Baguette and bread recipes in general are usually synonymous with “difficult to make.” This French baguette recipe is the easiest on the internet, while remaining fantastically delicious.
If there’s anything that beats homemade baguettes straight out of the oven, let me know. Crispy, chewy crust and soft interior…you’ll have a French bakery in your own kitchen!
What is a French Baguette?
A baguette is a long, thin, and cylindrical French bread with a crisp crust and a soft, airy interior. It is one of the most iconic types of bread in France and is widely recognized around the world. Traditional baguettes are made from simple ingredients, including flour, water, yeast, and salt. The elongated shape of the baguette allows for a greater crust-to-crumb ratio, resulting in a crisp, chewy exterior and a soft crumb.
Baguettes are best enjoyed fresh out of the oven and can be served alongside meals like Chicken and Rice Soup or Dad’s Split Pea Soup with Ham, used for sandwiches like an Egg Salad sandwich, or paired with various savory or sweet spreads like Mom’s Homemade Strawberry Preserves.
Baguette Recipe Ingredients
- Bread flour – bread flour, having a higher protein content compared to all-purpose flour, is well-suited for yeast-based bread recipes like baguettes. Bread flour promotes increased gluten formation, resulting in a chewier and more structured baguette.
- Water – water needs to be between 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit to activate the instant yeast. Microwave your water slowly to reach that temperature, stirring water and testing with a thermometer.
- Instant yeast – buy instant yeast instead of dry active yeast. Instant yeast eliminates the need for proofing and reduces the rise time.
- Salt – salt enhances flavor, strengthens the dough, and improves the texture of the baguette.
No fancy equipment is needed to make these easy baguettes!
- Stand mixer: while you can make baguettes by hand, a stand mixer makes baguette making so much easier.
- Large baking sheet: a large baking sheet will be used to bake your baguettes.
- Parchment paper: parchment paper will help baguettes not stick to the baking sheet.
- Medium bowl: a medium bowl will house dough while it rises.
- Thermometer: a thermometer is needed to test water temperature.
- Microwave: a microwave is a quick way to warm water.
How to Make Baguettes
Full instructions in the recipe card; this is just an outline!
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast, and salt using the whisk attachment.
Microwave water until it reaches 120-130 degrees, testing it with a thermometer every 15 seconds.
Switch to the dough hook attachment and add the warm water in a steady stream, kneading the dough on low speed for 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a bowl with flavorless oil, place the sticky dough inside, and seal the bowl shut with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rise in a 75-80 degree, dark space for 1 hour.
Flip a large baking sheet upside down, lay parchment paper on it, and lightly flour the parchment.
After the hour, deflate the risen dough, divide it into 2 balls, and stretch each into a long baguette shape. Place the baguettes on the lined baking sheet, far apart from each other.
Let the baguettes rise for an additional 30 minutes under a kitchen towel in a 75-80 degree, dark space.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and make diagonal slashes on each baguette using a sharp knife.
Bake the baguettes on the upside down, parchment-lined baking sheet at 450 degrees for 16-20 minutes, or until golden and hollow sounding when tapped.
Place the baked baguettes on a wire rack to cool. Or enjoy!
Baguette Recipe Tips
- Measure flour accurately by spooning it into a dry cup and leveling off the excess.
- Bread flour has higher protein content, ideal for yeast-based bread recipes, resulting in a chewier, more authentic baguette.
- Use INSTANT yeast (no proofing needed, shorter rise time).
- Baguette dough is very hydrated. Flour hands well when handling.
- Maintain ideal baguette rising temperature (75-80°F). Seal bowl, cover with towel, and place in a warm room.
- A stand mixer is recommended for handling the sticky dough.
- For short-term storage, keep baguette at room temperature in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a towel. For longer storage, wrap tightly in aluminum foil.
Baguette Serving Suggestions
Here are my favorite ways to serve baguettes:
- Classic baguette with butter or Mom’s Strawberry Preserves
- Sandwiches with various fillings like meats, cheeses and veggies or Egg Salad
- Bruschetta on sliced baguettes with fresh tomatoes and basil, or Tuna Avocado Toast
- Charcuterie board with baguette slices toasted like this Crostini recipe
- French Onion Soup layered with baguette and melted Gruyere
- Garlic Bread made from baguette
- Baguette with savory dips like Easy Beer Cheese
- Served with soup or salad like Chicken and Rice Soup, Split Pea Soup with Ham, or Green Goddess Salad
- Baguette with pâté for a luxurious snack
- Pizza with various toppings
- Cheese fondue with baguette cubes
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Scoring a baguette before baking helps the dough expand and rise properly, evenly bake, form a crispy crust, and to make it look extra pretty!
If you plan to consume the baguette within a day, keep it at room temperature, preferably in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to preserve its crust while preventing excessive moisture buildup. If you want to store the baguette for a few days, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep it at room temperature. However, be aware that the crust may lose its crispness over time.
To reheat baguettes, preheat your oven to 375°F, wrap in aluminum foil, and bake for about 10-15 minutes until it’s warm. If you prefer a crispier crust, leave the baguette unwrapped.
Absolutely yes! Place baguettes in a freezer safe container to prevent freezer burn and store in the freeze for 6-8 months. Reheat as directed above (may take a bit longer from frozen).
More Bread Recipes You’ll Love!
- The Easiest Garlic Naan Bread Ever
- How to Make Garlic Bread
- 1-Hour Wheat Beer Bread
- Buttery Parker House Rolls
- Stand mixer
- Large baking sheet
- Parchment paper
- 3 cups bread flour plus more for your working surface
- 1 ¼ cups water
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, yeast (make sure no yeast gets stuck in the little packet), and salt using the whisk attachment.
- Microwave water until it reaches 120-130℉. Use a thermometer to stir and then test water every 15 seconds or so until temperature is reached.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment, and add the warm water in a steady stream on low speed (speed 2). Knead dough on this low speed for 5 minutes. Not to worry; dough will be very wet and sticky!
- Lightly grease a bowl with flavorless oil. Flour your hands and place the sticky ball of dough in the greased bowl. It’s okay; dough will stick to floured hands!
- Seal bowl shut with plastic wrap and lay a clean kitchen towel over the top of the bowl. Place in a 75-80℉, dark space for 1 hour to rise. If space is not warm or dark, your dough will have trouble rising. See notes below for ideas on where to rise.
- Flip a large baking sheet upside down, lay a piece parchment paper on it, and lightly flour the parchment.
- Remove plastic wrap and towel after the hour (dough should have risen to about double its size), and deflate dough with your fist. Flour your hands and divide dough into 2 even balls. Stretch balls into long baguette shapes, letting gravity help the dough stretch to shape. Both baguettes should be slightly thinner than you’d like them to be when they’re baked. Place baguettes on the upside down, lined baking sheet, as far apart as possible.
- Lay kitchen towel over the baguettes and let rise in a 75-80℉, dark space for 30 more minutes. Dough will rise more!
- Preheat oven fully, to 450 degrees. Make a few long, shallow, diagonal slashes at about 45 degree angles on each baguette using a sharp knife.
- Bake baguettes on the upside down, parchment lined baking sheet at 450℉ for 16-20 minutes, or until crust is golden and the baguettes are hollow sounding when tapped. Place on a wire rack to cool, or enjoy!
- To properly measure flour, spoon flour into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess with a straight edge.
- Bread flour has higher protein content than all-purpose flour, making it ideal for yeast-based bread recipes as it supports more gluten formation and results in a chewier, more structured baguette.
- Look for INSTANT yeast (NOT dry active yeast). Instant yeast doesn’t require proofing and requires a shorter rise time.
- Baguette dough is very hydrated, meaning it is wet and sticky. The high hydration of baguette dough helps create the characteristic open crumb structure and chewy texture. Flouring your hands well when handling dough can help work with it!
- The ideal baguette rising temperature is between 75 to 80°F. Tightly seal shut your bowl to maintain a moist environment, cover with a clean kitchen towel to help create a dark environment, and place outside if it’s warm, or in a warm room (like a laundry room with the dryer on or a small room with a space heater). If the space is not warm enough, the baguettes won’t rise properly, or will take longer to rise!
- You can use a bowl, whisk and your own hands to mix and knead dough, however the dough is very sticky, so a stand mixer is highly recommended.
- Storage: If you plan to consume the baguette within a day, keep it at room temperature, preferably in a paper bag or loosely wrapped in a clean kitchen towel to preserve its crust while preventing excessive moisture buildup. If you want to store the baguette for a few days, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and keep it at room temperature. However, be aware that the crust may lose its crispness over time.