Baguettes: DO try this at home.

bagTemp

Baguettes. Crusty, golden… unattainable-except-from-an-artisan-bakery baguettes.

Not so. And we’re here to prove it to you.

The late Prof. Raymond Calvel, France’s acclaimed “godfather of bread,” visited this country and did a “blind” baguette baking, using a variety of American flours to make his signature crusty loaf. The result? King Arthur Flour was Calvel’s choice as being most similar to his beloved French flour.

Flour is the baguette’s main ingredient: it makes up nearly 60% of the bread, by weight, so it’s a critical element. And guess what? The best American baguette flour is right here at your fingertips. As is yeast. They’re also available in any major grocery store. The only other ingredients are water, salt… and time.

For sure, the baguette isn’t the very first loaf you’d tackle as a beginning bread baker, no more than you’d expect to step into the box at Fenway Park the first time you held a baseball bat in your hands. But it’s something to aspire to, once you’ve gotten your feet wet (and your hands floury).

The feeling of accomplishment you’ll get from pulling a deep-brown, crackly-crisp baguette out of your own oven is indescribable. Even the loaf itself celebrates your success: hold it up to your ear to hear its signature “song” as it cools. (What, you’ve never done that? Try it…)

The path to homemade baguettes is long, but not rocky. You’ll spend most of the time going about your business as the flour, water, and yeast quietly make their magic. Some initial kneading is followed by lots of resting and rising; a minimal bit of shaping precedes the finale, 25 minutes in a very hot oven. And that’s it: baguettes.

Ready? Let’s make Classic Baguettes and Stuffed Baguettes.

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First you’re going to make a starter. Mix flour, water, and just a pinch of yeast, and let it rest for about 14 hours at room temperature.

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The picture above shows what it’ll look like after its rest: soft and bubbly, kind of like a pancake when it’s ready to flip to the other side. If you’re planning to bake on a Saturday, make the starter late-afternoon Friday, and it’ll be ready to go Saturday morning. This first rest gives the yeast a chance to start growing.

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Next day, place the starter, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl (or bread machine bucket). Then, pour the designated amount of water into your starter container; you don’t want to waste any of those stuck-on bits of starter. If you’re using active dry yeast, stir it into the water, as pictured above.

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Whisk it around; it’ll soften, but not fully dissolve.

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Pour it into the bowl with the other ingredients.

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If you’re using a stand mixer, knead briefly with the beater, just till the dough becomes cohesive.

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Then switch to the dough hook, kneading for about 5 minutes on speed 2; the dough will still be a big “gnarly.” If you’re kneading by hand, knead till the dough is soft and elastic, but not totally smooth. In the bread machine, let it knead for about 10 minutes.

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Gather the dough into a ball; notice its surface is fairly rough. You don’t want to knead it too much, as the gluten will continue to develop during its long rise. If you kneaded the dough till it was absolutely smooth, it would be over-developed by the time it was done rising: too stiff, difficult to shape.

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Put the dough into a greased, covered container, and let it rise for 1 hour.

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See the bubbles forming? The yeast is doing its work. Deflate it, and let it rise for another hour. Repeat once more; the dough will rise for a total of 3 hours.

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Now look how smooth it’s become—all on its own!

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Look how lovely and elastic it is, too. If you’d kneaded it fully at first, it wouldn’t stretch like this.

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Divide the dough into three pieces, flatten into rough ovals, and let them rest for 15 minutes. This gives the gluten a chance to relax. Gluten can be recalcitrant; the more you stretch it, the tighter it gets. Letting dough relax before shaping makes it MUCH easier to work with.

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After 15 minutes, flatten one piece of dough into a rough rectangle.

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Fold it over…

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…and seal the edge with your fingers.

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Flatten again…

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And fold and seal again. Look how the dough has lengthened from 8” to 12” during this process.

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Turn it so the seam side is down.

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And roll gently, starting in the center…

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And working your way out to the edges. Don’t press down hard; just gently roll the dough under your cupped fingers, and it’ll lengthen on its own. If it doesn’t, give it a 15-minute rest, while you work on the other two pieces, then come back to it.

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Put the 15” baguettes onto a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. If you have a triple baguette pan, lay each of the baguettes in one of the lightly greased wells of the pan.

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Or do what they do in France: let them rise on a couche, a flour-rubbed towel. Sprinkle flour heavily on a linen couche or smooth cotton towel; I’m using a towel here. Rub the flour into the cloth.

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“Cradle” the baguettes in the folds of the towel.

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Here they are, ready to rise; cover them with a free-standing cover, or with greased plastic wrap.

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And here are the risen loaves. Don’t let them rise TOO much; they should be puffy, but nowhere near doubled in size. If you let them rise too much, they’re hard to handle, and they won’t rise well in the oven.

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If you’ve used the couche method, gently roll each baguette onto the prepared baking sheet. (If you want to bake on a pizza stone, roll onto a piece of parchment which you’ve set atop your peel.)

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The baguette will probably land floured side up.

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Gently roll it over so the floured side is on the bottom. Repeat with the remaining two baguettes.

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Spritz heavily with warm water. This mimics the effect of a steam oven, and will help give the baguettes a slightly shiny, crunchy crust. If you’ve made baguettes before and like to a) spray water into your oven, b) throw ice cubes into a hot pan on the oven floor, or c) make steam via some other method, go for it. Whatever works for you is fine. I find spraying with water easiest, as I don’t have to keep opening the oven (and letting heat escape) once the baguettes are in.

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Next, you’re going to make three diagonal slashes in each baguette. Hold the sharp knife at a 45° angle to the bread, be quick, and use firm strokes.
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Notice the lovely air bubbles inside the slash. The yeast has been doing its work for probably 18 or 19 hours now…

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If you’ve done your slashing correctly, the loaves will look a bit deflated; that’s OK.

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The high heat of the 450°F oven will pick them right back up again!

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And here they are: your very own baguettes! Be sure to bake them long enough; they should appear almost charred in spots.

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Homemade baguettes won’t have QUITE the large-holed interior of artisan bakery baguettes, but they’ll still be “holey” enough to trap and hold olive oil or butter.

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Here’s a cross-section view. For larger holes, make a softer dough by adding more liquid. The challenge is to find that “sweet spot”: more liquid, more holes; too much liquid, the baguettes flatten out.

Buy vs. Bake


Buy: Artisan bakery 9-ounce baguette, $2.95


Bake at home: Homemade 9-ounce baguette, 43¢

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OK, here’s another fun thing to make: stuffed baguettes. Divide the dough into six pieces instead of three, and shape each into a 5”-long rectangle.

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Layer with meat and cheese (in this case, ham, Swiss, and mustard). Don’t use too much filling, as it’ll make the baguettes soggy.

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Roll up like a jelly roll, sealing the long seam and pinching the ends closed.

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I might have been able to put all six on this pan, but I decided not to crowd them.

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Slash twice; or don’t.

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Slashed baguette on the left; plain on the right. It’s mostly a matter of looks.

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YUM! The tunnel in the center is pretty much inevitable, as the bread rises and the filling doesn’t. But never mind the look, this is just plain delicious. Enjoy!

Check out our recipe for Classic Baguettes and Stuffed Baguettes.

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. Jennifer

    Thanks so much for posting the step-by-step. I love baguettes but have never really been very successful at making them. I am, most likely, over-kneading the bread. I think I might try the stuffed baguettes this weekend. Since I don’t think I can eat 6 baguettes this weekend, I wonder if you could prep all the way up rolling the stuffing in and then freezing the portions you can’t eat, yet. Something to try, at least!

    Reply
  2. Kat DeFonce

    Thanks for this creation. I’ve been a yeast bread baker for over 20 years and I’ve never thought to fill the baguettes this way. I can’t wait to try it! One question though. What do you use to grease your container for rising? I find that using the sprays prevent the sealing of the dough when shaping. Your grease definitely looks ‘yellow’. Is it butter?

    Reply
    1. Peter Lea

      You really do not need to use any grease in the process of proofing in the dough rise bucket/ or bowl. All you need is a good flexible plastic scraper and the risen dough will come out of the bucket quite nicely with a bit of help for knock back etc. Unless your making a pizza dough and even then just a very light touch of olive oil.

  3. PJ Hamel

    Jennnifer, yes, you could definitely do up to the point of sealing the stuffing inside the baguettes, then freezing. Just be sure to leave lots of time at the other end for both thawing, warming up, and rising – if you thaw in the fridge overnight, I’m betting the warming/rising would take 3 hours or so…?

    Kat, I use a very light coating of Everbake spray, which we sell here in the catalogue. (It’s not yellow, that’s just my shaky photography skills!) the tip then is, once you take it out of the container, fold it over on itself and knead it gently just enough that the oily part goes into the center and kind of gets ocmbined with the rest of the dough.Give it a try-

    Reply
  4. nek0

    wow! I tried making baguettes once or twice but never turned out REALLY good…

    and the stuffed ones… what can I say?

    YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  5. Randi

    Hi PJ,

    Just curious if you’re figuring out the cost based on the old price of flour, or the NEW price of flour. I used to pay 1.92 for a bag of KA flour( and I thought that was high) and yesterday I paid 3.99.

    Reply
  6. PJ Hamel

    Randi, I’m using the new price of the flour -I get up-to-the-minute prices online at Peapod, the online grocer. Right now they’ve got it priced at $4.99/5-lb. bag. So you’re getting a deal at $3.99 – stock up! Still, when you think about it – there aren’t many foods you pay less than $1/pound for these days. And a 5# bag of King Arthur Flour will create an awful lot of yumminess…

    Reply
  7. Maria Siqueira

    Hi , how do I get my baguettes to be crusrt brownish? Mines are always pale. Is there any trick?

    Tks

    Denise

    Reply
  8. PJ Hamel

    Maria, if your top crust isn’t browning, try baking baguettes on the upper rack of your oven, rather than middle rack. Also, if you let the dough rise TOO long, they yeast devours all the sugar and the bread loses much of its ability to brown. So don’t let it rise too many times. Finally, is your oven temperature right? Bread baked at 450°F should definitely brown, and pretty easily at that…

    Reply
  9. PJ Hamel

    Hello, FallsChurch! Hope it’s warm down there… rising in the couche (or cotton towel) does two things: 1) makes the crust chewier, and 2) gives it that floury, “artisan” look.

    Reply
  10. sewbaker

    Love the blog-it makes it so easy to see if you are doing things correctly,please keep it up and don’t archive I keep referring to the banter and passing the Baker’s Banter on to others.
    Thanks again

    Reply
  11. FallsChurch2

    Hi, PJ: It’s pleasantly cool and breezy today, but kinda overcast. Thanks for your reply. I’m a newby to baking, but I’m fast losing my cluelessness, reading your comments section. Thanks again.

    Reply
  12. PJ Hamel

    Barbara, yeast dough rises much faster at 7,000′, so cut the yeast back to 3/4 teaspoons. Add 2-3 additional tablespoons water, too, till the dough is the consistency pictured. Hope this helps-

    Reply
  13. Snitz

    In the recipe you make the 45 deg slices then spray, but in the blog you spray then slice. Does it make a difference?

    Reply
  14. PJ

    Snitz, I actually tried it both ways, and it doesn’t seem to make any difference at all which comes first, spraying or slashing; sorry to be confusing!

    Reply
  15. rw

    This is the best bread I have tasted in a long time. i made both the plain and the stuffed version. came out perfect the first time. I baked them in the barbecue grill. I have old saltillo tiles that act like a brick oven on the bottom and the top. perfect crust and even just a touch charred. thanks so much.

    Reply
  16. HIAWASSEE

    ABSOLUTELY THE MOST INFORMATIVE PRESENTATION AVAILABLE. FIRST TIME WAS PERFECT. BEGINNER’S(TOTALLY) LUCK.

    WHILE I HAVE NOW ORDERED YOUR RECOMMENDED INSTANT YEAST, I FIND THAT THE WORD “INSTANT” DOES NOT APPEAR ON THE FLEISCHMANN’S “RAPID RISE HIGHLY ACTIVE YEAST” OR FLEISHMANN’S “ACTIVE DRY” YEAST THAT I FIND IN MY LOCAL GROCERY STORE. DOES THE “RAPID RISE HIGHLY ACTIVE” YEAST SERVE THE SAME PURPOSE AS “INSTANT” IN THAT IT CAN BE ADDED DIRECTLY WITHOUT GOING THROUGH THE ACTIVE DRY SEPERATE STEP?

    AND SPEAKING ABOUT YEAST, YOUR ANSWER TO BARBARA’S QUESTION REGARDING ALTITUDE IS CONFUSING. THE CLASSIC BAGUETTES RECEIPE WE ARE WORKING FROM REQUIRES 1/16 TEASPOON INSTANT YEAST IN THE STARTER AND 1 TEASPOON INSTANT YEAST IN THE DOUGH FOR A TOTAL OF 1 AND 1/16 TEASPOONS. YOUR INSTRUCTION TO CUT BACK TO 1 1/2 TEASPOONS IS RATHER HARD TO DO.

    ALSO, THE DOUGH IS RISING THREE TIMES IN THE BOWL ACCORDING TO THE RECEIPE SINCE IT IS BEING DEFLATED AFTER ONE HOUR AND THEN AGAIN AT THE SECOND HOUR AND LEFT TO FINISH THE THIRD HOUR.

    DOES MY ALTITUDE OF 2000′ REQUIRE AN ADJUSTMENT?

    CAN YOU TELL I AM RETIRED AND ENJOYING THE FACT THAT I MADE THREE WONDERFUL BAGUETTES THANKS TO YOUR EXCELLENT GUIDANCE?

    Reply
  17. PJ Hamel , post author

    Hi Hiawassee: Instant yeast is NOT RapidRise or active dry; it’s called “instant,” and the most common kind if made by SAF. Please don’t use RapidRise in this recipe; it’ll give up the ghost too quickly. Active dry is fine.

    You’re right: I should have said cut back to 3/4 teaspoon yeast at altitude… thanks for catching this! And the part about rising, too. I was thinking of a totally different recipe (olive rolls) when I answered her…

    Your altitude won’t require an adjustment; it’s just over 3,000 feet, usually, that adjustments start.

    Glad you’re enjoying the blog and SO happy your baguettes came out well!

    Reply
  18. Soa Governance

    I used to work in a bakery back in my high school days so I had the opportunity to watch bread and baguettes made live! But this step-by-step process is extremely helpful since I cannot remember the exacts. I’m so excited I can bring back my bakery memories in my own household =)

    Reply
  19. Antiques

    These look fantastic. It looks like a lot of work, however I imagine that the outcome is a great taste as well as a feeling of self accomplishment: very rewarding.

    Reply
  20. PJ Hamel

    Antiques, not a lot of work at all. Just a lot of time… time you spend doing other things while your dough is doing its own thing!

    Reply
  21. Mike

    PJ, I loved the detailed pictures.

    I only put in about 3/4 of a cup of water and by then the dough was getting a bit soupy, so I had to add nearly 3/4 of a cup more flour to get it back to something that could be worked. (It looked pretty much like the picture at that point, though it didn’t get quite as smooth after the 3rd rise.

    I was using KA AP flour.

    They rolled out fairly well, though one of them still had a lump in it that looked a little like the snake that swallowed the mouse.

    In the end, they came out really great, though I think I could have left them in a few minutes longer to get even browner. (Next time I think I’ll try them on stones, too.)

    My wife was cutting herself a slice of angel food cake for dessert, she picked up one of the warm baguettes to smell it and nearly put the slice of cake back on the platter. When we did break into the 1st baguette a little later it disappeared quickly.

    I do have a question about slashing French bread. I’ve got a lame, it seems to stick in a soft dough badly, so I usually just use a serrated steak knife, and even that was sticking in these baguettes. What’s the secret?

    Reply
  22. Julia

    The flatten-and-fold technique for shaping the baguettes is
    a winner! I’ve tried for years to stretch dough into a long
    thin shape but never managed better than a (very) lumpy
    rope of dough.

    I’m in (dry) California and had to add more water to get the
    dough wet enough to knead. Will add even more water next
    time as the dough was still not wet enough so didn’t have
    the big holes in the crumb.

    And will try KAF’s French flour instead of AP flour, as it makes
    a fantastic white bread.

    Before baking, I wet the shaped dough, then use a very
    sharp serrated knife for slashing. Being in a dry climate,
    sometimes the outer layer of the loaf dries a bit during
    the last rise. Wetting the loaf before slashing softens
    the outer layer. And you have to be quick with the slash
    or the blade drags in the dough and doesn’t make a clean
    cut.

    The recipe is great–we re-heated the leftover loaf to re-crisp
    the crust the next day (350 degrees, 10-15 min.).

    Reply
  23. PJ Hamel

    Mike, personally I don’t use a lame – have never liked them. Our bakers herein the bakery are very adept with them, but I don’t seem to be able to get the technique! Like Julia, I use a very sharp knife – serrated, or plain. the trick is to be swift, fairly “brutal,” yet not heavy handed. Hold the knife at a 45° angle to the bread; I like to pinch a tiny corner and hold it up, to stretch the bread’s”skin” and give the knife someplace to get its initial purchase. Then I VERY quickly slash it, probably 1/2″ deep (which, since it’s a 45°F angle, actually doesn’t go 1/2″ perpendicularly). the loaf will definitely deflat,e but if you get it into the super-hot oven RIGHT AWAY it picks back up. Give it a try – good luck!
    Julia, thanks for all the great tips-

    Reply
  24. David

    Hi — I look forward to trying this recipe. I have a perforated baguette pan, and its instructions advise reducing oven temps by 25 degrees. However, I tried that with another baguette recipe last month, and my loaves came out pale.

    If I use the baguette pan for this recipe, should I aim for 425, or stay with 450? Also, can I place the pan directly on a baking stone?

    Thanks,

    David

    Reply
  25. PJ Hamel , post author

    David, I’d leave the temp. at 450°F, and yes, you can place the pan right on the stone. Should come out fine -just watch the loaves towards the end…

    Reply
  26. PJ Hamel , post author

    Mary, I don’t use a thermometer to test baguettes – when they’re dark brown on the outside, they’ll be done inside. I ALWAYS use a thermometer to test sandwich loaves and round country loaves – anything NOT long and skinny – because it’s so much more accurate than trying to eyeball or tap on the bottom or anything else. Sandwich loaves aregenerally done between 190°F and 195°F; dense whole-grain rounds, like a big round country rye, it’s more like 205°F.

    Reply
  27. PJ Hamel , post author

    Mary, you can certainly use a convection oven for this. I never have, so wouldn’t know the timing – just keep your eye on them, and bake till deep golden brown.

    Reply
  28. David

    PJ

    Thanks for the reply. I baked today and think the temps worked out right — the color was good, with a bit of char at the ends.

    However, other things did not work out. First, the appearance of my loaves is not as authentic and “crackly” as your pictures. Very smooth, apart from the slashes — almost like a Pillsbury version of a baguette :(

    Second, the crumb is really tight and dense.

    I should note that I initially misread the recipe as saying to do a first rise of 3 hours. So I did a single rise of that duration. Would that account for the plain appearance and tight crumb?

    Thanks,

    David

    Reply
  29. PJ Hamel , post author

    David, did you give the loaves a heavy spritz with warm water? I mean a real bath, just a perfume-type spritz.they should be dripping.That would help give the crust it’s somewhat mottled, crackly appearance. I think the tight crumb might be due to a little too much flour; did you perhaps add more flour while kneading? Or it could be due to not deflating the dough during that 3 hours; deflating it hastens the growth of yeast, which of course makes the bread rise higher… Baguettes are a real case of practicing and learning as you go. See, already you’ve made improvements; the next time will be even better. And they’re all edible, right? : )

    Reply
  30. David

    PJ

    I used a hand-pump mister to spray them, as I don’t have a clean “Windex” bottle. Still, I gave them what I thought was a pretty good soaking.

    I used a stand mixer to knead (no extra flour), and was careful about measurements. But I did read your comments about a wetter dough.

    And yes, living is learning. Next time I will add a bit less flour, get the rise right, and use a hose for the spraying ;)

    Thanks again for the help!

    David

    Reply
  31. Beth

    Hi PJ, just wanted to let you know how my baguettes turned out. I had the starter doing its thing for the entire 14 hours in a rather cool kitchen, and it certainly was bubbly by that time. I weighed all the ingredients, and for me they were perfect proportions. I didn’t have to add any extra flour or water except the minimal amount of flour used to flour my hands. I used the KAF Bread Flour. I kneaded by hand about 10 minutes, and after the first hour of rising, things looked so-so, but after about 45 minutes into the second hour, the dough appeared to have nearly doubled. Could that have been because instead of just deflating the dough, I folded it over a few times? At that point I deflated it and stuck it in the refrigerator, because I had to go out for awhile. It cooled in the fridge for almost 2 hours.

    I have to stay before I forget that this was a great dough to work with except for one problem. After I had divided them into 3 pieces (by weight about 10 ounces each), and after the 15-minute rest, trying to get them rolled out to make a 15-inch baguette was no easy task. Even letting them rest and going back and forth from one baguette to the other, I could only get them rolled out to about 13 inches. I was worried the French gendarme might come knocking at my door any minute!

    I let them rise on a flour-covered cotton towel, and in a 68-degree room after about 1 hour and 15 minutes, they was ready to go in the oven. I still don’t have the slash and burn technique perfected yet, but after 30 minutes, they came out looking very nice – maybe not quite the charred look, but close. My husband took them to work this morning (he told me, “I don’t think these guys have ever tasted a real baguette.”), so I’ll be expecting the compliments around midday.

    Thanks for the great instructions and photos, PJ.

    Reply
  32. David H.

    I would like to Thank King Arthur Flour for being so helpful to the home baker. I have been baking bread for 40 years and I use KA Flour as often as I can find it. I used to bring it back to the south after vacations at home on Cape Cod. It has been available about the last tem years in larger cities so I would stock up, now it is carried locally. I have only been making these baguettes in the last 5 years after my second trip to a King Arthur Travel Class. One in Knoxville TN and another in Atlanta Ga.

    This is completely different methodology than the normal breads I have made in the past. So much so I have had to completely learn this new process of wet and sloppy compared to firmer. Your pictures and write up make it almost sailor proof. I had a skipper on the submarine I served on said only one sailor would make it to heaven.

    Any way what I want to ask about is to ask about using barley to improve browning of the crust. There are several kinds and was wondering what is used for what and what amount to use.

    For example:
    Malted Barely liquid,
    Diastatic Malt Powder
    and Non-Diastatic powder (your package says this is for Bagels, does this act as a gultton inhibitor or dough relaxer and can this also be used for making pizza doughs)

    I have noticed that Diastatic Malt Barlety is added to your Artisan Bread Flour.

    Canany of these Barely Products be used, instead of flour on a roast to enhance browning and thicken juices for making gravies.

    THanks and keep up the good work

    Hi David – YOU keep up the good work, too! Congratulations on your baguettes-

    Malted barley is actually barley that’s roasted till it becomes sweet, then ground. It’s added to flour to help the yeast: enzymes in the malted barley convert the starch in flour into simple sugars, which the yeast then feeds on. Non-diastatic malt actually does NOT contain enough of these enzymes to convert starch, and thus is used purely as a sweetener. Diastatic malt has the full quotient of enzymes, and is used as explained above. Malted barley syrup is like non-diastatic; used purely as a sweetener. So if you’re looking for something to help your yeast breads (including pizza dough), choose diastatic malt. But only use a tiny bit- maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per 3 cups of flour. I wouldn’t see any use for any of these in roasted meats… – PJH

    Reply
  33. Bob Wojtko

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Great baguettes! Even though we live in the Rocky Mountains at 8000′ this recipe produced excellent results. I cut each rising to about 50-55 minutes, however I think the keys to this bread are your hints: 1) slightly sticky dough 2) move the oven rack to the upper position.
    I’ll be making these baguettes often.

    Reply
  34. Joanne

    I have been baking bread long before going to culinary school and these were the best I’ve made so far. The crust had just the right crunch and the inside was wonderful. Since there were three baguettes I shared the other two with my daughters. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    Reply
  35. Kevin

    I have been working with an earlier baguette recipe that I was given at the King Arthur Baking Education center. It calls for 16.25 ounces of King Arthur All Purpose Flour and 10.5 ounces of water in a formulation that yields 2 baguettes about 17 or so inches long. I would have thought that to get 3 baguettes, I would have had to increase the flour and water to 22.875 and 15.75 ounces each, an increase of 50%. Your formulation gets there with 19 ounces of flour and only 12 ounces of water. Am I not thinking correctly about how to increase the yield of a recipe?
    Also, why does the use of ‘bread’ flour require more water?
    Using my old and very much trusted formulation for baguettes, I have stuffed them as you suggested with wonderful results. A variation that my wife enjoys is a mixture of spinach, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a few chunks of provolone. Be sure to squeeze as much moisture out of the spinach as possible. Two tablespoons or so of the mixture does the trick.

    Hi Kevin: Well, bread baking is as much art as science. Perhaps the baguettes you made were fatter; they were longer, which makes a difference. You’re kind of thinking correctly about how to increase the yield of a recipe… but not taking into consideration how much more volume is involved in a fatter, longer baguette (because it’s impossible to tell, really). As for bread flour, it’s higher gluten (higher protein), and the higher the protein in flour, the more water it will absorb. So you need more water (compared to all-purpose flour) to produce the same consistency of dough.

    Love your suggestion for Parmesan, provolone and spinach – that’s now on my to-do list! Thanks, Kevin- PJH

    Reply
  36. Mike in Nebraska

    PJ, we’ve made the stuffed baguettes several times now, and it may take us weeks before we run out of ideas for what to stuff them with. On the list of things to try are pepperoni/marinara/mozzarella, tuna/tomato/cheddar cheese, brown sugar/cinnamon, and some kind of fruit stuffing, most likely peaches.

    So far our favorites have been ham with pepper jack cheese, sun dried tomato turkey with pepper jack and beef with either cojack or pepper jack. (I think the latter are even better with a little tomato, which I sliced fairly thin then blotted with a paper towel to keep the baguette from getting too soggy.)

    Today we tried some with shrimp and marinara, shrimp and asiago/romano/parmesian, and crab with asiago/romano/parmesian. The shrimp ones were a bit of a disappointment, but that’s probably because the shrimp was a bit short on flavor. I also added a little butter to the cheese ones, to make sort of an alfredo-like sauce.

    We’ve also learned that they can be made up a day in advance, but you need to give them about 2 hours to warm up and they take a little longer to bake. (I may try warming them up in my proofer to see if we can speed that up.) I’ve also got 3 in the freezer to see how well they handle being frozen before being baked.

    Yesterday, I substituted 2 oz of medium rye flour and made a set that way,the ham and cheese were excellent, I thought the best was a stuffed reuben with pastrami, a little mayo, swiss cheese and some sauerkraut. I think I could have nearly doubled the amount of rye flour.

    WOW, Mike – you certainly know how to take an idea and run with it -big time! Thanks for all the great ideas. I love anything involving cheese and tomatoes, so I think I’ll go that route first… thanks again – PJ

    Reply
  37. Will

    I just want to thank you for this excellent run through! I used this recipe over the last day as a way to test out my stand mixer. It was the first time I’d ever baked bread… and both the regular and stuffed baguettes came out amazing! I used half unbleached white and half traditional whole wheat flour for the dough and londonport, fresh mozzarella, and hot mustard for the stuffed. If it weren’t for the quality of this walkthrough (and KA flour), I doubt my first loaf would’ve turned out so well… and I’d be out a new hobby!

    Will, that’s GREAT! Welcome to the great big wonderful world of bread-baking. It can be as simple (or complicated!) as you want, and make it… Check out the other yeast recipes we have here (hot cheese bread, and onion buns, for instance) – and stay tuned for my next post later today, Focaccia Five Ways. And kingarthurflour.com is loaded with bread recipes. Thanks for using King Arthur Flour (it’s the best – no brag, just the truth); and ENJOY. (P.S. Are you using SAF instant yeast? Instant yeast is SO much less expensive and easier to use than active dry…) – PJH

    Reply
  38. Peggy

    Wow, I’m really enthusiastic about trying baguettes again after seeing the pictures and reading the comments. My earlier attempts following Julia’s recipe and directions turned out only so-so. I’ll let you know how it works. Here in Central Ohio I can’t get an authentic baguette, so I’m really hoping this will work.

    Good luck, Peggy. Having those step-by-step, “hold your hand” photos is really useful, I think. And remember – practice makes perfect. If they’re not exactly what you want the first time, don’t give up – they’ll still be edible, I’m sure! – PJH

    Reply
  39. Beth

    Hi. If Mike in Nebraska is still watching this (or if anyone else wants to comment), I’d be curious to know how the baguettes that were frozen turned out. I may have to make 15 or more baguettes for a wedding coming up soon, and just can’t see staying up all night trying to make them for a morning wedding. Wish I could convince the bride to have rolls like those yummy, yummy semolina rolls.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  40. rohroh

    The French never intended to have chocolat croisants,now it’s a pest and worse.Stuffed Baguettes?Sounds like a Bill Wyman franshise to me.Leave it alone.The French bread is just fine by itself,in all the various regions.I never saw that one in France.Nothing wrong with the bread though,just don’t call it a Baguette.
    Robert

    Reply
  41. cokey

    I have the perforated italian bread pan – you bake two loaves at a time in this pan. Can I use the same recipe and just divide it in half instead of thirds? Do you happen to know what recipe came with the pan?

    Yes, divide it in half and bake till golden. Sorry, don’t know what recipe came with the pan… Maybe our customer service team can chime in here? – PJH

    Reply
  42. Joel

    Great article, Thanks
    I have been baking bread and pizza for about 20 years. I have not been able to create a loaf or baguette with “big eyes”. After mixing with a stand mixer and adding flour until the dough ball comes clean from the bowl, I complete the kneading by hand. When I turn it out onto the counter, it sticks to my hands and the counter so I add enough flour until the dough does not stick. I feel that my dough ends up too dry and the crumb is too dense.
    How can I tell if the mixture is correct?
    How do you convert measurements to weights?
    PS: I recently built a brick oven and the results are better than ever. How about making a DVD of your processes?
    When will you be giving a course in the Greenwich, CT area or even in NYC?

    The dough is reaching the bench at the correct consistency. I believe that you are working too much flour into the dough at this late stage and this in causing the close grain and dense texture. I have sent you an email regarding your other questions. Frank from KAF

    Reply
  43. Thomas

    Your recipe is going around the world – in this case Denmark (-;

    Had a little trouble converting it in terms of country specific ingredients and not least to metric system measurement and weight – but it’s done and it’s by far the best baguettes I’ve ever made.

    The fold and seal technique is brilliant and made it very easy to make 15″ long breads which under normal circumstances can be quite a drag!!

    Next time I’ll try the stuffed version as well – they look quite yummy (o:

    Thomas, thanks for connecting. I love the fact that these words travel all over the world. Bakers speak a common language, no matter where we live. As you say, it’s sometimes problematic translating ingredients and amounts, but we celebrate food, and share a creative love of baking, and of giving to others, don’t we? Cheers – PJH

    Reply
  44. Arlene

    I saw this posting after trying my hand (first time) at making baguettes. Mine looked like snakes because I didn’t use the parchment to place them on the stone, so they cooked as they landed. :) It was fun though and they were gobbled up so fast I wished I had made a double batch! Now I know how to ensure they are shaped properly. Thanks. I had a lot of fun (and a snake story too).

    Hi Arlene,
    Actually, we have a snake shaped bread on display in our bakery case. It is made to be a snake with an egg in it’s mouth, definitely a decorative bread. So, you were just being avante guard and artistic and didn’t know it!
    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  45. Rich 316

    PJ: I followed the directions religiously and the only thing I had a problem with was the dough was quite sticky. This made shaping the loaves difficult and 2 of the 3 loaves gaves us (family) a good laugh. What did I do wrong. The interior of the bread after baking look just fine and they tasted great BUT the stickiness was a problem.

    Thanks for the anticipated help.
    Rich

    Rich, flour absorbs moisture, so during the summer (esp. during humid weather) the flour/liquid ratio is bound to change. You didn’t do anything wrong – the weather didn’t cooperate! Make it a rule of thumb to decrease the liquid in any bread recipe a bit in the humid summertime, and increase the liquid a bit in the dry wintertime, and you should be fine. Practice makes perfect – but as you see, even the “mistakes” are quite tasty. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  46. Olaf from The Netherlands - Europe

    My baguettes look great on the outside and I even get them to smell as they do in france (well… just about) but there’s still one thing I can not seem to master: the structure. Yes it is with large irregular holes but I find it too plastic-like. A bit like ciabatta and those rustic style breads. I know the baguette in France has a more drie-ish and white interior I think. Does it have to do with the water content or is it the flour that does the trick?

    I use a mix of all purpose and patent flour with as much water as it will tolerate (usually less than 70%), a poolish starter (1:1) with previous fridge cooling during 10 hrs before adding it to the rest of the dough. My oven goes up to 300C and I use a baking stone.

    Anyone?
    Thanks!

    Hi Olaf — You might try kneading the dough more. The whiter interior is the result of oxidation of the flour, which comes with longer/stronger kneading. OR you might also try using less yeast, and using a longer rise with some “turns” – let the dough rise for an hour, deflate, and turn over, let rise for another hour, deflate and turn over, let rise, deflate, and shape. This allows a rather loose, sticky dough (high hydration) to firm up as the gluten continues to develop while the dough ferments. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  47. rowena

    This is an awesome, fantastic post! I’m glad I tracked you down!! I followed your image link from a very interesting post here (love the history), and just had to read more info on making french baguettes. Can’t say enough on how much I appreciate this tutorial.

    Reply
  48. Diane

    Wow you’ve made that look really easy and tasty! I’m a big fan of baguettes but have not made any myself. Maybe I will have to now! Thanks!
    That filled baguette looks yummy too!

    Reply
  49. WC

    It seems to me that a lot of ppl have questions regarding Baguette. It is actually VERY simple. I was trained the French way (Le Cordon Bleu).. so here is a couple pointers… I had also post another recipe of Baguette at http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/9104/baguette-baguette-and-more-baguette

    1. Active yeast vs. Instant yeast – most of recept called for instant yeast or fresh yeast but NEVER active yeast. However, it that is all you have on your hand… here is the conversation…

    if fresh yeast is called….
    * Active yeast = fresh yeast x 0.5 and increase the water in the wt. of Active.
    *instant yeast =fresh yeast / 3 and increase the water in the wt of 2 x wt of instant

    Instant to Active
    Instant yeast = Active yeast * 2 / 3
    Active yeast = Instant yeast * 1.5

    2. Scoring of the baguette…
    Traditionally, it should be 5 or 7 slashes, about 4″ long and the starting of the next slash should be about 1″ apart from the end of the previous slash (on a traditional 22″ baguette, 3 slashes on the Batard, but never even numbers!) . Slashes should be just on the surface of the baguette, not side to side. Lame or knife should be about 45 degree, slashing angel should be about 20 (yeah.. it’s confusing.. I know.. just remember… the long slashing should look like about 20 degree angle line to you, then you got it).

    3. Not enough open crumb…
    Ok.. this is has to be done by experience.. the best way to explain this is.. EASY DOES IT… especially w/ sponge method (yeast + wtr + flour, preferment). You only need to ‘punch & fold’ ONCE. Extra folding will decrease the air cells which means you won’t have open crumb. Also, let the dough bench rest for about 20 minutes before you shape them (covered, please), otherwise, the dough will fight you & you won’t be about to roll them into the nice long even shape that Baguette so famous for.

    Thanks for all the great tips! Molly from KAF

    Reply
  50. ethan

    hi

    what quantities of flour, water, yeast etc are used for the dough and the starter?

    Hi Ethan – Please click on the link at the end of the blog – it’ll take you to the complete recipe. Or click here. PJH

    Reply
  51. Jan

    My baguettes have a crispy crust when they first come out of the oven… but the crust seems to get softer as the baguette cools. It’s not that crispy, break apart, flakes all over the place type of crust on baguettes I get in France. It’s a bit soggy.
    I tried leaving the baguettes in the oven to cool… with the door open… but results were the same.
    Any ideas on how to keep the crust crispy?
    Jan, Even the baguettes we bake here in our bakery will start to lose their “snap” by dinner time, if they last that long. Two things that really helps get a great crust on baguettes, and many other hearth breads, is using a poolish and keeping a close watch on the fermentation. We do have a baguette recipe on our site that can walk you through this. Have fun. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  52. Barb

    Thank you for such a wonderful receipe. Have tried many other receipes for bagettes — but they nevery turned out like the real French. THESE DO!!!! Came out perfect the first time. Thanks again.

    Could you tell me how much whole wheat I could use in this receipe to make a little more healthy bread?

    Hi Barb – You can use as much as you want, but the more you use, the denser and tougher the bread will be. Start with 1/4 of the total flour whole wheat, and see how it works for you, then go from there. PJH

    Reply
  53. Alix

    I love these baguettes! I am a pastry student and I love your website I am addicted. I use your flour all the time for the best results in all my products. Your education site is so wonderful I can’t believe its free. I hope to get up to vermont and take a class someday. Until then I will be a loyal baking junkie of your site. Thanks so much you really give newbys confidence.

    Ah, Alix, just the response we love. Did you know King Arthur Flour is the largest educator of home bakers in the world? Time out for an ad: We teach bread-baking and community responsibility (kids bake and donate loaves to food shelters) to middle school students; bread, pie, and other treats in our national baking classes, held all over the country; and anything/everything you can think of here at our Baking Education Center in Vermont. Plus our online classes, plus this blog. And all except our Education Center classes are absolutely free. How’s that for baking and giving? Hope to see you up here sometime – PJH

    Reply
  54. bar-bar

    This is my second attempt to bake french bread. The first was terrible, that was before I found out about King Arthur Flour. So far I have started my POOLE..I await the results patiently.
    If all turns out I will be dancing with joy.

    Reply
  55. Kim

    Can someone estimate how many *bread bowl* size rounds this recipe would make? I am looking to turn this into the cut-out bowls we all know, but am not sure how many round loaves one recipe would amount to… And I’m not a skilled enough bread baker to be able to look at the unrisen amount and tell just how big it could get :>)

    Kim, you’ll get 6-8 “personal size” bread bowls out of this, depending on appetites. I get six nice-sized bread bowls out of a 3 1/2-cup flour recipe (recipe for Stuffing Bread Bowls with turkey potpie filling will appear here day after Thanksgiving); this is 4 1/2 cups of flour, so… Have fun – PJH

    Reply
  56. judy

    The site\’\’s very professional! Keep up the good work! Oh yes, one extra comment – maybe you could add more pictures too! So, good luck to your team!

    Reply
  57. Mort

    Greetings,

    I’m new to breadmaking so I’m glad I found this website. I purchased a Cuisinart Food Processor and have made one single batch of baguettes and yesterday, a double batch with it. In my kitchen, this breadmaking is truely an adventure. In spite of my “errors” as in: not following the recipe precisely, timing of the dough, not enough water in the oven, switching from round to long loaves in the middle of the kneeding, using cheap unbleached flour, squishing the unbaked loaves ( yes, I managed to do that), my baguettes have turned out delicious but on the scrawny side. Thanks for the heads up on the misting options and not letting the loaves rise too much before going into the oven. Now they will be really yummy. Thank you all for the great advice. May the bread gods be kind.

    Hi Mort,
    Wow! You have had a lifetime of baking adventures already. Glad to see you are keeping a sense of humor and have not given up. We hope you enjoy the blog and don’t ever hesitate to contact our baker’s hotline if you have questions.
    bakers@kingarthurflour.com

    MaryJane @ The Baker’s Hotline

    Reply
  58. BigJoe

    Should the starter be more liquidy than doughy? I measured and came out with a dough ball…it is very humid here right now, maybe more water?

    It should be a soft dough, not liquid. You couldn’t knead it – it’s not THAT stiff; but it’s definitely not pourable at all. It’s sticky, not liquid. Does that help? Wouldn’t hurt to add more water if it’s so dry you can’t knead all the flour in. But if it’s just like a regular dough, leave it; it’ll be fine. You can adjust the liquid tomorrow if you feel the dough is too dry. PJH

    Reply
  59. Phil E. Drifter

    This looks great, I’m really excited, I want to try making those ‘sandwiches’ that you bake, those would be great for lunch.

    “Is that a loaf of bread?” “No, it’s my sammich!”

    Reply
  60. Jo

    I tried the recipe and it turned out great, just the baguette color is not as golden brown as yours. Maybe my oven isn’t hot enough (I’m using a counter top convection oven, set the temp to 450F, which is the max)?
    Also I use my bread machine to knead the bread. Seems like my machine dough cycle kneaded longer than 10 minutes, will that affect the outcome?
    Btw, can you also provide a recipe for the wheat version?

    Thanks

    Jo, yes, it could be your convection oven just didn’t really get hot enough. Or maybe you need to bake them longer? As for a whole wheat baguette, we have a recipe for those in our King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking book. You can probably access it at your local library. I don’t recommend whole wheat baguettes – it’s kind of oxymoronic. You might want to try the whole-grain ciabatta recipe I blogged a few weeks ago instead. PJH

    Reply
  61. JJ

    First attempt was a great success. Delicious, chewy, gorgeous!
    Question, what controls the thickness and softness of the crust. Using more or less water? Thanks!

    Thickness of the crust is the heat of the oven and the length of baking – the cooler the oven, the longer/slower the bake, the thicker the crust. A crispy crust comes from steam in the oven; we replicate that at home with a pan of steaming water on the floor (or bottom rack) of the oven or, more simply, by spraying the loaves with water just before baking at a HIGH temperature (425°F or so). Congratulations on your successful baguettes! – PJH

    Reply
  62. Cee

    I notice that the recipe calls for instant yeast in the starter and either instant or active dry in the dough. Can you use active dry in both the starter and dough, or does the starter have to be instant

    Cee, you can use either instant or active dry in both starter and dough. Active dry is a bit slower, that’s all. PJH

    Reply
  63. Violet

    I’m visiting my daughter in NC and couldn’t find a decent baquette in the town where she lives. For that matter, I live in LA and cannot find one to really compare to the ones in Paris. We were trying to find one last night; imagine my delight to find this in my email this morning! I have never baked a baquette but have baked bread for about 30 years. We are going to try this and my daughter has no excuse for not having a good baquette from this day forward. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  64. deb

    I made this recipe for Christmas. I was amazed that everything looked the same as in the photos – which I admit I kept up on the computer so I could run in and take a look every step of the way, LOL. OH MY, what beautiful baguettes I made thanks to your help. I didn’t have time to have to order and have the King Arthur Flour shipped to me in FL, but will do that soon and imagine they will turn out even better! I do LOVE this site, every page of it. Happy New Year everyone!

    Reply
  65. Mike Maher

    I have used an ‘almost’ New Orleans recipe for baguettes up to now. I am trying your recipe today, the last of 2008. My earlier crumb is without holes – too much kneading? Anyway I have used KAF and am very hopeful. Even my ‘not up snuff’ baguettes are the best my wife says she has tasted. I will let you know.
    Mike from Annapolis

    Look forward to hearing back from you, Mike. The holes are a result of a combination of less kneading, more rising, and a wetter dough, in my experience. – PJH

    Reply
  66. Judith

    Thanks so much for the great, clear instructions and pictures. I tried these today for the first time and they came out just great. They looked like the ones in the bakery. My husband is hooked and wants more on the weekend. I did use some of the diastatic malt powder (1 tsp) and that seemed to work well for me. The flavor and the crumb of this bread is wonderful. Thanks again. Your site and products are the best.

    Thanks, Judith – Happy New Year! – PJH

    Reply
  67. Teresa

    Yum! I just tasted the baguette. Mine is not as pretty as yours. The slashes did not open up. Maybe making the starter wait more than 14 hrs spent some of the yeast. But despite that it is very tasty and the holes are nicely sized and distributed. I made one baguette and 4 stuffed ones in the refrigerator for tomorrow. I’m really looking forward to them.

    Thanks so much for the step-by-step instructions and photos for us visual learners! It really makes trying so much easier.

    Happy New Year!

    Slashes are tricky, Teresa – and you never know if your oven will cooperate in “opening them up” sufficiently. It’s a real art, and even the pros don’t always get it right, so just enjoy them for what they are – delicious! PJH

    Reply
  68. Hooman

    Happy New Year. This was my very first bread ever. In fact I just got a Kitchen-aid Stand Mixer. I did make a pizza dough a few days back, but never a bread. This baguette came out great! I followed your steps to the T. However I have a few questions. I think my oven got too hot. I use an italian all gas oven. The temperature setting is very loose. That is I have no way of knowing if the 425 really means 425. Also The fact that the oven is gas, I assume it gets more dry than the electric equivalent.

    The baguette tasted wonderful. The crust was good, but I did not get the golden color. It did get brown, but it was doll, not golden.

    My questions:

    1) Do you have any suggestions for an all gas oven? Would it be better to use a pan of water as well as spraying the baguette to compensate for extra dryness of the gas oven?

    I’ve never noticed a gas oven being drier than an electric, but if you feel it is, sure, spray the dough. I often do that anyway.

    2) I have a few Kory tiles which I use to bake pizza on. Could I just lay the baguette directly on the stones?

    Yes, absolutely!

    3) My dough was not as relaxed as yours. I kneaded exactly the way you described as well as deflated every hour for 3 times. Any suggestions?

    I’m betting your dough was a bit stiffer, which can come from a bit of a change in the flour/liquid ratio. This time of year, you may need to add a bit more water, as flour is very dry in the winter.

    Thanks again for this wonderful recipe. I, and my family LOVED the bread and am looking forward to many hours of bread making as it is a great meditative activity that has an instant (tasty) result :)

    Hooman-

    Congratulations, Hooman – enjoy the adventure! PJH

    Reply
  69. Janet

    I made the baguettes and was satisfied with every thing except the shape. My baguettes flattened out too much. My slashes were not deep enough I see now from the photos. The taste was great and the texture was good. Any suggestions??

    Try using a couche for the final rise, this will help the shape. Make sure that your lame is sharp, this will give good cuts on the first try. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  70. Mari Moody

    Adjustments for making this Classic Baguette at 7300ft? I’ll give this recipe a try tonight by making the starter–and continue tomorrow without changing the recipe but I’m afraid it will die from exhaustion with so much unhampered rising. Bread is a real challenge at high-altitude–less yeast sacrifices flavor, but more yeast isn’t the solution either.

    Less yeast doesn’t sacrifice flavor at all, Mari. I’d go with less yeast, and a longer, slower, cooler rise. Yeast will end up doing its flavor thing, if you give it long enough. It’s not the yeast itself that tastes good, it’s the organic acids and alcohol it releases as it grows. Time is key. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  71. Alan

    Hello, this is my first time attempting breadmaking, and I must say that I am very pleased with the results from this recipe! I wouldn’t say that my baguettes came out perfect (I could have probably used a tad more h2o), but overall I found this to be a great tutorial. Thank you for the excellent post, and I look forward to more breadmaking experimentation.

    Alan, congratulations! Remember – with bread-making, practice NEVER makes perfect, because the more experienced you get, the higher you set the bar. But the journey is always a happy one… PJH

    Reply
  72. Thomas Ewers

    I am just trying this the first time after several other recipes. While I had reasonably good results and very tasty bread, I did not like the consistency and looking to improve my bread. I just received a baguette pan with those round holes and can’t wait to see the end results.

    So far it looks FANTASTIC. After the start worked so well I even went searching the internet for my close by towns and found the KAF bread flour. After the rises worked so well and looked so close to the pictures in the article I went out and bought the KAF flour for my next attempt.

    The air bubbles from the yeast are not so uniform like my previous attempts so I expect a lighter internal structure this time. I only made two larger baguettes from the recipe and just past 25 minutes now. I used a steam bath pan for the steam. The slashes opened up great and just waiting for the crust to darken.

    Well after 30 minute bake this stuff is fantastic. Golden brown and yummy. Might consider an egg wash for that pretty glaze look.

    Did I mention YUMMY!!!!!!

    Excellent, Thomas – glad your bread adventure is coming to a happy (and tasty) conclusion. Profesional bakers get that nice glaze from steam-injected ovens – so we can’t match that at home. But try the egg wash, it’ll definitely give some shine. I’d suggest just egg white, not yolk, for shine without darkening. PJH

    Reply
  73. Janet

    I retried the baguette recipe this weekend with much better results. I used a couche for the final rise. The loaves look great. Now if I had just remembered to put the salt in, it would have been perfect. The bread was a little flat tasting without salt. You’d think with so few ingredients, you wouldn’t miss any. With dipping oil or salty cheese and salami, the taste wasn’t bad. I am already looking forward to making the next batch baguettes. 3rd time’s the charm!!

    Hi Janet – you just made Tuscan-style baguettes. Tuscan bread is saltless, due to the salty things (salami, cheese, etc.) they put on top. So your baguettes were PERFECT – so long as you’re in Tuscany… :) PJH

    Reply
  74. Library Lady

    These came out beautifully–the loaves were probably not as neat and pretty as they could be–but the crust was golden brown and “sang” as it cooled. The crumb was excellent and the texture just as it should be.

    I stored the loaves in a paper bag. Interestingly, the cut loaf didn’t harden as quickly as store bought bread–in fact they all kept nicely. I baked the loaves Sunday afternoon and didn’t have to soften any of the leftovers until I was finishing off the last few pieces Thursday evening.

    My one quibble is that the FLAVOR wasn’t as nicely developed as I’d like it. I may add an extra pinch of salt the next time I make this-and I may very well be making it this weekend.

    Great recipe!
    Thanks for

    Another thing to do to heighten flavor is to let the shaped loaves rise overnight in the fridge. let them rise about halfway, refrigerate (covered), then next day let them finish rising and bake. the reason homemade baguettes store better than store-bought is that anything made with a starter, which makes it slightly acidic, stays fresher than bread NOT made with a starter. PJH

    Reply
  75. Thomas Ewers

    Well the next attempt worked better in some ways. The egg wash (whites only) was a success. However last time I had flowered the counter while shaping the bread this time tried greasing the board (used a little light olive oil).

    While eating my last baguettes I found where I folded the dough while shaping left harder ridges inside my bread. This time The insides were great but the outside was coming apart. So my Baguettes this time were prettier in the crust and texture was fantastic they were in the end a bit malformed. The pinched edges along the length opened up and did so while rolling into final shape too.

    Tastiest mistake I have ever made though!!!

    Practice, while it might not make perfect, is often a lot of fun, Thomas. Keep up the good work – every attempt will be a bit different, and probably closer to your goal, whatever your own personal goal is. PJH

    Reply
  76. Janet

    Are there adverse effects on the starter if it is more than 14 hours before using? I saw in a previous post that the loaves can rise in the fridge overnight. Will that method work to slow the starter down or does it matter if the rise time is longer?

    Yes, slight adverse effects not particularly at 14 hours, but when the starter has risen, then obviously fallen. It’s best to use it while it’s still domed/flat, before it’s started to (con)cave in. I don’t quite understand your second question. Letting the partially risen loaves continue to rise very slowly overnight in the fridge (covered, of course) increases both flavor, and the crackliness/shininess of the crust; that’s what it accomplishes… Does that help? PJH

    Reply
  77. Heidi de Mesa

    Wow! This is officially my favorite recipe in the world. I can’t wait to try it out with my students. First time I made it was perfect. Then I purchase unbleached flour and the bread turned out heavier but still great. I will try using more water next time. Must I add a little more yeast to the extra water or just the water? Thank you for sharing this recipe, I’m sure it has blessed many!

    No extra yeast needed, Heidi. Glad you’ve enjoyed it! PJH

    Reply
  78. Bev Johnstone

    I just had to let you know that I have lately become obsessed with learning to bake bread. I stumbled upon this website a few days ago, and I’m so excited about finding it. I baked these baguettes yesterday, and they were so delicious. My first attempts at baguettes, using other recipes, were miserable failures. But your detailed instructions and photos made all the difference in the world. Being winter in Ohio, I found that I had to use about 1/4 cup more water in my starter than your recipe called for. The crusts were crispy like I’ve been looking for, and really reminded me of the bread I had in Paris. The inside texture was nice and chewy, but I still didn’t get the nice big holes I was hoping for. My dough looked just like your photos right up until they went into the oven. It was nice, soft, and somewhat sticky, yet easy to work. I never added any additional flour. It rose beautifully for 3 hours, deflated every hour. My question concerns the rising time after the loaves are shaped. Your recipe says it should take between 60 to 90 minutes, and that rising too much will cause the bread not to rise in the oven. I think this was where my problem was because my loaves didn’t seem to rise any more after they were put into the oven. I let them rise for about an hour, and they looked ready to me. I guess I still have to learn when enough is enough, and not too much. But, still they are beautiful, delicious, and I can’t wait to make them again.

    Bev, this is the wonderful secret about yeast bread baking—the more you experiment and try things, the closer your loaves are to being exactly what you want. And the experiments along the way are so delicious! Stay connected here—I think you’ll enjoy the back-and-forth with this pretty dedicated community of bakers. PJH

    Reply
  79. gerald yap

    the receipe is wonderful. I tried it out with high protein flour or bread flour as we do not have King Arthur Flour unless it is available at some upmarket gourmet supermarket in Singapore.
    Asian made french bread is used in Roti John ( where the bread is split in half and dip in a batter of eggs chicken or mutton chopped onions) and fried on a griddle and served with cucumber and tomato sauce in most hawker centres.
    French bread also goes well with mutton soup (a localised version with spices),
    if its hot off the oven it goes well with pork luncheon meat and cucumber with tomatoes or fried egg
    Here the favourite is to have it with chicken curry where the pieces of french bread are dip in the curry and eaten (good in winter)
    I am still looking at experimenting with the Vietnames version of french bread where it has a crispier crust (under the dough is mixed with a bit of rice flour) – it has a lighter taste
    Have you come across where they serve the sandwich Bahn minh

    Reply
  80. Kim

    Gerald Yap, I think you mean “banh mi,” which is a Vietnamese “hoagie” — usually with pate, ham, pork skin, or some other meat, along with cilantro, cucumber, and hot peppers. One of my husband’s favorites (he’s Vietnamese).

    I’ve found these baguettes to be wonderful for making substantial banh mi. But in Vietnam, the baguettes are ridiculously airy — they are light as a feather and very insubstantial (in fact, it’s heartbreaking whenever I get one in the morning to eat with jam and the whole thing gets smashed down when I put the jam on it!). I’ve tried substituting some rice flour in this recipe, as well as adding some more water, to make Vietnamese-lightness baguettes, but to no avail. I suspect they have some mega-hot ovens they are cooking them in over there and some secret for combining the ingredients. Next time I go I’ll try to sleuth it out. ^_^

    As for these baguettes, WOW! First time I ever made a decent baguette was with this recipe. Now I make them about once every other week. Perfect for my cheese and bread addiction, as well as my aforementioned bread and jam addiction.

    And can I just say, these are perfect if you shape them into boules and then make muffuletta, or keep them as baguettes and make Italian hoagies. YUM. Bravo on this recipe.

    Thanks, Kim – I know what you’re talking about, the totally airy baguettes and yeah, I think it’s the super-hot steam oven, something we just can’t emulate at home. But if you ever get a chance to find out – please share! :) PJH

    Reply
  81. Diane

    This bread is very good but takes a long time with all the rising. I’m wondering if olive oil can be added to this recipe or if I should use my old recipe with olive oil and spray it with water to give a crunchier crust.

    Either one, Diane – add olive oil to this recipe (replacing some of the water), or use your favorite recipe, spraying the crust with water. Be advised that the longer the rise, the deeper and richer the flavor of the bread. Baking bread isn’t a sprint; it’s more like a casual jog… PJH

    Reply
  82. Teresa T

    I invited a couple over for dinner yesterday. In order to serve a nice dinner to go with a vintage wine that this couple offer to share with me and my husband, I decided to make some homemade bread. I found your recipe on the web. I’ve never made bread before, so I read all the comments and tips and everything carefully. Then I calculated the time so I can bake the bread an hour before dinner. I was taking my chance that if I was not successful there will be no bread to go with the seafood chowder. I’m pleased that everything turned out very well, I just made one mistake by slashing the dough before spraying with water. I used my round pizza stone to bake, so had to divide my dough in 4 to make a smaller baguette to fit them all on the stone. Any easy way to transfer the dough to the hot stone? I had fun making the bread and would like to thank you for the wonderful recipe. They were great and we ate more bread than we should. I live in the British Virgin Islands, your brand of flour is not available here, and I cannot sign up neither.

    Try shaping the loaves on parchment, then using anything large and flat – the back of a cookie sheet? – to slide them onto the stone. Glad they came out well for you, Teresa- PJH

    Reply
  83. deb

    Thank you for the absolute best step by step directions with photos! I made this recipe for Christmas. It was my first try at bagguettes and they turned out BEAUTIFULLY!
    I also got my exercise that day running from the kitchen to the computer to check the photos, LOL. Step by step and photo by photo, we could have interchanged pictures – this recipe went exactly as expected.
    I loved the feel of this dough in my hands. It was a very good experience.
    I had to fight my husband – he wanted to take them out way too early. He has no paitience, LOL. They got lovely and BROWN, but I never did get the charred looking spots.
    I cut the bagguettes into thirds and split them to be used as bread for the roast beef I’d baked. The combination of the bagguettes, the roast beef and the horseradish sauce was exceptionally good.
    The varied textures and flavors made the bagguettes a big hit Christmas day.
    THANK YOU!!!

    Congratulations, Deb – success on your first try with baguettes is success indeed! PJH

    Reply
  84. Karen

    I have a question about adapting this recipe to use the KAF French-style flour for baguettes. The recipe on the back of the bag doesn’t include making a poolish, and it has different proportions. Shouldn’t you still make a poolish even with the baguette flour? Specifically how much of the French-style flour should I use in place of the AP or bread flour in this recipe? Thanks in advance!

    Karen, use the same amount of French-style flour as AP; they’re basically the same protein. I prefer making a poolish first; I think it improves the flavor. But it’s not strictly necessary. No “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” about bread baking; just preferences! PJH

    Reply
  85. Library Lady

    I’ve just made the bread for the third or fourth time and I’m finding it addictive.

    Two questions. The starter is supposed to look like a batter, but the flour/water proportions makes mine into a sticky dough. It rises and the bread is just as it should be, but is there something I’m doing wrong?

    Second, do you think I could allow the starter to rise in the fridge for 24 hours or so instead of 14 at regular temperature? This is a hard bread to make on a weekday, but if I could make the starter one evening and do the bread the next, that would work well. And as I said, this bread is addictive.

    Thanks!

    It’s winter, your flour may be dry. I wouldn’t worry about the starter if the final bread is working. A cool rise is certainly an option. Give it a try and see what you think of the flavor. Frank from KAF.

    Reply
  86. Library Lady

    I just may try it tonight. I made a half recipe yesterday, shaped it into 2 smaller batards and it’s all gone today–we had a snow day so everyone has been eating it!

    Reply
  87. Claire

    These turned out so nicely – especially for a first attempt. I was skeptical about using so little yeast, and so put a little extra in. Go figure, the yeast taste is a bit too strong. Other than that, the texture and look of these is just how the pictures look. What a great recipe for a rainy, boring day!

    Claire, I love it when first-time baguette bakers are pleased with the results. It’s not the easiest bread to bake, so kudos to you!!! Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  88. Red

    Excellent bread. After following all the instructions, and 2 hours of rising/deflating, I placed the dough in the refrigerator overnight (fatigued after making two other recipes from your site). Baked it the next day and the taste was excellent. My friends suggested I quit my day job and make bread instead.

    Congratulations, Red! Baguettes aren’t the easiest bread to make at home – glad you were successful. PJH

    Reply
  89. Van

    Your instructions and illustrations are wonderful–but–I see no mention of how much of each ingredient to use-no recipe. Please advise.

    Van, please click on the link to the baguettes recipe right before the pictures, or at the end of the pictures. Or link from here. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  90. Lea

    I tried it with prosciutto with roasted red bell pepper and it was delicious. Thanks for the tips!

    Oooh, Lea, prosciutto, great idea! Thanks for sharing – PJH

    Reply
  91. Martha

    I tried the baguettes today, using 1 cup of white whole wheat flour. This gave the dough a slightly tan color and probably a bit different taste. The loaves looked beautiful, but when I turned them over, they were quite charred on the bottom. Does this mean I over-spritzed? I certainly don’t have the hang of the diagonal slashes, but I think I can get there. The bread really does taste great.
    It could be that too much spritzing will take it longer to bake because the surface is so wet. Glad they tasted good. Slashing just takes pratice. Do not try to cut deep just skim lightly over the surface. Joan@bakershotline

    Reply
  92. Mari

    Joan, I wish Martha luck with the slashing! I’ve purchased two lames and both are useless–I’m back to using a bread saw. It’s serrated, with large teeth, and the blade is attached at both ends to a bow shaped handle. It takes a little effort to hold it at the right angle, but at least it cuts! The lame just drags and pulls and deflates and doesn’t cut–both the one I bought from KA, and one I bought locally at a fine cookware shop. I’ve heard that a razor works well–but the idea feels a little hazardous.

    Reply
  93. Karen

    The baguettes were great! I just want to clarify one thing that I have read here. Can I prepare the baguettes right up until the point of shaping them and then put directly in the refrigerator to take out the next day for the final rise? Thanks for your help ( I love this web site!! )

    In this Blog posting dated Jan. 9, 2009, PJ writes about refrigerating baguettes – Let them rise about halfway, refrigerate (covered), then next day let them finish rising and bake. Thanks to PJ and to you for highlightling this method which will be helpful to many other bakers. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  94. Susan

    I am so excited to try this recipe! I live in rural Arkansas and good bread of any kind is so hard to find here. Do you think the baguettes could be frozen and baked at a later time?

    Susan, best to par-bake them – bake for 10 minutes or so, just to set them, but not completely brown. Wrap VERY WELL and freeze. Then, prior to serving, bake the rest of the way. I’d say, put them in the oven, frozen, and bake at 425°F for 20-25 minutes or so? They should be a very deep, golden brown. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  95. Iris

    Help! Every time I tried to make the diagonal slashes in the baguette, the “cut” closed by itself, and I ended up with no cut on the surface after baking! What should I do? Is it because my dough was too wet?

    I think you need to be more aggressive, Iris. REALLY slash it (at a 45°, not 90° angle), then IMMEDIATELY pop it into the oven. It’ll deflate like a balloon, but then the heat should blow it right up again. Give it a try – PJH

    Reply
  96. Rosemary

    This is the best step by step guide I have found. Thank you, I can’t wait to try it.

    Rosemary, good luck – I think you’ll enjoy this. PJH

    Reply
  97. Jen Rock

    Thanks so much for these easy to follow recipes! I had only baked soda breads before but on the first try got three lovely crispy baguettes by following your great instructions. On my second try today I’m going to make the stuffed ones, they look SO good! Thanks!

    Good for you, Jen – baguettes are a challenge – one you’ve successfully met. Congrats! PJH

    Reply
  98. Adam

    I greatly appreciate your recipe and step-by-step instructions. I grew up eating a lot of European style breads and have always loved that bakery smell and crackling sound of freshly-baked baguettes. Well last night I (a novice) was able to replicate the smell, texture, and flavor in high altitude in my own kitchen thanks to your guidance and excellent instructions. I have also been enjoying reading your “Bread: A Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes Cookbook” all along marrying in my head the art and ‘science’ of bread baking. What a thorough and technical read!
    Finally, I would like to thank you for including us in your world. The baker’s job seems hard and often thankless (at least directly). Please accept my thank you and utmost appreciation… Thank you!

    Reply
  99. robert

    Too much mixing spoils the big holes.
    STOP mixing the dough !

    Autolize only, 1 hour, then fold.

    To the frig 24 hours.

    From the frig, let it rise 25 to 50 %

    Fold again. Nice and tight. pinch the seams. try not to de-gas.

    Then bake. You get nice big holes, with glassy insides.

    The secret ?
    Easy, it is the folding, you layer the baguette, the same way you layer a french croissant. In the bake, the baguette seperates along the layers, and you get lots of oven spring, and HUGE HOLES !

    Reply
  100. Brook

    I had NEVER baked any yeast/raised bread EVER until this past Sunday. We have a foreign exchange student from France and she was very disappointed with the baguette from the store so I decided to jump into the deep end of the bread baking pool and make baguettes. SUCCESS! We greatly enjoyed ALL THREE loaves

    CONGRATS BROOK! That’s great to hear – you managed to satisfy a French student with her national bread, made with your own two hands – and the first yeast loaf you ever baked, to boot – terrific!! PJH

    Reply
  101. Nichae Cramer

    This blog-entry is great and I thank you for posting it.

    However, I have one suggestion/request, if this is possible.

    I’ve noticed that several of the posters have expressed uncertainty as to what the starter should look *before* it starts the 14 hr rise. (This is certainly true in my case. My starter initially looked like a large lump of school-room paste. And, sadly, it looked pretty much the same the next morning.)

    So my question is, would it be possible to add a picture to the blog entry above which shows what the starter should look like at the beginning. (The descriptions above are helpful; but as they say “a picture is worth…..”)

    Thanks

    Great idea, Nichae – I’ll get to it ASAP. PJH

    Reply
  102. Nichael Cramer

    PJH- You don’t have to post this if you don’t want to.
    But I wanted to thank you for the “before” picture for the baguette starter.

    Seeing what it’s supposed to look like before-hand *really* clarifies a lot.

    Thanks,
    Nichael

    Ah, wondering if you’d notice – I now have 3 baguettes I wasn’t planning on, but lo and behold, I’m testing creme brulée French toast Thursday, and it calls for stale French bread – now how serendipitous is that?! PJH

    Reply
  103. Greg

    So I made the bread today – awesome. A nice changeup from the no knead. Question: I have some KAF sour dough starter that I use in other bread recipes. Could that be used instead of the starter? If so, what quantity?

    Greg, sure – use 1 cup (a generous 8 ounces) of your fed sourdough starter. Should be delicious- PJH

    Reply
  104. Everett

    I have tried to make the baguettes twice and have had poor results. My loaves do not rise after I put them in the oven and after 25 minutes of baking they have a light grey appearence. The crust is very crisp but they a very dense. The taste is pretty good but they do not look anywhere close to the pictures of your loaves.

    Things seem to go well up until I form the dough into three loaves. After 90 minutes of rising they do not appear to have risen enough but do not appear like they will rise any more. At this point, however, I have gone ahead and baked the loaves.

    I did check the temperature of the dough after kneeding with the mixer and it was 83 deg. F. Could I have over kneeded it? I also had to use Active Dry Yeast. I have your instant yeast on order.

    Any suggestions?

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Hi Everett – The gray appearance and lack of rising at the end makes me think that the yeast is exhausted; it eventually consumes all the sugar, which means it’s very hard for the bread to attain a nice, deep-gold color, or to rise in the oven. I think your problem is the active dry yeast, which tends to poop out faster than instant. Once you try this with instant, I think you’ll have much better results, so hold off on another attempt till you get that instant yeast, OK? Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  105. Daniel ( Danny ).

    Those baguettes look great !!!. Can I use KAF 3413 Diastatic malt powder, to help yeast job and improve raising ?

    Thanks.

    Absolutely, Danny – use 1/4 teaspoon. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  106. Everett

    I would never have thought that just using the instant yeast could make such a difference. this batch looks great, taste great and the crust is so crisp. Just what I wanted to achieve.

    Thanks for the help.

    Good show, Everett. Glad that SAF worked well for you – it’s all we use here… PJH

    Reply
  107. Danny

    First experience, great success !!!. However I followed the recipe step by step but the interior of the loaf was a little grayish and not completely white as I expected. Suggeestions ?. Thanks.

    Danny, you don’t want the loaf completely white – cream-colored, yes. White, no, as it signals that the dough was over-oxidized (overworked). “Grayish” could also mean a bit under-baked; or a bit under-risen. It’s sometimes hard to get fabulous oven-spring in our home ovens, without steam. Try again, and see if you get the interior you want – with yeast bread, there are so many variables, you just can’t be sure exactly how the bread will turn out form one time to the next. I know this isn’t particularly helpful, but it’s a fact of bread-baking life… go with the flow, you’ll be fine! PJH

    Reply
  108. vandu

    I’ve heard that in France they also make breads and baguette’s the Old World way, with no yeast. Instead they use a starter culture made from rye and water which creates sourdough bread. While using brewer’s yeast makes the fermentation more regular and rapid, and bread rises better, the fermentation becomes mainly an alchoholic fermentation and bread is less digestible. While baking with natural leaven maintains the nutrition of the grain and makes it easier for our body to absorb the nutrients as well. Natural leaven/sourdough breads also keep longer. Doesn’t stale, but ages. When yeast was first introduced in France in 1668, it was rejected. I got this info from Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon.

    Has the author or anyone else tried making the baguette the natural leaven way? I’d like to try it but first just want to make my first sourdough starter culture and make regular loaf with it :)
    In our “King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book” the authors write about making Desem bread. This is a similar process to the Old World way you refer to. While this is not a baguette it does make a nice loaf using this technique. They give a referrence to “The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book” (Ramdom House 2003) and suggest you take a look at this book is you want to explore this technique. When you make your baguette using this technique let us know how it works.
    Joan D@bakershotline

    Reply
  109. Denise M

    I made these tonight for the first time. I didn’t plan my time very well, so my husband and I ate an entire baguette after dinner! But it was delicious. The flavor was exceptional and the crust was unbelievable.

    I have two questions though for improvements…

    1) My dough was very sticky. At what stage do you recommend adjusting the flour? And / or how sticky should it be? I was hesitant to add any flour after the knead because of the long rise in front of me, but I think I should have.

    2) I didn’t get much of a rise once the loaves were formed or in the over, so I had pretty flat bread – nice bubbles, but flat. Was that because of my wet/ sticky dough? Or maybe I spritzed them too much? I used active dry yeast.

    Thanks for an awesome piece of bread!

    Not the spritzing, Denise – I think your dough was simply a bit too wet. Try to see if you can make it look like the blog photos, OK? As you can see, the dough isn’t really that sticky – soft, yes, but easy to work with. And if you’re going to be baking much bread – get some SAF instant yeast, OK? SO much cheaper than active dry, SO muh easier to use, SO much more reliable compared to those supermarket packets… Good luck next time – keep trying, it’s all good. PJH

    Reply
  110. Phil

    PJH you were so nice with my Brioche comments-maybe you’d be willing to help on this one too(or should I be doing the ask our Bakers thing-I’m a newbi here)My folks oven as far as temperature is pretty much spot on(at most 3 degrees over)but lately using my tried and true recipes, and this one-I’m using KAF All Purpose Flour, and Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast(my local grocery doesn’t stock KAF Bread Flour, nor KAF Yeast[Stater Brother’s-PS, CA]). My problem is that while the interiors are coming out OK-the crusts are thick hard and cracker like(though nowhere near that pleasant). I follow the timing recommendations to the letter in the recipes-should I go for a much shorter cook time? Could I be over kneading the dough?(you know I knead by hand-though sometimes I will use a hand mixer in the beginning stages)…

    Do you have an independent thermometer in your oven, Phil, or are you going by the dial? That hard, thick surface is a sure sign of too cold an oven. If you spritz your loaves with water and put them in a hot oven (at least 425°F, some go for 450°F), your bread should rise and brown before the crust thickens too much. I totally know hat you mean; my bread does that sometimes, too. It can also be a sign of not rising enough. And yes, I suggest you call the Baker’s Hotline, as they discuss issues like this with folks every day. I’m sure they can help you. The number is 802-649-3717, so give them a buzz, OK? Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  111. Phil

    Thanks PJH-

    Yes I do have an independent thermometer; my first thought was that the oven was too cold-but the oven thermometer(brand new-in fact bought yesterday)tells me that the oven temp is spot on. I’m going to call the hotline. But I also like the blogs and your sage advice…What about jacking the oven up to say 500, then dropping the temp back down to the recommended bake temp(much the same way the site instructs to do muffins)…Just a thought…

    You could try that, Phil – many recipes call for an initial blast of heat, followed by lower temperatures. Called a “falling oven,” this is how wood-fired ovens work. But do call the hotline – I think they can help you. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  112. Phil

    PJH

    SUCCESS!!!OMG after a shaky start I finally hit the right method!…Thanks to your advice and the Bakers Hotline(which I now have on speed dial-lol)…I made the starter-but due to events beyond my control was not actually able to make the bread til the 18th so I “fed” the starter again with a small hand full of flour(1/8 C if that), and a pinch more yeast(original starter was made the 15th)…but I added to to the dough(I had printed 26 pages of the step by step)and proceeded as instructed-only letting the dough rest a bit(autolese?)during the initial kneading(about 10 minuets)made a lot of difference in the final texture…Anyway with much trepidation I slashed the loaf(saved the other two pieces to try the stuffed baguettes)no deflation-whew; spritzed them with water and put them in the oven-quickly spritzing the oven too…Instantly dropped the temp down to 450-and you could almost see the bread dough spring(I had preheated the baking sheet also)!…Truly a joyful sight…A spritz after 15 minuets, and another about 5 minuets(plus a raise in temp to 500-to improve crust color)before the end of the bake time and I knew I had done it!…Actually PJH we did it-thank you

    The success of this gave me the courage to try the Italian Supermarket Bread(and to get all fancy-adding chopped dried onion, rosemary-and infusing the water with Herbes de Provance)what came out of the oven was the best bread I have ever made-bar none!

    May your daughters all marry princes-and your camels spit nothing but dates!-LOL…

    Phil, if I had a daughter I’d be happy to accept your blessing – but I’m definitely in favor of my camels spitting dates! Thanks for sharing your success here – PJH

    Reply
  113. Terry Quinn

    Here is a Happy New Year greeting from Down Under. I tried to make the classic baguettes, but I had three problems: (1) when I tried to slash the loaves, the knife simply dragged the dough and deflated it, possibly because the dough was still very wet. (2) when I put the loaves in the oven, the bread did not rise again, so I finished with baguettes that were only about 1 inch high, and a little more than 1 inch across the middle. They looked nothing like the solid creatures in the picture. (3) Although the crust seemed quite crisp at the end of baking, within 20 minutes it had become quite soft.
    I would appreciate some feedback.
    I envy you good American citizens who have easy access to King Arthur. I dream of visiting the US just to go to Vermont for a visit!

    Hi Terry – bet you’re a bit warmer than our 0°F! 1) Be assertive with that sharp knife – fast fast fast and fairly strong. Otherwise yes, it drags and sticks in the dough. 2) Was your oven hot enough? Or perhaps you spent enough time trying to slash the loaves that they fell and didn’t have the oomph to rise again. 3) Try leaving your bread in the oven to cool. Just turn off the heat, crack the door open about 2″ and let bread cool. The crust will stay crispier, as the moisture migrating from inside will evaporate, rather than sitting on the crust and making it soft. Good luck – and thanks for connecting from so far away! PJH

    Reply
  114. cheri

    Hi, I just wanted to say these baguettes were EXCELLENT!! The step by step instructions as well as the Q/A from the “peanut gallery”helped a lot.
    I did have to make a minor adjustment in the water amount, as it is january in chicago and dry as a desert! I also did a light spritzing and baked them with a pan of water in the oven. my breads were crispy and yummy. Thank you for being here. This was the first time I ever made baguettes. a definate keeper recipe!
    Could you guys come up with a “stuffed bread” like the stuffed baguettes, but I’m thinking something more tender, less crusty? I’m thinking of my own “pockets” I just dont care for a dense crust, the stuff sqwooshes out!

    Cheri, glad the baguettes worked well for you. You might try pitas, or our soft sandwich wraps. Both should give you the soft sandwiches you’re looking for – with minimal squooshing! PJH

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  115. Jenny

    Thank you so much for this step by step guide. I just started baking again, after a failed attempt a few years back. The pics helped by showing how me how the dough should look like. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise my oven was a little off and therefore couldn’t ensure that I got the right temperature, took much longer to rise as it’s winter here. But all’s well, the dough turned out well, except that the finishing touch wasn’t as beautiful as your pics shown here, but I certainly enjoyed the whole process, baking up till 1 am last morning…..I will definitely try again to get the right outcome….thanks….

    Reply
  116. Lynne

    Can the stuffed baquettes be made in advance, refrigerated and then popped into the oven when football fans arrive? Thanks!
    Yes, but try to keep it within 8 hours or so. Too long in the fridge, and the baguettes will not rise as well. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  117. Barbara

    Thanks for these great pics but I disagree with your contention that “Homemade baguettes won’t have QUITE the large-holed interior of artisan bakery baguettes.” I’ve had great success in achieving a good “crumb” that is both large holed, creamy-colored and gelatinized. Perhaps it’s because I fold the bread in intervals during the first rise rather than “deflate” it.

    Barbara, you’re right – folding to redistribute the yeast and release some CO2 does work well. I’d forgotten about that… thanks for the reminder! PJH

    Reply
  118. Nichael Cramer

    Once again, I want to thank you for this article. I’ve always been a not-too-good baker, but now, after a bit of practice –and to be fair, my share of flops– I’m actually able to turn out some pretty darn good baguettes.

    So, if you don’t mind a couple other “beginner’s” questions.

    1] Is there a way to reduce (or minimize) the “starter” step? (For example, if I find out at 9 in the morning that we’re having dinner guests, it’d be nice to impress them with some of my snazzy new baguettes; but this is not really practical if I needed to have started 14-hrs earlier. ;-) )

    Alternately, is there a useful way to “pre-make” some starter and (for example) keep it in the fridge for a few days?

    (I understand if the answer is “no, there’s no realistic way of doing this”, or “you’d hate the results”. But I thought I’d ask.)

    2] Also, do you have any thoughts on “ready-to-bake” dough?

    Here my ideal would be something like making the dough for a number of loaves on the weekend, letting them rise until they’re ready to go into the oven. Then wrapping the unbaked loaves, putting them in the freezer, and, say, pulling out one or two each evening and having freshly baked baguettes for supper each night.

    Does this make sense? If so, where would be the right “place to stop” in the recipe?

    (Again, “no” is a perfectly reasonable answer. Likewise, I realize that in each of these cases, that the baguettes my not be _quite_ as good doing it the normal way. But sometimes convenience is handy; so I thought I’d ask the experts.)

    And once more, thanks so much.
    Hi Nichael,
    Have you checked out no knead breads? They are simple, easy to put together and taste fantastic! Best of all, you put together one batch of dough and can make up to 4 breads over the course of several days. Check out our blog here, and see what you think. ~MaryJane

    Reply
  119. Tara H

    This is a great recipe and the instructions were wonderful! I did have to try the starter a few times, but then saw something you said about dry climates or seasons, so I actually used closer to 2/3 of a cup of water (not quite), and my bread was PERFECT! Thank you so much!

    I made these while studying with my friends- everyone came into the kitchen and ooh’d and aaah’d when they came out of the oven!

    What do you think about using part whole wheat flour in this recipe? I know the white is for the most authentic french baguette, but trying to get some fiber and whole grain in would be more fun with a bread like this… Should I try it or use a recipe designed for whole wheat?

    Try 1/3 whole wheat (white whole wheat, if possible), to start, Tara. That way you get an idea of what the ww will do to the baguette, and how it changes the process. If you like that, increase to 1/2, then go up from there if it’s satisfactory. The texture will change for sure – but it may be a tradeoff you’re willing to make. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  120. Ron Berg

    Instead of deflating and turning the dough over, would it be helpful to do a stretch and fold at the end of each hour?

    They do pretty much the same thing, Ron, so if you’d rather, by all means do so. Both actions help the gluten to get organized, and give the yeast a chance at some fresh food by being redistributed. Susan

    Reply
  121. tika

    Hi, i made this yesterday. Tough it took a long time to make, the result was very satisfying. It was perfect baguette i’ve made. Thanks KAF team.
    I little bit confused with the water amount in dough, so I put between 1 -1 1/4 cup (I’m not sure precisely) but i was not too soft and elastic as yours. But it’s OK. Next time I’ll try to add more water.
    Once again thank you.

    Tika, baguettes are an endless journey with an ever-changing destination. There’s no “one right way.” Keep experimenting, understanding that the weather and seasons will change your results nearly as much as the ingredients. And don’t forget to have fun! :) PJH

    Reply
  122. benita

    My bread sang!!!! I made this recipe this last weekend and had great success! I have been baking for years and this last weekend I opted to make the stuffed baguettes. When I pulled them out of the oven thes sang to me. This is the first time this has happened.

    I live in Alabama. The enviroment here is inhospitable to bread baking. The air is always humid, very humid, and the place I live is only 200 feet above sea level. All of which combines to make bread making a real art and science. I think that the atmospheric conditions were just right last night for bread baking. It was cooler than usual and very dry air. When I pulled those little loaves out of the oven it wasn’t long and they were singing. It was a great accomplishment.

    Thanks for the great recipe. and all the wonderful help and advice.

    Reply
  123. Thomas

    Wow, I almost had to put my ear plugs in! Very noticeable cracking sounds! They are still cooling off at this point so I have to restrain from just ripping into one before it developed it’s flavor.

    Good show, Thomas – I’m sure their singing is music to your ears! :) PJH

    Reply
  124. BellesAZ

    #*(%&@) those cheesey bubbly beauties look divine! I’ve made the baguettes before.. my advice, don’t get discouraged on them if they aren’t perfect.. just keep practicing and you will achieve the perfection of the crust and crumb. It took me several times to get exactly what I wanted.. beautiful. I’m hungry now.

    Reply
  125. Sifu Natalie Kravetz

    Hi PJ,
    I don’t much care for lames either! Instead I use a bamboo skewer, onto which I ‘thread’ a double-sided razor blade. I put the blade on the non-pointed edge (otherwise the point tend to drag in the dough) by squashing it slightly lengthwise and inserting the bamboo skewer into the holes. This makes a nice thin, curved blade that is perfect for slashing!
    Sifu Natalie Kravetz
    Chi Ho Tzu Buddhist Temple
    Prescott Arizona

    What a great idea, Sifu – this mimics more closely the lames our professional bakers use, methinks. Thanks for sharing- PJH

    Reply
  126. Patti

    Once again, KAF, you ROCK! I tried this recipe for the first time, today, with amazing results!

    I had ordered the triple baguette pan and, when it arrived last week, I knew I wanted to try it out. I followed this recipe “to a T” with outstanding results. I made no modifications. I used my bread machine for the initial kneading phase; setting the timer, I removed it from the bread machine bucket after ten minutes.

    When it came time to form the loaves, I pulled out my brand new KAF pastry rolling mat. I LOVE that product! It is the perfect surface for shaping the loaves and the measurements printed on the mat are so handy! (I can’t wait to use it for a pie crust!)

    On to baking; I spritzed the loaves generously with warm water prior to putting in the oven, I also spritzed the oven. Fifteen minutes into baking, I opened the oven door and generously spritzed the loaves and inside of the oven again.

    The loaves came out perfect! I could barely wait until they were cool enough to slice! Crusty outside, warm, soft, inside.

    I’m thrilled with this recipe and the results I achieved today! PJ, thank you, so much for the time and effort you put into this blog; every single recipe I have tried as a result of your step by step instructions have turned out perfectly!

    I can’t wait to try this again…any thoughts or tips on how I might modify this recipe into “5 Seed Baguettes”?

    For a seeded style, try beginning with a seeded topping. Adding seeds to the dough directly is more of an experiment, they have the potential to weight down the crumb of a baguette. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  127. MellodyBrew

    Would you always use all AP flour, versus bread flour for this? What’s the benefit of AP versus Bread Flour in this case?

    AP flour gives a more “mellow” dough; easier to shape. And, the protein percentage in our AP flour mimics that of the flour that most French baguette bakers use. However, feel free to substitute bread flour, if that’s what you like to use; you’ll need to increase the water, probably by 2 to 3 tablespoons, to get the same consistency in your dough. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  128. hawaiidreamer

    I found this website yesterday, and made the baguettes for the first time today. I used bread flour, and they taste awesome, although they are not quite as pretty as the picture. My dough was a bit sticky, and hard to work with. I found the directions above great, but made the mistake of following the recipe which is a bit different. I used the floured towel, and found it easy to roll the baguettes right onto my baking sheet. Can’t wait to perfect this. Here on the Hilo side of the big island of Hawaii, you just can’t find a great loaf of bread like this. The first loaf was devoured in 10 minutes. Thanks.

    That is so great you were successful! Yes, baguette dough is not for sissies. You will just have to double the recipe next time. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  129. jeni

    I did these for a family get together. I froze stuffed ones before I baked them then defrosted and baked. Also I totally overstuffed them and they came out soggy and sooooooooooo good, kinda like an au jus but from salami :)

    man they are awesome.

    Reply
  130. hawaiidreamer

    I am making the stuffed baguettes for company on Saturday night, and will not over stuff them. Just using smoked ham, cheese, and honey mustard. I am totally in love with this website, the recipes and things in the store. I am making a huge order of things I just can’t live without. The one issue I have living in Hawaii is that I have been “shopping deprived” for years, as the best we have on our side of the island is WalMart, Sears, Ross, and an inadequate kitchen store. I am thrilled to find all these things that I didn’t know I needed.

    Reply
  131. Rachie

    I made these yesterday and they were, none other than fabulous. I have never made bread before but I really wanted to make these. I followed everything step by step, and finally the result was stupendous! The crumb is beautiful and it tastes like it came from a bakery! I still can’t believe I made them, (and neither can my Mom ;) ). Thanks so much KAF!

    Rachie, that’s AWESOME! Making baguettes when you’ve never baked bread before is an unbelievable accomplishment. Welcome to the wonderful world of bread-baking – hope you turn out lots and lots of yummy loaves – and have fun doing it! PJH

    Reply
  132. Asaf

    I’ll be making these tonight. I ordered the SAF flour and the triple baguette pan because I don’t want to leave anything to chance. Wish me luck…

    Best of luck – call us (802-649-3717) if you need help- open till 9 p.m. EST. PJH

    Reply
  133. Jen

    Ahhhh….baguettes …. most definitely the one thing that I miss …lol My daughter and I have Celiac’s disease so we can’t make them but your instructions are awesome and your pictures make me drool ;) I am sending this to my mom and best friend so that hopefully they can enjoy them .. THANKS!

    Reply
  134. Gabrielle_L

    I made this recipe first and the baguettes were just right. However I wanted to use my sourdough starter that I have been developing so I used the Ultimate Sourdough Baguette recipe. This is the second time I have used it and the results were okay, just not as successful as when I used this Classic Baguette recipe with the pre-made starter that is just flour water and yeast. The Ultimate sourdough recipe just does a two hour rise and no folding (or turning) is that a difference that would cause the baguettes to be heavier this time? I think also I over worked the dough since it didn’t seem to be wet enough, last time it got too wet (I was using half recipe of the USB) I added more water and had to work it into the mixed dough. They still taste great even if they didn’t rise as much as when I made Classic Baguettes. I read above that I could just adapt this recipe using my sourdough starter so I will try that next. Some of the sourdough recipes mention using citric acid, would it be okay to add it to this recipe?

    One good thing about have to try, try again is that I have been cutting up one of the baguettes each batch to save for making stuffing this Thanksgiving. The bread is still delicious and I am sure it will be great for stuffing!
    You are exactly right on a few counts. Drier dough will make for a denser baguette with fewer holes. Wetter dough is key for this. Also, overworking the dough can cause issues as well. Lastly, adapting a recipe to something new like sourdough will definitely take a few tries. Take it one step at a time, keep good notes, and you’ll have your own “secret recipe” in no time. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  135. Gabrielle_L

    Thanks MaryJane for the feedback. I agree about the wetness of the dough, my best batch was where it was not too wet, not too dry, just haven’t achieved it yet using my starter, but practicing is fun too (and I have the most delicious croutons with the extras)

    I am going to try again tomorrow and will post my results.

    Reply
  136. lalaland509

    Thank you KAF!!!!! I am swooning over the baguettes I made over the weekend. Soooooo yummy, with a great crunchy/chewy crust and variation of holes in the loaves!! I was doing a practice run as I’m in charge of bread for Thanksgiving dinner. Now, thanks to KA, I can be sure I’ll arrive with confidence! Love love love you guys, keep up the great work!

    Reply
  137. Gabrielle_L

    Hi, I am back with another sourdough attempt and would like to share my no-so-secret recipe. I used a very generous cup of bubbly, fed starter, a cup of lukewarm water, teaspoon of instant yeast, one teaspoon of organic sugar (like Demerara but more finely ground), one quarter teaspoon of citric acid (crushed chewable vitamin C), one and three quarters teaspoon salt and about three and a quarter cups of flour. I was a bit shy about putting in too much flour so kept it on the more wet side, could have put a tiny bit more in, but it was okay. My starter is a little bit thinner than the starter made over night with the flour, water and yeast, but I also only use KAF bread flour so that balances.

    I used the sugar because I noticed most sourdough recipes have it, even if there is added yeast and also because Chef Novelli (of Chef’s Academy TV show) said, when he was showing how to make French Bread that, “if you use salt in bread, you also use sugar” but just a small amount. I used the citric acid because other sourdough recipes had it, but I think I will skip it next time. I don’t think it needs it and I taste a slight, well barely noticeable, aftertaste, but I did just almost eat half a loaf. But I do think I wouldn’t use it again for this recipe.

    When mixed all of the ingredients I followed a suggestion I saw in someone’s comment here, of putting in a cup of flour first with the wet and yeast, stir, and then with the next cups of flour incorporate the salt. I barely mixed the ingredients so not to over mix and then finished with the dough hook. The dough was sticky, but not too much (Chef Novelli also made a big deal about the dough being sticky) the balance is between just the right tackiness and where it clings to your hands and is annoying… that is definitely too wet of a dough.

    So with the rises, I did just one, but let it go a bit longer, so I folded just once since I saw a post here where someone said not to over do the folding and the Ultimate Sourdough baguette recipe I had been using had no folding at all, so I was conservative on that part.

    I shaped the baguettes, no problems after a 20 minute bench rest, put in my lovely (thank you KAF) baguette pan and I cover with a plastic lid that I got off of my trays for starting seedlings (well actually bought a second so it is clean and my seedlings still have their cover) It is around a three dollar investment, covers the pan perfectly and I don’t waste so much plastic wrap.

    While I was waiting for the baguettes to rise, I found Susan Reid’s video on the Classic Baguette recipe page. I hadn’t seen it before, so I watched it. She does only one folding as well and lets her dough rise longer (so I was sort of close there) She showed how to slash, one of my problem spots, it was good to see her technique and I also thought her idea of using a cast iron pan for the steam was brilliant, (better than what I was doing, which was to open the door and spritz every five minutes) so I ran to the garage to find my old one in storage.

    Okay, on to the bake (hopefully there isn’t a word count limit here!) I slashed the baguettes much better this time (I used a sharp chef’s knife) I had put the cast iron pan with water in the 450 degree oven, spritzed the baguettes and got them in. They came out better this time, but always there is room for improvement.

    The verdict…(clue Iron Chef music) I think I pretty much have the right balance of ingredients, (without the citric acid and a tad more flour) I like adding a small amount of sugar, it helps with the long rises, there is a beautiful golden crunchy crust on these baguettes. I am really happy using a developed sourdough for the starter. Mine is coming along nicely for one that was created using dried starter (part San Francisco starter, part Oregon Trail starter, long story, but since I live just south of the San Francisco Bay area, I think that strain will win)

    The crust on the baguettes is excellent, the inside is fluffy, light and chewy, nice combo of small and larger holes, but not as chewy as a bread made entirely with the no knead method, and that is okay, I like a fluffy bread better for the most part. The sourdough tang is subtle, not the in your face San Francisco type, but pleasant and flavorful.

    Where to improve… I like the longer rises shown in the video and will do that next time to make up for only folding once. Next time I will start with a hotter oven. Mine tends to run hot (old electric beast that it is), usually if set at 450 degrees it is up almost to 500. But I think the stream kept it at a lower more consistent temp, that and the fact I wasn’t opening it which makes the thermostat on this old oven over react. So I will start it higher so it is hotter at the start and then turn it down a little. The one improvement I would most like to see is a bit more oven spring and higher loaves.

    Sorry to run on so long, but this has been a journey, with my trying so many no-knead, semi-knead, beer enhanced, you name it recipes out there, this is the ultimate recipe in my book (especially since I bought the stand mixer several months ago) The perfect balance of kneading, rising, and ingredients. This is the one I am a sticking with and will always endeavor to perfect my results. With much appreciation… Gabrielle
    Thank you for providing this in-depth journey on the exploration of sourdough, Gabrielle. Maybe we should call you Dr. Gabrielle? It does take a lot of experimenting to create the most perfect loaf. We can all learn so much from one another. Thank you for taking the time to share with everyone here. Congratulations and I admire your perseverance. Elisabeth

    Reply
  138. Gabrielle_L

    Thank you for posting my forever long post, eating a sourdough baguette the second day is just as delicious, just wanted to share in hopes it can help. Baking with sourdough starter always intimidated me, my first attempts years ago were complete failures. But the info and recipes here are so well written and the photos and videos are just what I needed to be brave and try again and I am so glad I did, the taste is well worth the effort to raise and nurture the sourdough beasties and practice and adjust for the difference in working with the starter.

    But please not “Dr.”… I am just someone who has a passion for baking and is ever so happy to find this blog, I learn so much from everyone here. PJ’s three cheese semolina bread is next on the list and of course I will put sourdough starter in that too! (hmmm, was Dr. in reference to Dr. Frankenstein? In that case you just might be correct! ;-)

    Reply
  139. nichael

    Can I suggest (yet one more) alternative to a lame?

    I’ve never been able to get a knife to work for slashing my baguettes –I clearly needed something much sharper. And, clumsy as I am, I didn’t want to mess with a simple razor blade.

    So, to make a long story short, I’ve start using a utility knife with a retractable blade. Or, more precisely, a “snap knife” from my local Ace hardware store.

    It’s perfect. Razor sharp, and when the blade gets dull you just snap the tip off the blade, and get a brand new edge. For $1.79 the price was hard to beat. And –as an added benefit– since it’s made out of bright orange plastic, it’s trivial to keep clean, and easy to find in the mess on my counter.

    Yup, we use these in our warehouse – good idea! I’ve been known to use an X-Acto knife, too – anyone familiar with graphic arts “back in the day” will recognize those… PJH

    Reply
  140. Nicki

    OK, I officially give up. Every recipe I’ve made from this website has turned out badly, and I’m a pretty experienced cook. These baguettes are ugly lumps of clay. Goodbye King Arthur.
    Oh Nicki, we are so sorry to hear that you are having trouble, honestly. Please, please call or email our bakers hotline, 802-649-3717, and they will be very happy to help you troubleshoot. We are here to help! ~ MaryJane

    Nicki, are you using King Arthur Flour? It’s the key to baking success, and all the recipes are formulated using King Arthur… If by chance you’re using some other flour, that could be the difference. PJH

    Reply
  141. Eric E

    Hi,
    Just found this website by accident. WOW! Jackpot!
    This recipe is just what I’ve been looking for. Excellent instructions.
    One question though, I’ve been making N.Y. style pizza for a while now and I intially went through the whole hydration question what’s too wet, what’s not. The point is, that, at least when making pizza dough less H2O = less air pockets in the crust but easier handling. More H20 gives you more air, but the stickness makes it hard to work with. So with that in mind, and assuming I’m going to add the last bit of flour slowly to adjust the hydration. How should the kneaded dough feel to your fingertips when it’s ready? “Feel”, and measuring in grams is how I do it for the pizza dough. I don’t measure with cups etc.

    Thank you,
    Eric

    It feels silky, Eric. It would be pretty sticky if you plunged your fingertips into it, but if you kind of handle it gently – I think of “babying it along” – with small amounts of flour to prevent too much stickiness, it’s fine. The interesting thing is, you can make baguettes with large air holes with a much stiffer dough; it’s not always “more hydration, more holes.” But I have to say “more hydration, more holes” is more reliable for me; I haven’t quite figured out what set of circumstances, exactly, yields holes with a stiffer dough. Keep notes as you experiment; the more you practice with baguettes, the better you’ll get. And the practicing is such fun! Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  142. TonyH

    Hi,

    Thank you so much for the great recipe.

    Just wondering if there is a specific temperature range for the water used in the starter. My ADY says that it needs to be between 100 and 110 to start to work… but the recipe calls for cool water.

    Just wondering which way to go with it.

    Many Thanks in advanced

    t

    Water temperature is a fantastic way to help control a yeasted bread doughs development. If you are making a long slow-rising, cool fermented dough, you will want the overall dough temperature to be cooler coming out of the mixer. These baguettes under-go a longer slower rise. However, if you are creating a dough that is meant to be baked a few hours after mixing, you would desire the final dough temperature to be warmer. So, the water temperature can vary depending on the processing method and your preferences. Lukewarm typically means 90-110º F. Your best bet would be to stick with the temperatures asked for in each specific recipe. – kelsey

    Reply
  143. TonyH

    Hey Kelsey

    Thank so much for the quick reply. Much appreciated.

    The receipe on the blog as well as on the receipe card calls for cool water without actually specifiing a temperature… What would cool water be in baking terms?

    Many Thanks

    t

    A little less than room temperature. 65°F maybe? PJH

    Reply
  144. markm

    “For sure, the baguette isn’t the very first loaf you’d tackle as a beginning bread baker…” in the words on Barney Sinson – Challenge Accepted! Had a fun weekend diving into the deep end for my first bread baking experience and gave this a try. A snag or two along the way, but stuck with it and was able to get my very sorry looking ‘baguettes’ into the oven. They came out okay, and edible even, but far from great. My biggest obstacle was the stickiness of the dough. When it came time to shape them, the dough was still quite sticky and did not want to relax enough to elongate even after a long bench rest. I’m thinking I might have used too much water (or too little flour) at the outset. Could i have salvaged them by adding more flour at the point of shaping, or is too late then?
    HI Mark,
    Too much flour is the enemy of a good crusty holey baguette. If the dough is still a bit sticky, use some water or oil on your hands to work with the dough. Baguettes definitely take some practice, I’m sure each batch will just get better and better. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  145. spellinspector

    This is such a good recipe, and so easy it makes you wonder why everybody doesn’t just make their own.

    I particularly appreciate the spraying with water method; it’s just as good as making steam in the oven for helping the bread to rise, and it produces a thinner crust, which I like better for sandwiches.

    We don’t have King Arthur flour in this part of Canada, and I’ve found that the unbleached AP flour I use needs to be treated like bread flour, i.e., it needs the extra water. Without it, the texture wasn’t as good.

    Today’s batch was as good as any I’ve bought at a French bakery. That’s why I’m recommending your recipe on my blog: http://www.the-cooks-corner-blog.com/2010/03/why-making-your-own-french-baguette-is.html

    Reply
  146. Jennifer from Rutland, Vt

    I made these today with KA flour, half whole wheat, half bread flour.. I would have used AP instead but the bread flour was open! They came out very nicely! Not quite as photogenic as yours, but so delicious! I think I will change the proportion of whole wheat next time, using less, to try to get that holey texture. But overall I’m really happy with how they came out! Thanks for this great information! :)

    You go, Jennifer! Welcome to the eternal quest for The Perfect Baguette! :) PJH

    Reply
  147. inanelass

    I’m so excited to try this! I love fresh baguettes with creamed honey and salted butter…but I had a question about freezing – for the parbaking, am I still spritzing it with water? Thank you in advance and thank you for the wonderful step by step process!!

    ~Krys

    Yes, still spritz even if parbaking. The moisture on the outside of the loaf helps it to expand to its fullest. Susan

    Reply
  148. Clara

    I am about 8 hours through the first step of making the starter and unlike your starter which looks nice, soft and gooey on top, mine is dry on parts (although looking through the glass bowl on the bottom it looks lovely)…Is this normal? I live in California where it is pretty dry so not sure if I should add more water or just leave the starter grow for another couple of hours?
    Clara, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a shower cap to keep dry air out. If you have a spritzer, give the starter a light misting first. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  149. Mim

    I made this yesterday and it turned out beautifully, but I did a few things differently: 1. After combining the starter, water, flour, yeast, and salt, I mixed them to combine then did not immediately knead it. I let the mixture sit for 20 minutes so the flour particles had a chance to absorb the liquid and expand. This helped to develop the gluten faster. I’ve found this method will cut down on kneading time if you let it rest after mixing it.

    2. If you don’t have a warm, moist place to proof your dough, a pan of boiling water in your oven works fantastic. Be sure to change out the water with fresh hot water now and then to help maintain the warm environment in your oven.

    3. I didn’t form the dough into baguettes after its rise; I just made little boules out of it and they came out wonderful. These freeze well; just put in a freezer baggy, thaw when you need them, and re-crisp in the oven for a few minutes when you want fresh bread.
    Thank you for posting your ideas and suggestions with us. ~Amy

    Reply
  150. Thomas

    I would love to try this, but where is the recipe? When I click on the “classic baguette” link near the beginning of the article it takes me to a “page not found”. Could you please post the amounts of yeast, flour, water, salt and sugar required to make this deliciously looking bread. Thanks!

    Sorry, Thomas, we were combining some recipes and missed one of the links. Here it is: Classic Baguettes and Stuffed Baguettes. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  151. Pristine

    Hello:)

    I’m from Singapore and I love it here except that I can’t find ANY stores that sell your products. Before I post my question, I want to thank you for the great recipes, accompanied with clear instructions and excellent photos. It really does help budding 18-year-old bakers like me:)

    Now, I’m in a dilemma about trying this recipe out. I want to make these lovely baguettes but my family simply cannot finish this much bread in a day! Hence, I was wondering if I could freeze the dough just before the “slash and spritz” step so I can have fresh baguette everyday?

    Thank you very much for being such a support to my love for baking and cooking!

    Love,
    Pristine:)

    Hi Pristine – kudos to you for learning to bake! We need your generation to continue these (delicious) cultural traditions… For a small amount of crusty bread, fresh every day, I think our no-knead bread would be perfect. The dough lives in the fridge, and you break off and bake just the amount you want. Give it a try – I think you’ll be hooked! PJH

    Reply
  152. juthurst

    I like to mix flours- 20% whole wheat to 80% Bread flour as a minimum up to 50/50 depending on how much desire for whole grains I’m feeling in the moment. This gives a nice deeper flavor to the loaf, and the poolish is another key element to the flavor… hope folks won’t skip that as it adds so much! It’s worth the extra time and planning ahead :)

    Reply
  153. epicharis

    These look wonderful! I’ve baked baguettes before but had mixed luck. Now I’m inspired to try again!

    I had a general bread baking question. When I make loaves of bread, they frequently end up somewhat flat and squashy on top, and the bread seems dense. I can never get that nice dome-shaped lightness. Should I be trying a mixer rather than by hand? Is my technique off? Any tips are appreciated…
    It is possible that the dough is not being kneaded and rested properly. With a recipe such as this one, the gluten development is not only reliant upon the kneading, but even more so on it’s long fermentation period. It is important that the kneading not be carried too far, so that the gluten can continue it’s slow development during the rise. Even the 15 minute rest before shaping is crucial for the dough to cooperate. If you do continue to knead by hand, be sure to knead long enough to make the dough cohesive (7-10 minutes or so), but not smooth as it will become smooth as it rises and the water continues to aid in the gluten development. ~Amy

    Reply
  154. "Joey D in LA"

    Well, I have to ask… why the recycled blog post? Vacation time? LOL. Maybe I’ve just been reading the blog for too long. ;) Love this recipe, but personally prefer to use a little more aged, sourdough starter to the simple overnight one. Gives a little bit of a tang to these lovely baguettes. Cheers!

    Joey, we like to re-purpose older content when we can – it’s “green”! And yeah, vacations in the summer do play into it, too… :) PJH

    Reply
  155. Jackie

    Any tips for people baking in the tropics? Temperatures here hardly drop below 23 C at night and average about 28-30 C in the day.

    In other KA recipes I tend to decrease the yeast by up to 1/2 tsp and decrease the 2nd proof drastically.

    I’ve never tried baguettes so I wouldn’t mind some tips before I take the leap.
    Baking in extreme humidity is challenging. What I can recommend is that you hold back on the amount of water a bit with baguettes and again, watch the proofing time carefully; however, I don’t think decreasing the yeast is necessary. I hope you can defeat your climate with some great tasting breads! ~Amy

    Reply
  156. Wazza

    Hi everybody I’m posting this from Brisbane Australia. I’m a lousy cook but bread is one thing I have some successes with. Haven’t tried this recipe yet but intend to.
    Anyway I’ve penned a few tongue in cheek verses for the King Arthur crew. Couldn’t find an applicable posting place so I’m adding it here.
    Cheers …Wazza

    I Wish

    I wish I could bake like King Arthur.
    Just how good would that make me feel.
    I wish I could take all the tips they provide
    And Hey Presto – be baking for real.
    I’ve read all their recipes: seen how it’s done,
    From the photos they post on their site.
    But guys … it’s what I end up with,
    It never looks good or tastes right.
    After reading all comments I don’t feel so great,
    Knowing everyone else has success.
    When what I end up with nine times out of ten
    Is really one heck of a mess.
    My sponges, my cupcakes, my slices, my rolls …
    “Oh my God, get a rubbish bag quick.”
    Says my son as he exits the kitchen.
    “I can’t look it’s making me sick.”
    It’s the same with the pizzas, the pies and the quiche.
    Even though no comment was sought,
    My daughter said “Dad, on a one to ten scale
    Your culinary skills come to naught.”
    I’ve got every ingredient money can buy.
    Every herb, every sauce, every spice.
    Though I boil and I bake. I grill and I fry,
    No one ever says “Wazza – that’s nice.”
    My wife told me “Darling, you know how I feel
    I’ll support you through thick and through thin.
    But your cooking’s a proper disaster.
    Been there once. Won’t go there again.”
    Yes I wish I could cook like the King Arthur Gang,
    And all who subscribe to their site
    But you know what?
    I’ll keep right on trying.
    ‘Cause I’m certain
    One day
    It’ll all turn out right.

    © Wazza 2011

    Wazza, I’m going to post this to our company newsletter, so that all 200+ of us employee-owners can enjoy your “doggerel”! I’m sorry for your “disastrous” times in the kitchen…hopefully you’re truly writing tongue in cheek. But if not, perhaps practice WILL make perfect at some point, and your wife and kids will be showering you with praise – not barbs!

    We love anyone out there who bakes
    Breads and pies, scones and cakes
    So we’d never steal the poetic thunder
    From a KA fan baking Down Under!
    Here’s to pavlovas, anzacs, and tarts
    You’ve plenty to teach us American upstarts
    Don’t put yourself down; you’re good enough
    To feed your family the tastiest stuff
    So long as you stick with the King Arthur Web site
    You’ll have wife and kids sampling more than a bite!

    :) PJH

    Reply
  157. micheleweston11

    This recipe worked out well for me. I could not get 15″ out of each rope, but will try stretching it a little next time. Since I live in an altitude of 4500′, I used 3/4 tsp. active yeast; will increase to the full amount next time. Can’t wait to try the sammies! Thanks for the recipe! -m. PS – EVOO with fresh minced garlic and Parmesan cheese as a dip was amazing…….yum! -m.

    Reply
  158. Ashirra

    I’ve made these 3 or 4 times and they are wonderful! I know they are not meant to last long, but how do you recommend storing the loaves, at least for the next day? Plastic bag, paper bag, other? Or do baguettes need to be turned into croutons or french toast on day 2?
    Yes, unfortunately baguettes are a one-day bread. It is best to store them in plastic after the first day, but you will loose that crispy wonderful crust. If you store them in paper, they will harden and be harmful to chew. They do become great candidates for French toast and croutons at this point. ~Amy

    Reply
  159. Ben

    My question is about your bread flour vs. your all purpose flour to be used in baguettes please. I use King Arthur bread flour for my baguettes. The King Arthur recipe calls for bread flour. But, this recipe calls for all purpose.

    I would be delighted to buy the King Arthur all purpose flour and use it instead of bread flour (as indicated in this recipe), if I knew it would work best, but as a result of the fact that this wonderful recipe calls for all purpose, and the recipe in the King Arthur website uses bread flour, I just don’t know which would ultimately be the best.

    Thank you for your advice.

    Ben – Kansas City
    For this particular recipe, we have found that using AP flour yields the best result. ~Amy

    Reply
  160. leyajasmin

    I have never been able to find the perfect crusty french bread that I came to love while living in Belgium as a teenager. So, I thought I would try to make it myself. I’m just learning to bake bread. I’m starting this recipe tonite. Would I be able to decrease the first rise time to 11 or 12h? What will this do to the final product if I do? Thank you! Looking forward to the process and the delicious rewards!!

    Shortening fermentation will effect the flavor of the loaf and the consistency of the crust. 1 hour is not going to make a big difference. The recipe will still perform. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  161. "Jane M"

    Is there anything as gorgeous looking as these baguettes?
    Thanks for the great advice on bread making. The best tip of all that has made the difference in my baguettes is that when you think the baguettes are done, you should leave them in the oven to cool with the door ajar. Keep up the good work!

    Jane

    Reply
  162. Valerie

    This was so easy, I almost can’t believe I made it! Thanks so much for the pictures step by step. This was the first time making bread and it came out great. Not as hard as I thought it would be.

    YAY, Valerie! So glad to hear about your success. Baguettes aren’t the easiest bread to start with – you’re ahead of the game already! Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  163. spellinspector

    I’ve been using both of your baguette recipes for ages — this one and the “almost no-knead” one, and they make a fabulous baguette, but now I’m trying to get the crust to remain somewhat thinner, so that when I make a sandwich my gums and palate don’t get raw!

    I tried spritzing, I tried steaming, I tried no spritzing and no steaming, and the result is always a very thick crust.

    I bake at 450 degrees and my oven is accurate. I use unbleached AP flour (yours is not available here, unfortunately). I follow the instructions to the letter.

    I realize that a crunchy crust is what we should be looking for, and I don’t mind that, it’s the thickness that is the problem.

    Any suggestions?

    Usually a thick, chewy crust is the result of low baking temperature/baking too long. But, I have this same issue – and I bake in a hot oven, too. Maybe you could try skinnier baguettes, baked at 500°F? Also, make sure your dough remains nice and moist as it rises; be sure it’s well-covered. Worth a try… PJH

    Reply
  164. spellinspector

    PJH: I’ve done all of this in the past: skinny baguettes, higher temperature, and I always keep the dough covered when it’s rising.

    Oh, by the way the crust isn’t “chewy”, it’s dry and flaky, just very hard.

    The irony of it is if I freeze the bread, then reheat it by starting with a cold oven, the crust gets a lot thinner, yet nice and crisp. Go figure.

    Then, the only thing I can suggest is the way professional bakeries get that ultra-light, flaky crisp crust is steam injection – which we, as home bakers, can’t really mimic. How about asking this question on our community? Bet you’d get some good feedback. PJH

    Reply
  165. swede5843

    Made my first batch of baguettes yesterday. I though they turned out well. I do have a couple of questions. I used a baguette pan, and placed the pan right on the oven rack. Would it be better to use my stone, and put the pan on the stone? They weren’t quite as crispy as I though they would be, left them on the oven rack till they cooled. Any thoughts on how to make them more crispy.

    When using a baguette pan, bake on a rack. When using a stone, bake directly on the stone, no pan. For a crispier baguette, the solution is steam, to encourage more oven spring. Try misting the tops of the baguettes just before they go into the oven. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  166. Chitra

    Hi!

    Thanks for a lovely recipe. Can i make this baguette without a bread making machine?

    Absolutely, Chitra – the blog gives directions for making these baguettes by hand, or using a mixer. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  167. KAFdevotee

    Ok, two tries in one week and it’s coming along! The final results have been very good, but my starter doesn’t bubble up like your picture: since I know my yeast is working, what might be going wrong? Thanks for the great post – it really helped me.

    It could simply be that your starter is a bit thicker than the one pictured; the thicker the starter, the less evident the bubbles will be. So long as it’s working – don’t worry about it, OK? Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  168. julia2011

    I’m looking for a (at least partially) whole-wheat baguette recipe.
    What ratio of whole-wheat to all-purpose flour would you recommend?

    To retain the classic characteristics of a baguette: thin crust, open honeycomb-esque crumb, I think the most to change is about 5% of the flour. Beyond that the crumb will become significantly closed and firmer, due to the bran. Give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  169. Joel

    Hi! I watched Julia Child make French baguettes on youtube today and thought I’d try my hand. Incidentally, the clip I watched had Julia learning from Professor Calvel.

    Anyway, I made these for the first time today using KA AP flour. Do you have any advice for slowing or overcoming the chewy texture that seems to overrun the baguette in a few short hours after baking?

    I ate a sandwich using a baguette moments after it came out of the oven and the crisp exterior and soft interior made for a great experience. I was so giddy over having made a baguette that I had another small sandwich about 4 hours later and it was quite the task to eat due to how chewy the bread had become.

    Thanks in advance!

    Joel, baguettes have a notoriously short shelf life. As soon as you take them out of the oven, they start gradually losing their lovely crisp crust; and there’s nothing you can do to stop the process. Your best bet is simply to reheat a piece of baguette just before you make your sandwich; about 10 minutes in a 350°F oven, lightly tented with foil, should do it. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  170. "Jim in Rochester"

    The recipe says, “Knead for about 5 minutes on speed 2 of a stand mixer.” Does “speed 2″ mean the same on all brands of stand mixers? Maybe I’m naive, but I would not expect something like speed markings to be universal, indicating exactly the same speed on every brand and model of stand mixer.

    When I set the speed to 2 on my wonderful DeLonghi stand mixer, it seemed MUCH too fast for kneading bread dough, so I turned the speed down to 1.

    If your instructions assume that we all have the same brand of stand mixer (KitchenAid, probably), you should make that very clear. Unless your disdain for non-KitchenAid owners makes it impossible, you might also give some hint as to what the rest of us who own other brands should do, like say “slow”, “medium slow”, or something like that instead of just giving a number without any clue what that number means.

    If I’m just showing my ignorance, and if all mixer manufacturers have agreed to a universal speed labeling system, please let me know.

    Thanks.

    Excellent question! Actually most stand mixers use a 1-10 speed indicator. In our test kitchen we are using: Kenwood (Delonghi), Viking, Cuisinart, and Breville mixers. And they are all remarkably similar. I’ll pass along your encouragement to the test kitchen team for a narrative description. Frank @ KAF.

    Reply
  171. Rick

    Since baguettes only last a day and the recipe yields 3 loafs which my wife and I can’t consume in the allotted time, can you diode the recipe by 3 to get one loaf? If not, what proportions would you recommend for a single loaf? Thank you.
    Hi Rick,
    Because the recipe is a bit labor intensive, why not make the all three loaves and freeze the extras. Mmmm, warm baguettes whenever you want. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  172. spellinspector

    I’m confused: this entry is supposed to be about making the Classic Baguette, but the recipe for that calls for your bread flour, yet in these instructions, in answer to Ben’s question (December 11, 2011) your Amy writes: “For this particular recipe, we have found that using AP flour yields the best result.”

    I ask because I’m trying it with AP flour today, and I’ve had to add lots of flour to get the dough to make something resembling the ball in your photo.

    What amounts of AP flour and water should I have been using?

    Sorry about that – Amy must have mis-read the recipe, which is indeed written for bread flour. I think the issue you had is as much a reflection of the time of year as anything else; using 12 ounces water total, for 4 1/2 cups (19 ounces) flour, should have yielded a good level of hydration for AP flour. If you used more than 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water total (1/2 cup in the starter, 1 cup in the dough), then at this time of year when it’s humid, and your flour has absorbed some of that humidity, you’d likely end up with a dough that’s too slack. It’s important to adjust the liquid in your yeast bread recipes with the seasons, using more liquid when it’s cold/dry, less when it’s hot/humid. Always start out with less, because it’s easier to add more water than it is to fool around with flour amounts. You might want to access our baker’s hotline, if you’d like to chat about this further – 802-649-3717. Good luck – hope this helps. PJH

    Reply
  173. blyon

    PJH- I have a Zojirushi Home Bakery Bread Machine and was wondering if it would work to use the dough cycle for this recipe or if it needs to knead less time and just rise in a bowl outside of the machine? Another thing – if I am using the instant yeast then I don’t have to make the starter, so when making the recipe using the instant yeast, do I disregard the amounts of flour, yeast, and water that are used in the starter or do I add those amounts of the starter ingredients to the recipe? Brigitte

    Brigitte, you DO need to make the starter, for optimum flavor. So please follow the recipe just as written, OK? Yes, you can use the dough cycle on your Zo; but once the dough cycle is complete, leave it in the bucket of the machine for 2 more hours, deflating it at the start of the 2 hours, and again midway. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  174. Maya (from Poland)

    I’m about to bake baguettes according to your recipe and directions but I’d like to know if there is any “special treatment” of the starter and dough if I use fresh yeast. How much fresh yeast I should use?
    Best regards and many thanks for this site.
    Here is a conversion chart that you might find helpful when changing types yeast. ~Amy

    Reply
  175. StormyPinkness

    Hello – I am a bit confused, probably because I am new to bread baking. I got a stand mixer for Christmas and so I decided it was time to learn. I have made two French loaves so far, they were pretty good. Obviously the second was better than the first!

    My question is that the recipe says bread flour, but then it said somewhere else that the closest flour to what the French use in baguettes is the AP flour. Based on that I wanted to use the AP flour but the recipe is for bread flour and I am not sure if that changes it. Thanks.

    I’d use this French Baguette recipe, which is nearly identical except it uses all-purpose flour. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  176. Judas Yeast

    Great blog post. Loved your very clear directions. I followed the instructions as best I could and baked my loaves in a William Sonoma baguette pan. Problem is: they came out so crispy that the crust is hard as a rock and the crumb is very dense inside. They look golden brown and beautiful, but alas they’re destined to become croutons. Do you have any advice on what I did wrong? I keep my yeast in the freezer because I read that this preserves it. Is it possible that this slowed the growth of the yeast or decreased its effectiveness? The dough rose miraculously, but the dense crumb with few bubbles seems to indicate there wasn’t much CO2 released during baking. Also, do you have any idea why the crust went past crunchy to rock-hard? Is there a rule of thumb about adjusting the baking time or temperature when using a baguette pan? The pan didn’t come with any directions about that. Thanks!

    Judas, best you should call out baker’s hotline to dialogue about this, OK? Bread discussions can be fairly wide-ranging as you try to figure out different ways of achieving different outcomes. My first thought, with a very hard crust, is baking was perhaps too long, at too low a temperature. Do you check your oven temperature with an independent thermometer? Baguette pan, unless it was black and solid, shouldn’t have made much difference. Your dough may have been too firm, too, which would result in a finer/less hole-y texture. But as I said – please call our hotline, 802-649-3717, for some good back-and-forth. PJH

    Reply
  177. Spoon&Fork

    Hey! Thatks for such convenient step-by-step description! I live in Finland and I have not found an unbleached flour and used ecological one and those usual dry yeast. The problem I had while baking was that my baguettes did not keept their shape – went flat… The dough look just fine until I divided it into three part and covered with plastic wrap.. What could ’cause it? Too warm, too moist under the plastic cover, too warm flour?… I do not know those baking details and want to really learn.

    It sounds like your dough was either not shaped tightly enough or over proofed. I would shoot us an email so we can try and troubleshoot this problem with you!-Jon bakers@kingarthurflour.com

    Reply
    1. Jane Unger

      You might have just needed a bit more flour. Your flour might have been a bit different than what we get here in the states. Even though I’m right here in Ohio, I occasionally have to use more flour, especially with loaves that aren’t baked in a pan. Weather conditions (humidity) can also make a big difference.

  178. Daniel

    I graduated at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Miami, and we have a baking book (Wayne Gisslen’s “Professional Baking”) – your recipe is FAR better than their’s is! That is weird, because you would think that Le Cordon Bleu would have the “real” French baguette recipe, but from what I’ve seen yours are more “French” than theirs is! Try their recipe out of Gisslen’s book, if you don’t believe me – their baguette is obscene compared to yours!

    Hi Daniel,
    We’re so glad you enjoy the baguette recipe. We did remove the copy of Gisslen’s recipe, as posting a recipe from a copyrighted book gets into all kinds of hairy legal issues, but if folks do want to compare recipes I’m sure they’ll be able to find it at the library or bookstore.

    Our bakery here in Vermont is an excellent blend of traditional European baking and modern American baking. Where else can you find a true French baguette AND a caramel chocolate cupcake side by side?

    I hope you get a chance to come and visit someday and share a baguette or two with us! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  179. nichael

    Hi

    I have a nitpick-y beginner’s question about mixing the ingredients for the dough for the baguettes.

    In short each time I make baguettes (or any bread that uses a starter) I find myself in the following situation.
    I have three things:
    – The starter.
    – The flour/salt/yeast mixture
    – The water.

    What I usually do is:
    1] First, mix the flour and starter together (sometimes pulling the starter into
    two or three pieces so that it blends easier).
    2] Stir the water in the bowl where the starter was (i.e. to make sure
    I get all the bits of starter that stuck to the bowl).
    3] Then mix the water in a bit at time, while blending the dough.

    (I try to mix the dough as thoroughly as I can –with the help of my handy
    KAF dough-whisk, of course.)

    So my question is this:
    This seems to work OK, but I can’t avoid the feeling that the big wad
    of starter is making the final dough “unbalanced” or “lumpy” no matter
    how carefully I try to mix it.

    Another option might be something like mixing the water with the starter,
    to “thin it out” before mixing it into the dough.
    But somehow this seems like it’s defeating the purpose of the starter somehow.

    Anyway, do you have any suggests or thoughts on the right way to go about this?

    Thanks

    Great questions! You are absolutely not harming the starter by mixing it first with water to thin it out. It is actually what we tell people to do when they receive our sourdough culture via mail: it is perfectly fine to thin it first with water and then mix in the flour/ingredients to create the dough. Also, it will incorporate quite evenly if you need the dough enough to create a homogenous, elastic dough. Hope that helps! Kim@KAF

    Reply
    1. Ray

      Just one comment, I think salt in with the yeast and water kills the yeast. I remember this from my baking courses.

    2. PJ Hamel , post author

      Ray, this is a long-held belief that the folks in our Bakery just tested, and found to be untrue. So salt away – unless you use salt at very high levels, high enough to basically make the bread inedible, the yeast will be just fine. Cheers – PJH

  180. nichael

    Hi again

    A question concerning the stuffed baguettes:

    What is the “rising schedule” (i.e after they stuffing has been added)?

    That is:
    1] Is it basically the same as the “regular” baguettes (i.e. except that during
    the final forming of the baguettes you should roll in the stuffing, but then
    let them do their normal “final” 45-min-or-so rise)?

    or

    2] Is it better to start baking as soon as you’ve “formed” them?

    (I guess my concerning is whether leaving the stuffing in the “formed” baguette for
    that final period might tend to make them too soggy.)

    As always, thanks much

    For this type of question I would give our Baker’s Hotline a call! We will be more than happy to help.-Jon 855-371-2253

    Reply
  181. Daniel

    Hi. I am trying to develop a recipe for Bahn-Mi. I’m using a Kitchen Aid mixer. I mix the dough for 10 min. Then let rise for 30 min. I does triple in size. I the make 8 4oz loaves and let them rise at room temp for another 30 min. This is where my problems begin. The loaves do double in size but when I put them in the oven they do not rise. What is up?
    If you are not getting any oven spring or if the loaves are collapsing in the oven, then it is usually a sign that the dough was over-proofed. Try cutting back on the rising time a bit and see if that helps. Sometimes, a visual double is a little too much rise. ~Amy

    Reply
  182. Duany

    Hi!
    I love this recipe, I have done it twice now, but I am concerned if I am doing something wrong. The bread taste great but for some reason, I cannot get that golden crispy look on it. I spray it with water before it goes in the oven and when it’s time to take it out, it’s nice and crispy but it doesn’t have that golden look but more of a golden pale look. Is there something I may be doing wrong?
    Often, if the bread has little or no color on it, it is a result of the dough being over-proofed which can happen if it’s left to rise too long or if the salt has been omitted or reduced significantly. ~Amy

    Reply
  183. Jared

    I made these baguettes the other night and stored them in plastic wrap after they cooled sliced them and baked them in the oven and drizzled them with honey for breakfast with my girlfriend and they were the best bread I’ve ever made. I do have a question regarding rising periods. I work at a restaurant and my schedule doesn’t really allow me to tend to the bread as suggested. When I first made them I let them rise for an hour before I went to bed punched and turned the dough and went to bed. I woke up repeated the process for the last hour and continued with the suggested process. Does this extra long second rise adversely effect the baguettes? They had great flavor and nice wholy crumb which I’m a big fan of, but I’m wondering if I could have gotten even better results had I followed the rising schedule described in the recipe. Aside from the timing involved with these baguettes they are so simple and easy I’m really glad I found the recipe can’t thank my aunt enough for introducing me to King Arthur Flour.

    A longer rising time at a cooler temperature will give your loaves added flavor. Sounds like you hit a home run, and as they say, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” Betsy@KAF

    Reply
  184. Dwight

    Guess I missed it somewhere, but does one let the stuffed baguettes proof afetr stuffing and shaping?

    Yes, others have noted they let the stuffed baguette rise 30 to 90 minutes, then bake. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    Reply
  185. Michael G. Dodson

    Wonderful bread…now how can I “scale up” the formula to “Fit” my 20 qt mixer ?
    Has someone done this … and would they be so kind to provide it to me.

    Thank you folks…

    20 quart mixer = baker’s formulas that you’ll find on our website! Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    Reply
  186. dave.

    Hello, I have never made baguettes. I have a hectic schedule and would like to know if letting the starter rest for more than 14 hours (say 20 hours) would have a negative effect on the whole process. Also since we are now in the fall and the temperature has dropped, would this also affect the rise of the starter and dough?

    Extra hours will be fine, the starter will develop more flavor. The weather does make a time difference, however the longer it takes a bread dough to rise, the more flavor it will have in the end. Betsy@KAF

    Thanks
    Dave

    Reply
  187. Frank Dupree

    Your recipe is the classic french product, although I don’t use pooish or biga anymore, I get the same results. I use your SAF-INSTANT yeast, because it eliminates that 2nd rise in the bowl and I can work fast with it . In about 3 hours I;m have baguettes! VOLLA!
    We haven’t bought bread in years. I used to use the mixer, but I use the the Cuisinart food processor – it’s faster. After I mix the dough, I place it in a greased bowl and cover with saran wrap and a towel. I proof it in the oven turned on for 25-30 seconds when needed and turn it off and let it rise there.(be careful with this trick) After about 30 minutes it doubles in size and I trun it out on a flouered table and start shaping. I weigh 8 oz out, and shape it and place in baguette pans. I use a layme to make 4-5 slashes in each ( I get 4 ea – 8oz loaves from one batch) . Place the pans (4) on top of the stove to rise for the second time ,and turn the gas oven on to 510 degrees and when it reaches 510 degrees , they’ve risen. . I brush them with egg white and go in the oven for 30 minutes or so until they are done. I like then a little dark brown. I spray water mist during baking for the first 5-10 minutes for crispness I ‘ve tried all the flours on the markek – it does not matter, they come out the same- I useually use bleached flour because it gives a little whiter in color, but I find it does not matter-bleached or unbleached. When they have cooled and I had lunch, I cut then in half an bag them in plastic freezer bags and freeze them,. It lasts for 10 days to 2 weeks. When ready to use them I place then in a 200 degree oven for few minutes and they are fresh as first baked. Guests go crazy over my Baguettes. Good luck to everyone with my recipe.
    Frank Dupree

    Reply
  188. Emily Jelassi

    Thank you for this recipe and such detailed directions/pictures! I’ve made baguettes for years as part of my baking jobs and this comes incredibly close to the real thing – a french baguette from a boulangerie! I used the “ice in the oven” method for steam…worked pretty well. I will definitely be using this recipe again. :)

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Emily, I’m thrilled that these baguettes impress you as being “the real thing” – with your experience with “the REAL real thing,” your feedback is much appreciated and valued! Glad you’ll be making them again. PJH

  189. H. Myers

    I always bake baguetts at 375F for 22 mins. and get perfect golden brown results How can 450F for 30-35 work? I do not use a starter. I proof the dough in my oven heated for 1 minute, and left in the oven for 50- 60 mns, misted with water, no towel cover.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Do whatever works for you – no Baking Police here. Perhaps you like your baguettes lighter in color; ours are very dark. Bread-baking is endlessly flexible, thankfully. Enjoy – PJH

  190. Foodiewife831

    Wow! I finally made my first baguettes with this recipe and they turned out perfectly! Of course, I used KAF bread flour and SAF Instant yeast (wouldn’t use anything else). I made my own couche, just like your photos which worked like charm. I have a flexible cutting board that I used as my transfer board to gently roll the shaped baguettes onto parchment paper onto an inverted baking sheet (I really need a pizza peel) and then onto the baking stone that I bought from you (and I just love that stone). I placed water in a small cast iron skillet, underneath the baking rack and sprayed the loaves with lukewarm water. They turned out perfectly, with a nice crust. It’s National Bread Baking Day and I’m feeling a great sense of accomplishment. Love your recipes and tutorials. It worked!

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      YAY! Kudos to you. It’s somewhat of a long process, but as you say, what a sense of accomplishment, eh? To say nothing of some warm, crusty/crackly loaves… Thanks for your feedback, and congratulations again! PJH

  191. Sharon Rankin

    I must have missed it somewhere, but I cannot find the baking time anywhere. What do you recommend – also how long?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Sharon, you’ll find the complete instructions for these baguettes via the recipe link at the end. The baguettes bake at 450°F for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re a very deep golden brown. Good luck – I think you’ll enjoy both the process, and the final product! PJH

  192. L Scott

    Love this recipe and am eager to make my first loaves. Can I use my sour dough starter I have all the time for pancakes etc. My starter is many years old. How would I incorporate it into this recipe? Also any luck with whole wheat flour for these baguettes? Can’t wait t hear back from you.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Sure, go ahead and substitute about 1 cup (8 ounces) of your sourdough starter for the starter called for in the recipe. As for using whole wheat flour, check out our Whole Wheat Baguettes recipe – I think you’ll be quite pleased with it. Good luck – PJH

  193. Joe

    Hi,
    How do I print out these great instructions?
    I don’t want to keep going to my laptop to read what I have to do.
    Thanks
    Joe

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Joe, unfortunately there’s no good way to print the entire blog post – but I suggest you click on the baguette recipe link at the end of the recipe (or simply click the link here in this post) for a condensed version you can print out. That way you can have the printed copy for reference, while still perhaps glancing at your laptop for reinforcement. Sound good?PJH

  194. Joe

    Hi All,
    I made this recipe for the first time a few days ago and I could not have been as successful without these great photos and instructions. This was the first time I made baguettes and they came out great. My wife loved them. We ate nearly an entire loaf after it came out of the oven. I had never baked bread using a starter before and I think it contributed quite a bit to the flavor. We froze two loaves to save for later and pulled out a loaf and warmed it up in the oven and it tasted as good as the fresh baked loaf. This was an excellent recipe and web page and why I continue to buy KA products. Thanks
    Joe

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Joe, thank YOU. Bakers like you make our jobs totally worthwhile. We love to teach people how to bake, and when we hear about one of those “Ah-ha!” moments, it warms our hearts… Congrats on the baguettes, and may you bake many more delicious loaves! PJH

  195. Paul Wright

    This is a great recipe, which I have used many times to consistent success. But I am trying to get away from using yeast, and instead to rely on my sourdough starter for leavening. Is there a known good way to turn this recipe into a no-yeast-added recipe by using sourdough starter? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Paul, I’d suggest starting with our extra-tangy sourdough bread recipe, which doesn’t use yeast; and shaping it into baguettes rather than a boule. If that doesn’t yield loaves you like, you could try amending this recipe by substituting 1 cup of your fed sourdough starter for the starter in the recipe. Omit the yeast in both starter and dough, and simply extend your rising times to as long as necessary to get the desired volume. The exact time needed will depend a lot on how vigorous your starter is. Good luck – let us know how it goes, OK? PJH

  196. Deborah

    This is by far the most thorough and easiest to follow baguette recipe I have found. I have been baking bread since I was 10, which means almost 40 years at this point, but I usually just wing it with the recipe. Most people are just happy to have any homemade bread at all. But I want to try baguette and it makes sense that the quality of the flour would be very important. Thank you for posting!

    Reply
  197. Stefanie Gaytan

    I am so glad I found this recipe! But I have a problem – I cannot get my crust to stay the crispy a baguette should be. It comes out mostly crispy but becomes soft after an hour or so after cooling. I like in North Carolina and its hot here. I have a gas stove and I am wondering if that is the problem. I cannot get a good steam. I have tried spritzing the sides and bottoms of the oven throughout baking. Ive tried ice at the bottom of the oven and boiling water in a pan at the bottom rack and spritzing the bread. Ive even tried all of it at once. I am very dishearted. Any advice?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lack of steam could be part of the problem, Stefanie! You can also try allowing your baguettes to cool in your oven with the door ajar. This will help to keep the crust dry and crisp as it cools. Also, you may want to try storing this type of bread in a paper bag to help absorb moisture. It is pretty humid this time of yeast and it is bad for crusts. We are also available to chat with online or over the phone. 855 371 2253 Jon@KAF

  198. Robert Roche

    When I mix the ingredients I always seem to end up with a very sticky product. Adding more flour helps when handling the dough but trying to form loafs is very frustrating because the shape just sags, and when I pick it up to place on baking sheet before placing in the oven I have a hard time keeping the shape of the loaf. However, after placing in oven it puffs up and makes a nice product and tastes pretty good.

    How do I get a little stiffer dough to aid in handling? Am I overworking the dough? Perhaps not kneading dough enough…

    Thanks: Robert

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That sticky product will help you produce a hole-y baguette. One good resource for you may be our videos that show commercial application, but may be helpful to you to see dough consistency and shaping tips, starting with this one: Another resource is a call to our Baker’s Hotline at 855-371-2253 – Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  199. Robert Roche

    Hi,

    My dough always comes out very sticky. So sticky that it is difficult to handle. Using more flour helps some, but reluctant to add too much for fear of making a tough dough. When I try to form baguettes, the dough just sags and flattens out and won’t hold shape. When I manage to get the loafs into the oven they puff up nicely and they taste good. It’s just the difficult time I have with the dough being so soft and loose that has me frustrated.

    Any suggestion as to what I am doing wrong?

    Thanks, Robert

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Robert-
      It sounds like you may benefit from holding back some of the water which is not uncommon with many bread recipes. If you add just enough water to get a nice smooth and supple dough, you should be able to have a much easier time handling the dough and thus limit any flour additions. If you’d like to talk about baguettes a bit more, we would love to hear from you on our Baker’s Hotline at 1-855-371-2253 to help you get some beautiful but less troublesome baguettes out of your next batch. Happy Baking! Jocelyn@KAF

  200. nichael

    I absolutely love this recipe. Thanks to your step-by-step instructions even a rank amateur like me can come up with a darn fine baguette (if I say so myself)

    (Also, this recipe is perfect for me since I work at home. I begin the starter the night before, and spend 10-15 kneading and putting the dough together first thing in the morning. Then, over the course of the day, I make a handful of two-minute dashes into the kitchen and by suppertime, voila, tasty baguettes for supper –and to snack on for the next couple of days.)

    But, given all of that, I have one question. As much as I love the recipe –and the result– sometimes the baguettes are a bit, well, “denser” than I might like.

    Do you have any suggestions as to what I might try to make then a tad bit lighter (E.g. change any of the ingredient-amounts? More kneading? Etc? To answer a couple obvious questions, I knead/mix by hand –i.e. no machine– and bake on a pizza stone.)

    Thanks much

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I am happy to hear you love this recipe so much. It is so important to be able to find how to fit baking into our everyday lives! If you’d like a less dense baguette, try using a little more water next time. Kneading the dough for about 10 minutes on the mixer with the dough hook should be enough time for creating a cohesive dough. Resist adding any additional flour. Hope this helps! Elisabeth @ KAF

  201. Ann

    Hi, I’m new to making bread. I now have both a perforated baguette pan and a pizza stone, which one is the preferred baking surface in the oven for making baguettes? I’m making the starter tonight. Also, since I can’t eat all 3 baguettes at once, which yields better results: freeze the unbaked shaped remaining 2 baguettes, or bake them and freeze the finished product? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Both methods work well, Ann. I like the pizza stone, but it can be a little trickier to get the baguettes in the oven. If you are letting them rise on parchment paper, you can place this on the backside of a cookie sheet (from the beginning), and then slide the parchment onto the stone. Where good oven mitts! I would not recommend freezing the unbaked baguettes, but you could refrigerate the dough and bake them over a few days, or you could par-bake the baguettes (bake until they are set, but not fully browned) and then freeze them. Thaw and place in oven at regular baking temperature to reheat and brown. Barb@KAF

    2. Peter Lea

      I’ve got a perforated non stick baguette pan enough only for two baguettes, when the baguettes are placed on the pan for baking they stick somewhat, but in the baking process they are released much to my surprise and turned out evenly baked all over. I have yet to use a pizza stone but plan on buying one. You could use a regular flat tray with greaseproof paper ( parchment paper ) sprinkled lightly with corn meal if your recipe calls for more than two baguettes. Good Luck

  202. George Trudeau

    A question if I may…
    If I want to freeze a savory stuffed unbaked baguette and it needs 3 hours to warm and rise, am I at risk to food spoilage?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      George, depends on the stuffing, I’d guess. This is always a gray area. Some stuffings tolerate room temperature better than others. For instance, I personally am OK with ham or cooked bacon sitting out, where I wouldn’t be with raw chicken or raw hamburger. So use your best judgement, OK? PJH

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Your sourdough starter will give a very different flavor to this recipe. The starter in this recipe brings an almost buttery flavor and helps develop a more open crumb. I would encourage you to try this recipe with the starter it calls for. Here’s a sourdough baguette recipe you may like to try. If you don’t want to add yeast to the sourdough baguette recipe, be sure to use fed starter and allow more time for the bread to rise. Barb@KAF

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