ahead of time by rubbing the inside with shortening and giving it about 90 minutes in a very low (250°F or so) oven. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  11. Nicole Shugars

    It must be fate…I even have the dough rising bucket. I’ll give it a go this weekend…it’s supposed to be humid and hot here this weekend. Thank goodness for air conditioning!

    Reply
  12. Marci

    Thank you so much for the detailed descriptions and the pictures. I have been trying to make a decent baquette for years and years. I will try this! Thank you again.

    Good luck, Marci – hope this works well for you. PJH

    Reply
  13. Jules

    I do have a pizza stone in my oven. Should I slide the parchment right onto the stone? Does the baking time differ? And what would you recommend for a pre-heating time? Thanks!

    Yes, Jules, slide the bread, parchment and all, right onto the stone. This is a marvelous use for parchment – no sticking, no messy cornmeal. Baking time might be just slightly less. Preheat the oven/stone for 20 to 30 minutes. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  14. Dwight

    Ok. I’ve tried to keep from asking, but I just can’t help it.

    Will it work using a breadmaker? How long would it take for the breadmaker to stir/knead the dough, if it could at all, to reach the needed consistency?

    Half recipe of course, and even then it would need to be removed immediately before allowing to rise. Or would it maybe be better to just pick another baguette recipe?

    Dwight, I think this is a fine use for the bread machine. Half recipe; let it knead the full time; it won’t hurt it to knead more than the recipe says. Then let it rise right in the machine for 2 hours; then refrigerate, and take it from there. Great suggestion – PJH

    Reply
  15. Leslie in Maine

    The recipe looks really great and easy. But just in case I oops on a few, how about the crouton & crostini recipies too???

    E-Z, Leslie!

    Croutons: cut in whatever size cube you like. Toss in olive oil – or not. Bake in a preheated 300°F oven till dry and crunchy.

    Crostini: Slice the bread crosswise into 1/3″ rounds. Pour a generous coating of olive oil (about 1/8″) into a couple of half-sheet pans, or two large cookie sheets with sides; use your fingers to spread the oil completely over the bottom of the pans. Put the bread slices into the pans in one layer, as close together as you can get them. Drizzle the slices lightly with olive oil, and bake them in a preheated 275°F oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until they’re very dry and are just beginning to brown. Remove the crostini from the oven, and let them cool. If not serving them the same day, store the crostini in an airtight container.

    Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  16. Don H

    Hi PJ,

    Love this blog. What about using beer and white vinegar as flavor starters (as is done in some other almost no-knead recipes)? Or does the time in the fridge suffice? Thanks for your work and all the good posts from readers.

    I haven’t tried it, but beer would probably work OK. Not sure about vinegar. Of course, you could always use a touch, but start small; too much acid will weaken the gluten. Let us know how it goes, Don – PJH

    Reply
  17. Kellie

    This may be just the recipe I have been longing for. I plan to try it post haste. However..one question-is that 8 cups using the dip and sweep, or the sprinkle and sweep method? Would it be 7 cups using dip n sweep…as is my normal way?

    Hi Kellie,
    We always use the sprinkle and sweep method, so the 8 cups is sprinkle/ sweep. Typically for dip and sweep, you use 1 cup less.
    ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  18. Lyn

    I make the NY Times no knead bread a lot and we love it. But a baguette is a versatile thing. Plus, I don’t have room in my fridge for such a bucket. How about less yeast, like 1/4 tsp. per 3 C flour and then let it sit on the counter overnight? I guess I could ask the question another way. Why not make a baguette out of the usual no-knead recipe? I’d be making 1 loaf at a time anyway. We haven’t tried this, but it sounds like it would work. Give it a try and let us know how it comes out.Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  19. Leslie Goodman-Malamuth

    Hello, PJ–

    Terrific! The kneading is not an issue for me, but attaining dark crust and holey interiors remain an ongoing sacred quest. All I need now is a crummy plastic spray bottle–you no longer sell those elegant glass ones, and mine were broken. (Use of the passive voice implies someone else did it, but I won’t name names.)

    I’ve been brushing on the water generously but ultra-carefully with one of your silicone brushes, and find that doing so before slashing makes a better color contrast between slash and crust. Recently I’ve used wet kitchen shears to make three to five wide V-shaped snips along the length of the baguettes, which were very pretty! I’ve also set my oven at 550 degrees and lowered the temp to 450 after a very few minutes, aiming for that darkish crust; watching through the window and shortening the baking time. Your French-style flour DOES make a big, positive difference, IMHO. “Another KA flour?” mutters my husband–until he takes a bite…

    Thanks so much for making inexpensive AND totally nummy baguettes available to all of us!

    Reply
  20. Elizabeth

    Amazing! Just this morning I had to pour up my sourdough and frig it so I poured maybe a fourth cup in the ABM and added flour, water, salt and yeast…. wanted to see if it would work for pizza.

    Now that it has been in the machine all morning I was wondering what to
    do with it… should I make 4 pkg. and put them in the frig/freezer to use later? You must have been reading my mind to post this recipe….

    Thanks a million

    Reply
  21. diane

    Hi PJ,
    I want to give this a try but with only 3 in my household and only 1 & half really eat bread . how do i go about cutting the recipe in half? do I just cut each ingredients in half? the plus side is I do own a scale.I am a newbie in baking bread and I use a handheld mixer with dough hooks. Just try cutting everything in half. remember to have fun with it. mary @ KAF

    Reply
  22. Cynthia Kershner

    That book (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) is one of the most worn in my cookbook collection (along with the KAF books, of course!). The authors recommend using the base of a broiler pan in the bottom of the oven, into which one pours about a cup of hot water to create the steam. You do this step when you put the bread in to bake. It really does make for a lovely crust… I also do the steam step for the pizzas I make for dinner every Sunday.
    Thanks, PJ, for the folding technique… my previous attempts at baguettes have been a bit sad looking!
    I may have to give up working and stay at home to bake all the recipes I’ve marked from this blog!! Thanks, folks!

    Yes, Cynthia, I usually use the steam method, too – like you, I turn to Jeff’s book all the time now. Great resource! Thanks for connecting – PJH

    Reply
  23. Liz

    I’m on a low-sodium diet. Can I make this without the salt, or with less than a quarter of the salt? I miss baguettes.

    You can, Liz. They’ll taste flat, and will rise very quickly, so cut down on the yeast by about half if you make without salt. Also, try letting the shaped baguette rise overnight in the fridge (covered); this will definitely heighten the flavor. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  24. Elizabeth

    I just sent a comment/question asking for the flour measurement by weight. When I went back to the recipe I noticed you can switch back and forth between volume and weight, so please disregard previous email.

    I do have another question, though. Please explain the difference between instant yeast, bread machine yeast, Rapid Rise and plain old yeast in a packet. When do I need to use one versus another? In this application, would bread machine yeast be suitable? Would it affect the dough differently than the instant yeast?

    Thanks, PJ, for the blog. The pictures are invaluable. I’ve never known how to shape the dough – and now I do!

    Hi – that the $64,000 question, Elizabeth – and not even the yeast manufacturers can seem to agree, because we’ve talked to them all! Plain old yeast is active dry yeast; it’s yeast dried at a fairly high temperature, so that many of the cells die, and then “encapsulate” the live yeast. That’s why you should dissolve active dry yeast in water before using – to wash away the dead cells. Instant yeast and bread machine yeast, as far as I can ascertain, are the same thing. They’re dried at a lower temperature, more of the cells remain alive, and thus no proofing is necessary. Rapid Rise seems to be a slightly different creature – though this is where Fleischmann and SAF disagree. Fleischmann claims Rapid Rise is instant yeast – and maybe it is, by their definition. SAF says no. My experience is that Rapid Rise does indeed work quickly – like instant – but unlike instant, it also poops out fairly quickly. You wouldn’t want to use Rapid Rise for, say, a no-knead fridge dough, or a long-rise loaf of any kind. My choice is SAF Red – first, last, and always. It’s my best friend in the kitchen, AND cheaper than the little supermarket packets, BY FAR. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  25. Anita

    If I have the baguette pan that you sell on your website. At what point do I put the dough on/in the pan? Thanks for a great blog!

    Thanks for the kind words, Anita. You’d put the baguette in the pan when you shape it into its baguette shape. Let it rise in the pan (make sure it’s greased) – and put the pan in the oven to bake. The pan itself doesn’t have to be on a cookie sheet or anything – just put it right on the oven rack. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  26. jennie

    Recently my 10 year-old son told me my baguettes are better than his favorite bakery. High praise indeed! I love the marriage of the no-knead concept with the more traditional recipe/method I use that came along with the triple baguette pan from KAF a few years ago. I would recommend that pan for anyone who wants the perfect baguette crustiness every time. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  27. LizAnn

    Perhaps I’ve been under a rock. Or maybe I’m just too cheap to buy artisan breads. Whatever the reason, I’ve actually never had a baguette! Can you believe it? I’ve looked at them before and assumed hard, tough…ya know…
    SO exactly what IS a baguette? Yours look delicious and I am going to try the recipe…but I was wondering what the “definition” of a baguette was! :) lol
    AWESOME blog!

    Hi LizAnn – not under a rock, just never in France – because it’s basically France’s national bread, their everyday, go-to loaf. Equivalent perhaps to our white sandwich bread? It’s a simple flour-water-yeast-salt loaf – light-textured, with a crisp-crackly crust, in a long, wand-like shape. Hard to attain the bakery crust at home, as they use steam-injected ovens; but you can make a pretty good equivalent. And yes, baguettes can have a very hard (not tough, hard, as in tap-tap-tap) crust; but that’s their signature. Good luck, and enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  28. Audrey Binder

    I didn’t realize my dough rising buckets are 4 quarts. Let me tell you from experience to make sure to use the 6 quart bucket. :) I didn’t really look at the size but it was the same type of bucket. It was very funny because when I woke up this morning and ran to the fridge the lid had been blown off!!!! :) Time to shape my baguette!! :)

    GOOD advice, Audrey – :) PJH

    Reply
  29. Mike

    PJ, Do you have a rule of thumb concerning freezing dough? Can you freeze the dough before the final rise if the recipe contains eggs or yogurt or cottage cheese?
    How do you proceed when you are ready to bake the frozen dough? I just bought a new freezer, and I wouldn’t mind storing a few loaves of dough for a rainy day.

    Yes, Mike, you can freeze dough with dairy; as you say, freeze once it’s risen once. Wrap VERY WELL to avoid freezer burn and drying out. When you’re ready to bake, stow it in the fridge overnight, to defrost slowly; then transfer to the counter, and when it’s workable, shape it. Let rise (it’ll take longer), then bake. You can also parbake – bake the bread up to the point where it’s set, but not brown. Then cool, wrap, and freeze. Finish baking when you’re ready to serve – either right from the freezer (better for thinner loaves like baguettes) or when thawed (fatter loaves). Also, a freezer with an automatic defroster won’t work as well as a plain deep freeze; the constant warming and cooling doesn’t do any favors, for dough or bread. I wouldn’t freeze dough or bread longer than about 2 months. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  30. Ginger

    Can’t wait to try the recipe. The 90 minute rise time made me remember a question I’ve wanted to ask King Arthur for ages. About what temp is your test kitchen? I know rise time isn’t set in stone, etc. I’m not new to making bread. It’s just that my kitchen must be a lot warmer because my breads never take the same amount of rise time as a KA recipe. Thanks.

    Ginger, our kitchen can vary between high 60s to high 70s – usually more towards the mid- to high 70s. And if you bake bread a lot, your dough will rise more quickly – you’ll have lots of wild yeast in the atmosphere to help things along. PJH

    Reply
  31. Patti

    What’s the best way to store these loaves after they are baked?

    Eat them the same day, that’s the best thing to do with baguettes! :) Store in a plastic bag loosely closed; reheat, tented in foil, for about 8 minutes in a 350°F oven. Baguettes don’t store well; that’s just a fact… PJH

    Reply
  32. michelle m. v.

    I made the dough the other day, threw it in the fridge like you said and just baked my first loaves…..YUM! They are awesome…

    I followed the recipe….very hard for me. I have a terrible time with any recipe that calls for wet bread dough. I always keep adding way too much flour.
    So instead of measuring, I just weighed out the flour and resisted adding more as it was mixing…I really wanted to. Very hard habit to break I am finding. :)

    Thanks for this easy recipe with awesome results !!!!

    Michelle

    Good for you, Michelle, for keeping away from the flour canister! Repeat after me: a wet dough is a HOLEY dough… :) PJH

    Reply
  33. Dwight

    Ok, I made a half recipe with the dough cycle of my bread machine. I put the first loaf in the oven 12 hours after the dough cycle finished.

    The baguette looked pretty much like those here. It didn’t have much oven spring, but I don’t think I slashed it with enough “agression”. Picture here:

    http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn272/dwighttsharpe/?action=view&current=DSC01032.jpg

    The flavor was very good. The next should be even better with the longer refrigeration.

    The only thing was it was almost as chewy as a bagel. Maybe that’s the way baguettes are supposed to be, but a little to chewy for me.

    Maybe I’ll add a tablespoon or 2 of oil next batch to soften it a little.

    Whoa, Dwight, I think that looks pretty darned good! Nice holes; fairly good rise. Yes, baguettes are supposed to be VERY chewy. Adding oil may cut the chew a bit, as you surmise; but I’d start with 4T ratehr than 2T; don’t think 2T would make enough difference. Have fun – PJH

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  34. Chuckie

    I am new to baking, and I do not have a mixer at this time. I do have a food processer. Could I use that for kneading the dough nadif so how long. I know you said this is almost no knead dough.

    Chuckie, use the plastic dough blade (not the metal blade), and process for 1 minute. I think that’ll do it. Good luck – PJH

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  35. Carol

    WOW! I made a half recipe over the weekend. I am just so excited I cannot contain myself. I have been searching for years for a baguette recipe that really turns out. well They were awesome. I am going to get adventurous and try it with half whole wheat pastry flour and then maybe add some multi-grain flour another time. I just love your blog and have gotten so many neat ideas. This is definately a keeper. I also appretiate the step by step instructions that you always give. It really helps to see how the dough should look!

    YAY Carol! Glad it worked for you. Be aware that as you add whole grain flours, the baguettes will become denser and perhaps a bit drier… that’s just the nature of adding whole grains. They’ll still taste wonderful. PJH

    Reply
  36. dana j

    I’m so excited. But I don’t have a bread bucket. Could I use a large bowl instead? YUM!

    Sure, so long as it’s at least 6 quarts, you’re all set. A big saucepot, anything like that – go for it! PJH

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  37. Anna

    Hi, I have tried this receipt and baguettes came out great, one question is about the crust. Mine didn’t have the crackly crust you have said in your blog entry. What do you thing I had done wrong? Thank you for your help.

    Anna, perhaps you didn’t bake at a high enough temperature, or didn’t wet the dough enough before putting it into the oven. Another thing you can do is cool the bread in the turned-off oven (prop open the door a couple of inches) for about 15 minutes after it’s done. The crackly crust is a good goal to have; baguettes aren’t easy. In fact, a great baguette, baked at home, is a significant accomplishment. So keep trying – and have fun along the way. PJH

    Reply
  38. Joni M

    While I haven’t had time to try this recipe yet, when I make crusty breads, besides spritzing water over the top, when the oven has properly pre-heated and you are about to put the bread in, I always throw an ice cube or two in the bottom of the oven at the same time I put the bread in, for the additional steam. Try it, and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference that little bit of extra moisture makes.

    Reply
  39. Nel

    Hi,

    I learned to bake using fresh yeast (I used an old cookbook), and now that I live in Central Europe, where fresh yeast is the norm, I still use fresh yeast. (When I first came here in the early ’90s, you could buy it in shops where it was in the size of a large brick – I mean a real brick like houses are built with – and you told the clerk how much you wanted her to chop off, like buying cheese!) My old cookbook uses fresh yeast as its ‘default’ yeast, but says that if you want to substitute dry yeast, use one package of dry for one cake of fresh, compressed yeast, proofing the dry in water first. I follow this rule of thumb in reverse, because I remember the size of a cake of Fleischmann’s fresh yeast, which is what we always used at home.

    I find ithat fresh yeast is a lot faster, more lively and more reliable than dry yeast of any kind that I’ve tried, so I’m puzzled by the preference for dry yeast in pretty much every yeast recipe I read. Yet it’s possible for me to buy fresh yeast made by a French firm in my local (French-owned) supermarket. So I guess in France they still use fresh yeast.

    Why doesn’t KA use fresh yeast? Doesn’t anyone in the US bake with fresh yeast anymore? What’s the story with that?
    Hi Nel,
    You are so very lucky to have access to fresh yeast. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find in local stores. Even our well stocked local co-op doesn’t carry it. Our production bakery still uses fresh yeasts for the products they make, but for our test kitchens and classrooms, we use instant yeast. Most home bakers can find instant or active dry yeast fairly easily and we want to encourage our fellow bakers rather than frustrate them if they have no local source. So, do go with fresh yeast if you prefer, it will be just fine. P.S. Don’t tell the bakers, but sometimes I sneak home a bit of their fresh yeast and bake a loaf or two. Mmmm, mmmm good! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  40. kim

    My husband and I just devoured my first loaf from your recipe. It was delicious!! I’m excited to make more tomorrow with the remaining dough.

    Any tips for getting a bigger crumb? I feel like my loaf could have been airier, and that I might have squashed it too much during shaping.

    Try letting it rise longer after you’ve shaped it, Kim. And be sure to spritz with water before baking. Practice makes – well, if not perfect, at least a little bit better every time! PJH

    Reply
  41. Kathleen

    I have a rare disease,. The doctor said it is one of the most serious he has seen in quite sometime. It’s called BLOG WITHDRAWAL and the only thing that might help it is the posting of a new blog with some NEW and exciting recipes. Any chance you could help? Thank you and God’s Blessings

    Gasp! Wheeze! Poor Kathleen! We’ll do our best to get you a cure to your BW soon. Perhaps you can start a support group? How about Bakers Against Blog Withdrawal (BABW) or Blog Withdrawal Associated Alliance (BWAA)? Seriously though, there are lots of great blogs in the works. Thanks for sticking with us. ~ MaryJane

    You asked – we answered. No-Knead Challah now posted! PJH

    Reply
  42. Lisa Klefos

    I followed your directions exactly & my baguettes came out beautifully using a baking stone.
    In the past, I have used a poolish but the final dough becomes SO sticky I can barely work it. I much prefer making the entire dough the day before letting the yeast develop overnite in the fridge. Thank you for a terrific baguette recipe!

    Reply
  43. Maria

    Sorry, I didn’t post sooner, but thank you PJH and all the rest of you lovelies at KAF. My loaves were a bit rounder, and from the looks of it, the “holes” were not as big as yours in the picture but I made baguettes! I had some, okay… one loaf for dinner on Saturday with some cheese and butter as accompaniments. It was delicious, and to think it came out of my oven!

    Your recipe was on the mark, especially for a newbie baker like me.

    Glad you had a good time with this recipe, Maria. “Newbie” will soon turn into… oldbie? Seasoned-bie? Expertbie! :) PJH

    Reply
  44. Liz

    Great blog – I can’t wait to try this recipe. I’m curious – why does the recipe call for all-purpose flour instead of bread flour? Thanks!
    Hi Liz,
    Our all purpose flour has a high enough gluten level to make great breads, so we do use it for breads often. All purpose flour is what our production bakery uses for their baguettes as well.
    It is also very accessable to most of our customers from local retailers, so no special ordering is needed. Happy Baking! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  45. Jane Ward

    I’ve got these in the oven right now – they are baking up well so far, and I can’t wait to pull them and test them. I bake four loaves of bread a week and really enjoy the kneading process. Still I like this idea for bread baking in the often humid summer. I can make dough and keep it in the fridge while I wait for a cool day for baking.

    Hope they turn out fine for you, Jane – enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  46. pgn2655

    Because of the hot weather recently I decided to bake this outdoors in the gas grill – I’ve made pizza that way a few times, which came out fine. I used a baking stone elevated on two sides by a couple of large bricks. I doubled the recipe and made 4 baguettes, and they tasted great. They were gone by the third day. However, I wanted to get the baguettes a little more golden brown because mine looked so pale and white. I gave them a light brush of cooking oil when they had about fifteen minutes to go, but that didn’t work on the grill, though I’ve done it before in the regular oven with nice results.

    Should I put the stone directly onto the grill bars instead of propping it up with bricks? I was concerned that that might burn it. I have a KA perforated loaf pan; can use that on the grill? Thanks,

    The Barbecue Baker

    The stone we sell can be used directly on the grill-you put it on while the grill is cold and let it heat at the same time your grill does. I would not use your perforated loaf pan on the grill-it is just for oven use. Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  47. cristine

    Oh I am so glad I decided to buy the 6 qt bucket a few years ago! My dough is rising now and I can not wait until tomorrow. I never grease my bucket but use one of those excellent long white scrapers you sell to scrape it out -is that okay? Or am I damaging the dough by not greasing the rising bucket?

    Cristine, no grease is absolutely fine. Dough is very hard to damage, unless you heat it over 140°F, or chop it up with a meat grinder or something… Hope they turn out super! PJH

    Reply
  48. cristine

    Dear PJ, I was wondering, could I just add a new batch to this “bucket” if I leave some of the dough from the previous batch? I know some cultures add dough forward to build upon? Since, the bucket is kept in the fridge, would the dough develop a ‘sour’ flavor?

    btw, my bread is rising now. I can see why greasing the bucket wasn’t necessary, I scooped out a big glop and it was pretty cohesive, I could almost cut it off from the rest, sort of like taffy :-) It was a lovely soft dough to fold into baguettes. Mine are in the baguette pan I purchased from KAF.

    Sure, Cristine, I think you could keep adding. I wouldn’t do it with a “rich” dough (eggs, milk, butter, sugar), but a plain flour/watersalt/yeast dough will, as you say, gradually become more and more sour… tangy-sour, not bad sour. Go for it – PJH

    Reply
  49. cristine

    Really really good bread but it stuck to my baguette pan! I lightly greased the pan -I’ve never had a problem before… do you need to do anything special with very moist doughs? My scale might be off and the bread may have been too moist, it was nearly impossible to slash the dough but that could have been the egg wash? which might have been too much liquid. We loved the bread we managed to pull off the pan and ate it with a shrimp salad.
    Your dough as you suggested may have been too wet. Try using parchment paper. For an egg wash I add just 1 tablespoon of water to the egg. Joan@bakershotline

    Hi Cristine – If the pan is new or relatively unused, it often takes a few bakes to make itself “nonstick.” Also, if the dough was very wet and oozed through the little holes (if it’s perforated), that could have been the culprit. I feel your pain – sometimes (and it’s almost always a new baguette pan we’re testing), it just plain sticks – aggravating! Sometimes it helps to let it cool for a bit – it kind of “steams” itself free… Anyway, hope you can avoid this next time – PJH

    Reply
  50. Trisha

    Hi,

    I really liked this idea but it didn’t work for me. My dough was wet and didn’t have much structure–it was like trying to fold jello. I eventually slopped it onto a pan and baked it. The tase was good but it was nowhere near a baguette. I’ll try again sometime (I tossed that batch out), probably with more flour. And perhaps a baguette pan.

    Have a great day!

    Reply
  51. deeba

    I made them these morning & they were fab. No KA flour in India sadly!! Loved your tutorial. It’s spot on. I’ve posted some pics of my loaves on Flickr, if u ever have the time
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/11603343@N05/
    Cheers and have a great day!

    VERY tasty looking, Deeba – what kind of flour did you use? I thought Indian flours were mostly whole wheat? PJH

    Reply
  52. Liz

    I’m the Liz who asked about salt-free baking. I tried it out, with half the yeast and no salt, and the bread came out very nice, if a little flat. I gave the dough three days in the fridge before baking.
    http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/8876/saltfreebread.png
    As you warned me, it is rather bland, but the crust was very tasty when fresh, and the second day it made some very nice garlic toast. Thank you very much for the recipe! I’m happy to have bread again.

    Excellent, Liz – glad it worked out for you. I can see in the picture how vigorously it wanted to rise, without that salt to inhibit it… PJH

    Reply
  53. Dave

    Hello,

    First I’d like to say that this blog is amazing, and has really encouraged me to get more into bread baking. I love this recipe and have made two batches in the last two weeks.

    They taste great, and have the holey structure I’m looking for…. but….

    My problem is that the baguettes are definitely more short and squat rather than tall and round. I know this is a wet-ish dough, so thats the nature of the beast, but I still feel like if I just did something different, they would be nice and round.

    I tried using a couche on the last round, and moving them off the cloth to parchment paper went badly. Any other suggestions I should try?

    Thanks very much, and keep up to good work !

    Are you sure your oven is hot enough? A blistering hot oven should take that slack dough and puff it right up. They probably won’t be perfectly round, but should get some height to them. Also, you’re spraying the dough with water, right? Try also putting a pan in the bottom of the oven, and adding boiling water right as you put the baguettes in. In order to rise their highest, baguettes need their crust to be moist and supple. Speaking of, they’re well-covered as they rise, right? Finally, you might want to back off on the water in the dough just a bit – especially at this time of the year, when it’s humid, the dough can simply become too slack, yielding flatter loaves. Next batch, try 2 1/2 cups water – see if that happens. Good luck – glad you’re enjoying your baguette experience! PJH

    Reply
  54. Lynn

    Oh, how I love this blog! I have made more K.A. inspired breads this past year than ever. Even though I have been baking bread for quite a bit, baguettes have always remained a challenge for me – searching for the*perfect loaf.* But you are right – even a seriously less than perfect baguette is delicious. I am definitely going to try weighing my flour; I think I tend to add either too much flour, or too little.

    I do have one question though. I have two year old starter in my fridge that I try to use in pretty much all the bread I bake. Is there a way to incorporate it into these – would I measure a certain amount?

    Thanks again for all the fantastic recipes (my whole neighborhood thanks you too :-

    And thanks to you and your neighborhood for your devotion to good bread! I’d substitute 1 cup starter for 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup flour – see how that works. You may have to adjust a bit up and down in the future, depending on how liquid your starter is… but this’ll get you started. PJH

    Reply
  55. deeba

    I used regular white flour, but want to try part whole wheat next time. Thank you for the words! maybe KA will come to India one day!

    Deeba, you must have plenty of access to good whole wheat flour there. Our white whole wheat flour mimics India’s whole wheat, as far as I can ascertain – an Indian woman sampled our whole wheat flours, and said the white whole wheat was very similar. Have fun with the baguettes – PJH

    Reply
  56. DAWN

    I have made the bread twice, wonderful bread but I dont get the big holes. What makes the holes? More water? I’m also at 7500 feet.

    Thanks for any help

    Dawn Egerer

    The perfect flour/liquid balance (and yes, it’s usually a slack – wet – dough). The perfect rise. Gentle handling. Keep trying, Dawn. Sometimes I have GREAT BIG holes, sometimes not many. Bread-baking is as much art as science… PJH

    Reply
  57. Karen H

    I made this last week and it was fabulous–turned out just like it should. I even substituted white whole wheat for 2 cups white, and it was still great! Thanks for this great recipe.

    Karen, thanks for letting us know the whole whet substitution works well – PJH

    Reply
  58. DonH

    Hi PJH,

    Well the dough is in the bucket; following the recipe this time; will try it with beer / vinegar next time, and see if there is a noticeable difference. I’m using a 2 gal bucket that we got through Emerald Valley Kiwanis — it came with sliced Oregon strawberries in it — they’re now in the freezer. Next, I will have to make your shortbread to go with them.

    Thanks, again, for all the wonderful recipes and tips that you provide here.

    Don H

    Strawberry shortbread – alas,I didn’t have it one single time this summer… Enjoy an extra piece for me, Don. And good luck with the baguettes, I’ll bet they turn out great! – PJH

    Reply
  59. Cathy B.

    I bake all the time, but the only times I’ve created REALLY good baguettes is with my sourdough starter. I use Nancy Silverton’s recipe. They’re great, but you really have to plan ahead to have bread. (It’s a three-day process.)

    When I got the latest catalog with the beautiful baguettes on the cover (and this recipe), I had to try it. I mixed the ingredients, put it in the fridge and waited. Day 2 loaf: a decent baguette, but nothing to write home about. Day 4 loaf: better, the holes are opening up, it looks more like the pictures on your blog. Day 7 loaf: Wow, the clouds parted and the heavens opened! Beautiful open hole structure, thin, crisp, almost nutty crust and the interior texture was moist and “custardy.” This is the best baguette I’ve ever baked. Even my husband (who is a bit spoiled) noticed this bread. He asked, “Is this from the same dough as before? This is WAY better.”

    Thank you, guys! There will be a tub of dough in my fridge from now on.

    Reply
  60. Don H

    Wow, easy to do, and they look great. I’d send pictures if you had a way to get them. I waited 4 days to bake the first two, will bake the next two on Saturday afternoon. I hope my experience mirrors that of Cathy B. It sounds really great, I’m having trouble waiting the hour for these two to cool enough to break into…

    Thanks PJ!

    Don H

    Good for you, Don – baguettes are a challenge, and congratulations for meeting it. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  61. bowreality

    Exceptional taste! I loved it. The crust was a bit on the chewy side (would egg wash make it crispier?) but I can live with that.
    I just have to practice the shaping a bit more. Thanks for another great recipe!

    Reply
  62. June Mucci

    Hi PJ,
    My bread came out great. I was sooo surprised!! I did not use the red yeast, but I am going to get some. I do have a question. I have a fan in my gas range has a ‘speed control’ that allows a fan to run. I did not use it, but am wondering if you have had experience with that. Would you recommend it? Or should I just try it and see what the difference is? I’m not sure if they are recommend for bread baking or not.

    BTW, my 1st loaf was made in a baguette pan. The 2nd was made on a pizza stone. The parchment paper is much browner, due to the added heat from the stone. Does the stone give more heat to the bread or just maintain the heat temperature better? Just curious.

    This bread has re-established my faith in baking breads. You just don’t know!! Like many, I’ve had 20 losses to 1 success and now I’ve had TWO in a row!

    BTW I just picked up Cook’s Illustrated Special Collector’s Edition of the All-Time BEST Recipes. There is a No-Knead bread 2.0 by J. Kenji Alt on page 66.

    She or He, wanted added tanginess, after much experimentation, by adding one tablespoon of white vinegar. You said it could weaken the gluten. That can affect the rise, right? Also COOK’s wanted complexity and added a lager beer (“Yeast is lagers is treated in a way that closely resembles the way yeast acts in dough”). That was informative! Who’d a thunk!!

    I am most excited to learn that KA has a salt-rising bread yeast. Right now they are out but I got on their “notify” me list when they get it in. No one knows what it is in my neck of the woods..North Carolina. My Mom always got it when we lived in Kentucky.

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank You for this luscious bread recipe and having restored my faith in bread making. It also makes it easier for us that work. Make the dough ahead of time…have it available alllll week!

    A ham and baby swiss sandwich is calling me. I gotta go!

    Hi June – Sounds like your oven has a convection feature. Yes, you can give it a try with bread – it should make it bake about 20% faster, so keep your eye on it. As for an oven stone, yes, it gives the risen loaf a big hit of immediate heat on its bottom, which makes it “pop” in the oven. And it does hold the heat steady throughout the bake.

    I like Cook’s; we (KA/Cook’s) have a collegial relationship, and have actually done various projects together for years. They’re right down the road in Massachusetts. I don’t always agre with their tests, but I love that they test and share their results so completely.

    Hope you enjoyed that sandwich! PJH

    Reply
  63. Don H

    Second batch out of the oven about 30 min ago, tastes great, a bit more sour than the first batch; which is fine. I converted the recipe to gram weights for more consistency. Here is what I used:
    700 g water, 900 g AP + 100 g WW flour, 20 g salt (sea salt, crusted in mortar), 11 g instant yeast (SAF Red). This resulted in 4 loaves at ~420 g each (shaped weight, before baking). What a wonderful recipe and method, it is going into my kit and will be used often. Thanks, PJ!

    Glad you’re having fun with these baguettes, Don. They’re certainly a never-ending journey – pretty much the Holy Grail of French bread baking. It’s like figure 8′s in ice skating – seemingly so simple and basic, yet such a challenge to perfect. Keep on keepin’ on – PJH

    Reply
  64. Barb

    I put my last 2 lb. of dough in a vintage Marcrest ovenproof stoneware bowl that had been srayed with nonstick spray, and put it’s lid on. I didn’t even handle it, just used a spatula to rake it down out of my plastic container. I let it rise, and then slashed it, and it didn’t slash well. I sprayed it with water, which I later found I really probably didn’t need to do with having the lid on it to trap moisture. It took about 45 minutes to get done, and I had to take the lid off to brown off the top. It was one of the best loaves of the entire batch. I plan to do this often. The slash by the way, healed it’self, and the bread was smooth on top. We were too hungry to take a photo of it, but the crumb was very nice. I didn’t have huge holes. The texture was much better, than my bagettes. One was a little gummy, and one was to hard. I think I may have handled them too much, even tho’ I worked quickly trying not to.

    Reply
  65. Carol McDonald

    I made these baguettes this weekend, carefully following the instructions and photos, and weighing the ingredients. They turned out well, but the dough was too wet to slash; the knife just stuck to the dough and didn’t cut into it. Also, the texture was quite dense. Any suggestions for the next time? Many thanks for your wonderful advice.

    Carol, I think you may be experiencing the “end of summer wet flour” syndrome. Flour is like a sponge; as the summer wears on, with its higher humidity, the flour absorbs liquid, and the liquid in your recipe needs to decrease a bit. I’ll go back into the blog and address this- thanks for bringing it up. PJH

    Reply
  66. Holly Steiner

    I made this receipe last week and they turned out great! Your pictures on how to form the loaf was very helpful. These were very good with fresh tomatoes and garlic right from our garden. I diced the tomatoes and garlic and added some olive oil. Yum! I put some olive oil and chopped garlic and butter in the fry pan then added some slices of the bread. Great stuff. Also this bread in wonderful with some of my sweet cherry, buleberry, and black rasberry jam I made this summer. Thank you for all the help you give us and the wonderful pictures. I really like his no knead bread.

    Reply
  67. Cynthia

    I tried baking bread for the first time and the almost no knead baguttes came out almost perfect. I could have left it in about 5 minutes to get a darker brown but inside was moist. I put them on a stone sprayed the stone with warm water got the pizza peel put the baguttes on it to slide and sprayed the baguttes with warm water also. Very good tasting.

    Congratulations, Cynthia! And welcome to the world of bread-baking – where the journey is just as much fun as the destination. PJH

    Reply
  68. Marilyn Gates

    I have tried to bake the french bread twice now and while the bread is just great, my husbnd has just come home from a trip to france. He tells me the bread there was a little more sour and had large holes in it. My bread comes out with very small holes. How do I get it from where I am at to where the French are without a thousnad years of experience?
    Hi Marilyn, here is another blog to check out about getting big holes in bread. It should be a big help. ~MaryJane

    Marilyn, you can also try shaping the loaves, then covering and letting them rise in the fridge overnight. the chilling helps develop the tangy flavor… PJH

    Reply
  69. Casey

    I love this recipe but made the dough and have yet to make all the bread. How do I know if it goes bad?

    It’ll get more and more tangy as it sits. I wouldn’t let it sit longer than 7 days; not because it’s “bad” in the sense of rotten, but that it probably won’t rise well. You can always freeze it in 1-lb. pieces… PJH

    Reply
  70. Casey

    after you freeze it how do you thaw and cook it? do you freeze it right after you make the dough?
    Freeze the dough anytime after its overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to bake it thaw it overnight in the fridge again, shape it and follow the rest of recipe. Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  71. Ruth Clinton

    Any advice for high altitude adjustments? I’m on the border of Rocky Mountain National Park at 8000 feet. (My first batch flopped but I let it rise too long before putting it in the fridge. Added flour and made cracker bread.)
    We have some hints for high altitude baking on our recipe home page that hopefully will be helpful. Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  72. Emily

    Ever since I saw this recipe in the last KAF catalog I was so intriqued that I just had to try it. However, I used the method that was on the next page for the rye bread. I made the baguette dough, put it in the fridge for a few days and took out half the dough. Floured a sheet of parchment paper, nudged the dough into a sort of an oval rectangle covered with a sheet of plastic wrap and let it rest about 20 min. Then folded it in half lengthwise, then into thirds until the whole thing was kind of roundish. Took the dough and parchment paper and plopped it into one of those medium wire colanders and set it all in my dutch oven and covered it. Let it rise about 2 hours, lifted corners of parchment paper, took it out of colander and gently placed in dutch oven and covered. Then into 500 degree oven (on top of pizza stone) for 35 min. Removed lid, turned down oven to 450 and baked another 15 minutes. The results were wonderful. A deep brown crispy crust and chewy bread inside filled with lots of holes. I used instant thermometer to make sure bread was at 185 degrees. No mess whatsoever with parchment paper. Maybe I will make baguettes…..maybe not.
    I can’t keep enough of this around. Make a loaf every other day.

    Reply
  73. Pam

    Why do you have to refrigerate the dough overnight? Can you bake a loaf after it has risen?
    According to authors of “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” you may bake after an additional 3 hours of rest in the refrigerator. The rest in the refrigerator gives your bread flavor. Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  74. Richard McMahan

    Before I retired, I traveled to NYC frequently. We ate at the nicer restaurants. During an evening meal at “21″ I had one of the best tasting rolls ever! It had a very hard, thick crust and was the most flavorful I have eaten. I found that Hudson Bakery makes the rolls for “21″ and other fine restaurants in the NYC area. Any idea how to get the thick hard flavorful crust and great texture and flavor inside? I hope to be able to attend some of your baking classes next spring.

    Richard, Rolls in this style usually incorporate a slow cool final rise to contribute flavor and a nice crust. You might begin with this recipe as your starting point:http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/refrigerator-dough-for-quick-crusty-hard-rolls-recipe
    Frank@KAF.

    Reply
  75. Vanessa

    This is a genius recipe– I’ve been making a batch weekly since August. Yes! you can mix your dough one night after dinner, and throw it in the fridge.
    Yes! you can pull out half the dough at 3:15 when you walk in the door, shape into 2 baguettes and let rise while you deal with laundry, homework, and everything else.
    Yes! you’ll have great crusty bread on the table by dinner, so even a simple soup and salad becomes a meal.
    Yes! you can fool your family — mine did not believe that I had made these loaves, and were sure I had paid $3.99 at the artisan bakery.

    Sorry, artisan bakers — I’ll visit you for the other great things you make. But I’ve now got the baguettes covered!

    Reply
  76. Pam Maas-Maciak

    I tried this and it worked out beautifully! It is so easy takes much less time. I’m so happy I took the time to try the recipe. The bread was very artisan….crusty, light inside….just wonderful.

    Reply
  77. Janet

    If I don’t have unbleached all-purpose flour on hand can I substitue regular all purpose or unbleached bread flour?
    We do not recommend the use of flours that have added bleach, bromates or perservatives. Bread flour may produce a crumb that is too tight-it will not have those wonderful big holes you are looking for. Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  78. Sharon

    This recipe has made a yeasted-bread baker out of me – I love it! I went back to what you said was your inspirational source (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) and looked at their recipe. I was just curious why you chose a less-slack dough (more flour to water ratio) and allowed the dough to rise for more time before baking?
    We found the ratio we used worked best for us. The amount of rising time may differ in every recipe even the same one you make often. We also find that longer rising times often give you better flavor. Joan @ KAF

    Reply
  79. J

    Hey, thanks for your time going over how to fold the baguette. I am making a different style (Vietnamese baguette) for Vietnamese Subs but I couldn’t understand how to fold it properly. Last time I made them they wouldn’t fluff up much. I think this was because I didn’t fold it properly. It may also have to do with using rice flour in the recipe. Thank you.
    -J

    Reply
  80. Dale

    Wondering if you must use instant yeast vs active yeast?

    Dale, instant yeast is certainly easier to use, and more reliable. But sure, use active, if you have a good source for it – the fresher it is, the better it rises. Be sure to dissolve it in warm water before using. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  81. Jan

    Having failed with yeast breads many times, I finally took a pre-ferment class and am thrilled with my new abilities. Suffice to say, reliable ingredients DO make the difference. So easy with SAF instant yeast and KAF AP and semolina flours. I give away as much as I keep – just enjoy the process so much! On to sweet yeast goods!

    You go, Jan – a little knowledge was all you needed to get you started in the right direction. Didn’t you love our class? Oh – I realize maybe you took a class somewhere else, now that i read what you wrote, but I know you WOULD have loved one of our classes… since everyone does. Welcome to BreadWorld! PJH

    Reply
  82. Lynda

    My first baguette is in the oven AS I TYPE!

    I let the dough sit for 7 days and the top was quite dried out and hard. I threw it away. Smart move or dumb one?

    Well, Lynda, neither smart nor dumb – so long as it was refrigerated. Me, I would have shaped it into a quick ball, let it rise, and baked it. I’m betting it would have been QUITE sour, but may have tasted pretty good nonetheless. Good luck with the baguette in the oven – hope it turned out beautifully! PJH

    Reply
  83. Elsa D in NC

    I have tried for years to make a decent French bread, with minimal success. This recipe looks, tastes, smells, feels like the real thing!! And despite the long instructions (the pictures help!), the recipe is neither complicated nor long to prepare. Terrific! I might add some herbs or a little whole wheat flour to the next batch. Interesting about the weight of flour vs. cup measurements.

    Reply
  84. Ema

    I am sorry, but these baguettes looks like ciabatta bread by consistency of the dough (very wet and very soft) and the outcome: the cuts , the color, and the crust look very much like ciabatta.

    Don’t be sorry – ciabatta and baguettes are very similar. Baguettes are generally taller/skinnier, ciabatta flatter/thinner. Both have interiors filled with irregular holes. Both are chewy, with crusty/crackly crusts. Baguettes are French; ciabatta, Italian. Two cultures, two versions of an everyday hearth bread. The classic American version is a white sandwich loaf… PJH

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  85. Ken Foret

    I have been trying to reproduce the “french bread” found in New Orleans and used for po boy sandwiches. It has a light but very crunchy crust and is soft on the inside with a lot of holes. In France I found the bread fairly dense and chewy. In my last attempt I used KAF bread flour and a trace of ascorbic acid which came out nearly perfect as far. Dough was formed in a bread machine through the first rise. I became intrigued with the ability to refrigerate the dough, and am anxious to try. I see that you call out all purpose flour. Is the texture/flavor affected by the AP vs bread flour. Any comment on the ascorbic acid use in this bread. Thanks.

    Bread flour will produce the “chew” you are seeking – the higher gluten (12.7%) than all purpose flour (11.7%) helps with this. Ascorbic acid? Just a pinch is added for yeast growth – it helps the yeast work faster and longer. Irene @ KAF

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  86. Mary

    Thanks for the pictures. They really helped when I mixed these last Monday and was interrupted and lost track of how much water I’d used. The first batch was good, but I didn’t use enough flour when I turned the dough out so had to deal with some stickiness. The second batch Thursday was excellent!!! I used more flour on the board and the dough was a joy. For the first time ever I thought I had achieved dough perfection. The taste and texture were wonderful, especially in the second batch.

    I didn’t use the baguette shape, but used the Cook’s Illustrated method of cooking artisan bread: Make the dough into a round loaf. Take a long piece of parchment paper, spray the middle with cooking spray, put the dough on the sprayed part of the paper and let it rise in a 10 inch skillet. (I use a stoneware pie plate.) Thirty minutes before baking, put a 6 to 8 quart heavy pot with cover into the oven and preheat to 500 degrees. (I really use 450, since 500 scares me!. You may have to remove or replace the handle so your lid can withstand this temp.) At baking time, lift the round loaf into the pot using the parchment paper as a sling. Leave the parchment paper in the pan under the loaf. Replace the lid, turn the heat down to 425 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and bake another 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan using the parchment paper sling.

    This is easier and safer, I think, than many other methods and the taste is great. The pot acts as a steam oven, with the moisture from the dough providing the steam. This recipe worked perfectly divided into two batches using this method. Thanks for all your great recipes.

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  87. Arlene Levine

    I’ve made these loaves with great success in New York. Used the same proportions, same flour, same yeast and salt, while in New Orleans, then in Florida, and the loaves were extremely sticky and loose, like no-knead bread. Taste was great but definitely not baguette-style. Was it the water and/or the humidity? Anyone have any ideas.

    Yes, Arlene, I’m betting it’s the humidity. Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs liquid from the atmosphere. Cut your water back, compared to what you were using in New York. Start with less than you think you need, then gradually dribble in more, as you mix, till the dough is the consistency you like. PJH

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  88. laurie

    does this have a sour dough taste…i was wondering if you used starter could you make a similar product? This doesn’t have a sour taste. You could make it with your sourdough starter, but ti would be different.Mary@ KAF

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  89. Elisabeth Heinicke

    Just wondering: I own neither a heavy-duty mixer, doughhook, or bread machine.
    Any suggestions on stirring up the dough – which, the first time I tried it, about half an hour ago, was very heavy (yes, wet, but heavy too) – and somehow keep the excitement of almost no work? (I’m so lazy, short of time, etc: that’s the part that really appeals to me!!!)
    Thanks in advance!

    Elisabeth, just wet your hands, and plunge in. Or use a big spoon. Mix it all till it’s good and cohesive, but not at all smooth; you don’t have to expend a lot of time or effort with it here. Then let it rise, and refrigerate for at least 2 days before using. That extra time in the fridge will “knead” the dough for you, as yeast dough continues to develop its gluten as it ferments. PJH

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  90. Nissidhi

    I am trying out the recipe of baguette now. I do not have a mixer. I kneaded the contents with hand. The yeast I used is Red star brand active dry yeast. My dough has been out in room temperature for 4-5 hours and has not risen at all. I am very disappointed.

    How can I save my baguette in this situation now?

    Lessons learnt – use SAF brand yeast, go for sprinkle/sweep instead of dip/sweep method and get a stand in mixer to do this next time.

    Thanks for your help

    Try dissolving a couple of teaspoons of Red Star yeast in 2 tablespoons warm water with a pinch of sugar. If it doesn’t bubble after about 15 minutes, your yeast is dead, and you’ll have to start again. If it does, knead it into your dough; it should get it going. Also, please call our Baker’s hotline for more help – they can talk you through this. 802-649-3717. Don’t be discouraged – we all learn by doing. PJH

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  91. Nissidhi

    PJH,

    Thanks for the timely help. As you said, I put couple of teaspoons of my yeast in 2 tablespoons warm water with sugar – It bubbled up and I kneaded it into my dough. My dough rose and after keeping it overnight in the fridge, I baked it. I made another mistake at the baking step.

    I misunderstood the 1 1/2 hours rising of the dough to be inside oven at 450 F instead of in the room temperature. As a result my baguette is burnt on the outside and not very much cooked inside.

    I will try again properly soon and update you of the success soon.

    Ah – yes, rising happens at room temperature. Well, live and learn, right? Thanks for sticking with it, Nissidhi – you’ll get better and better as you keep trying. PJH

    Reply
  92. Casey

    I make this bread often and LOVE it. I, however, made the dough this time and have not baked any yet and don’t plan on it. Can I freeze it after it is five days old? and if so do I just thaw it in the fridge and then proceed with the recipe?

    Thanks

    Yes, that should work, Casey – it probably won’t be as vigorous a riser as it was pre-freezing, but if you’re just going to throw it away anyway, might as well give it a try. Don’t freeze for longer than about 8 weeks, OK? Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  93. James

    Well I wasn’t going to blog, but I’m so happy after being so sad I couldn’t resist, lol..
    While kitchen tested, baking bread is new territory for me, but I’ve been determined to find a lower costs ways of satisfying my morning toast fix, instead of shelling out $4-5 dollars a loaf.

    After a couple of attempts with other recipes ending in mixed results, I acquired a copy of Peter Reinhart’s “Crust and Crumb” (which is excellent btw) and was in a research phase. I had gathered materials together in anticipation of having extra time around the holidays where I could start experimenting.

    It was then I found your “No Knead” recipe here. I compared it to Reinhart’s receipe for the same French Bread. I noticed some differences, but not too much. After some thought, I decided to use his ingredient list and your technique. (Mostly because I was anxious to use the non-diatastic malt I had bought ;)

    The main differences were PH uses half regular flour, half bread flour,..and much less yeast.

    Anyways,…I combined the ingredients, mixed according to your instructions, placed in a 6 qt container. Like yours, it only rose to about 2 qts. Imagine my surprise, when next day, instead of poofing down, it had expanded to the full 6 qt top and then some! ..about an inch above the top…

    From here, I could not tell from your recipe if you let the dough reach room temperture before forming the loaves. (PH forms his the night before) So I decided to “half the distance”, so to speak. I let the dough sit for 45 min, then formed the loaves, then let them sit covered for 60 min (shoulda’ been 45m).

    I decided to bake all the dough at once, and so divided the dough into quarters. It was very difficult to form the loaves. They were not as “wet” as yours appears. I end up kneading them much more than I had hoped or intended for a no-knead recipe, lol. when finished, I had four very un-photogenic ropes of dough. I thought I had blown it, but decided to sally forth to the bitter end.

    After sitting covered, they had indeed risen a bit, and looked a bit better, lol. I went back to Reinhart’s technique for the oven. Preheated at 475 with pizza stone, and pan of water underneath, sprizting with water to create steam periodically.

    Well, lo and behold…as they cooked, what had been a measly-looking loaf about an hour before and risen very, very nicely…was a gorgeous golden brown with a very nice crust. All four of them came out great and are delicious!

    I want to re-try the process later this week, and try to work out the kinks,… the dough was very hard to work, as it didn’t want to stretch much. Too much gluten formation? Would be nice to work the process back towards your no-kneading approach.

    Thank you very much for the recipe, information, and support,
    Cheers,
    James

    Sounds like you had an excellent experience, James. Dough that’s hard to shape simply needs to rest. As you suspected, kneading toughened it up. The less kneading before shaping, the easier it is to shape. Next time you feel the need to knead, let the dough rest for 15 minutes after you knead it – then shape. Keep experimenting – I’m betting every loaf will be more beautiful than the last… and ALL will be delicious! PJH

    Reply
  94. Teresa

    Reading James’ post makes me want to try adding some bread flour to this recipe. I really enjoyed the Classic and Stuffed Baguette recipe you posted some time back. I thought I would try to make stuffed baguettes with this ‘no-knead’ recipe. As you might suspect, the slack dough from this recipe made rolling the stuffing challenging, but I did it.

    Generally, I think the flavor and texture is very similar. The main difference is that with bread flour, the dough had more structure. It’s a bit easier to stuff and seem to puff higher when baked.

    My husband and I just love the stuffed baguettes! They’re so good!

    Your recipes inspires us. But I love how your blog gives us ‘instant’ feedback to improve our home baking and take it to the next level!

    Happy 2010!

    Reply
  95. DENISE

    Where can I find receipe for this on your website, is it under baguette redux?

    Hi Denise – you can always link to the recipe at the end of the blog. Here it is: No-Knead Baguettes. Have fun – PJH

    Reply
  96. Jaye Williams

    I’ve tried other no-knead recipes with so-so results, mostly due to the humidity issue. I live in Florida and the humidity definitely affects the flour here most times of the year.

    I have a question. I’ve started making soft cheeses and have a lot of whey leftover from the process. Can whey be used instead of water in loaves like these? Or will the chemical process be changed in a negative way?

    Jaye, whey water is fine in yeast breads – but don’t try it in those leavened with baking powder or baking soda, as the acidity will throw off the leavening balance.

    Reply

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