recipe

French Baguette: the easy and crusty bread recipe

Total time: 50 min + resting time
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 15 people
By Cookist
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Who doesn’t love freshly baked bread? And the Classic French Baguette is no exception. This crusty French baguette is everything you want in freshly baked bread. The crunchy crust on the outside… and full of chewy bread flavor on the inside.

The best of all? You only need four ingredients to make it. Mix all the ingredients together and allow to rest for a few increments. It couldn’t be easier! Crunchy, simple, and quick. You'll fall in love with this homemade baguette!

Remember practice makes perfect. If at first, you don’t get the recipe right, try again. While most French Baguette recipes are quite complicated, we think you’ll find this one easy!

What is a Baguette?

The name baguette actually means stick, so it’s no wonder that another name for the French Baguette is French Stick. This long, thin bread originated in France. It’s characteristically crispy and long—some can be up to 1 meter! It’s a simple loaf made of flour, yeast, salt, and water.

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How to make French Baguette

This French Baguette involves minimal kneading, with a few rising times. The ingredients are all mixed together and left to rise. The dough is scraped from the sides and then left to rise again.

The dough is formed into balls and goes through two more rising sets. After that the balls are formed into French Baguette, making an incision on the top of the roll. Water is added to the oven, and the French Baguette is baked until golden and crispy.

How to serve Classic French Baguette

The French Baguette is traditionally served before a meal, with fresh butter. It can also be sliced and used as a base for canapés. And some tomato and basil on a sliced French Baguette and serve as a bruschetta. Or add some garlic and make garlic bread. You can even toast pieces of French Baguette and use them as croutons in a salad.

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Tips for Crusty French Baguette

The water shouldn’t be too hot otherwise you will kill the yeast. Make sure that it’s at about 90°F (32°C)

Prepare yourself for a very sticky dough, which is typical of French baguettes. Don’t be tempted to add more flour than the recipe states. Instead, keep your hands damp to prevent sticking.

How to store French Baguette

The French Baguette is best served fresh, but it will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can you freeze Classic French Baguette?

Baked and cooled loaves of bread can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Simply store in an airtight container or wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Reheat the French Baguette.

Ingredients
Flour
500 gr
Warm water
370 gr
Yeast
25 gr
Salt
1 tsp

Instructions

Add the flour to a bowl.

Dissolve the yeast with a little water.

Add it to the bowl with flour.

Add the water and salt and stir until all ingredients are fully combined.

Cover with cling film and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

Soak a spatula in water and peel the dough off the edge of the bowl. Cover again with cling film and allow to rise for another 45 minutes. Repeat the last step.

Sprinkle flour generously on a large wooden board.

Place the dough on the board and form a large rectangle. Massage with your fingers.

Fold the top end down, and the bottom end up as if you were folding a letter. Fold the left end to the center and then the right end to the center.

Divide into 8 pieces and repeat the folding steps on each individual piece. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes.

Make a thin rectangle with each piece by folding both sides in and roll. Sprinkle flour over each one, cover and let stand for 20 more minutes.

Brush each one on top with water.

Make two diagonal cuts on each baguette.

Place a baking tin with water in the oven to provide more moisture when cooking. Preheat the oven to 220ºC (356ºF), lower it to 200ºC (392ºF) and bake the baguettes for 20 minutes.

Notes

If you’re serious about baking, then make sure to invest in a kitchen scale. It’s always more accurate to weigh ingredients for baking!

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