French Bread Baguettes are a basic bread that requires a lot of effort to make.
But when done right the result is delicious and can be used as part of so many recipes.
- 1 cup room-temperature water
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1.5 cups warm water (100 degrees)
Step 1. Make the first dough. Combine the flour and water in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat the dough at the lowest speed with the paddle. Stop and scrape and repeat a couple of times. Dough should be elastic, remove bowl and let dough rest for 1 hour.
Step 2. Make the second dough in a separate bowl. Whisk the yeast into the water. Stir liquid into the flour and salt mixture. Keep mixing with a spatula until the dough is evenly moistened. It will not be particularly smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and rest until the first dough is finished resting.
Step 3. After the first dough has rested for an hour, Add the second dough on top of the first in the mixer bowl and mix together best as possible with the spatula.
Step 4. Place dough on mixer with the bread hook and mix on low until throughly combine, about 2 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Step 5. Mix dough again with the hook on low for 2 minutes.
Step 6. Scrape dough from mixer bowl into an oiled mixing bowl, and turn dough over so top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise for 2 hours. Dough will double in size.
Step 7. Scrape dough onto a floured work surface and fold over on itself a few times. Return dough to a freshly oiled bowl, and allow to rise, covered, for another hour.
Step 8. To shape the baguettes, scrape the dough onto a floured surface and cut into 4 equal parts using a knife of bench scraper. Press each part (without completely deflating it) into a rectangle approximately 9 inches wide x 7 inches long. Working with one piece at a time, fold the two shorter edges inwards about 1 inch then roll the dough up jelly roll style. Pinch the dough together and seal the seem. Place partially formed baguette under a towel and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Step 9. Start with the first baguette you shaped and roll the dough between both palms to elongate it. Don’t flour your work surface or the dough will slide around instead of roll. Press a little harder on the ends to taper them. Place the roll, seem side down onto a jelly roll pan dusted with cornmeal. PLace the roll so you can fit one more on the pan and they are equidistant from each other and the sides. Repeat for the other 3 pieces.
Step 10. Cover each pan with a towel and let loaves rise until they have doubled in size (1-2 hours.) 20 minutes before the loaves are completely risen, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Step 11. Before baking, slash a series of diagonal cuts into the loaves using a single blade. 4-5 cuts per loaf.
Step 12. Bake baguettes for 15 minutes and then rotate the pans in the oven. Continue baking until well risen and golden brown. (10-15 more minutes).
French baguettes are a labor-intensive bread, but made with love. I used these as the rolls for meatballs grinders and they were perfect! Held the sauce and meatballs so well! What do y’all eat French baguettes with?
Hope you enjoy!
Like the Bread box? See the DIY tutorial here: