With our Gluten-Free Bread Flour, it’s possible to bake flavorful, crusty, seriously delicious gluten-free baguettes at home. After you rip one of the baguettes apart and savor the light interior, use the other two for sandwiches, bruschetta, or charcuterie boards. Shaping and scoring baguettes takes practice, so forgive yourself if they’re not picture-perfect the first time. Rest assured, they’ll still be undoubtedly impressive.
Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.
To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. With a flexible spatula or bowl scraper, mix and knead everything together to make a soft dough with no dry spots. Mix until it comes together into a cohesive mass; the surface will still be a bit rough and lumpy – that’s OK.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased medium bowl, cover, and let the dough rest for 15 minutes. The dough will firm up slightly but remain quite soft.
Perform a bowl fold: Using your wet hand as paddle, or a bowl scraper, scoop up a section the dough from the side of the bowl, then gently lift it up (it won’t stretch very high) and press it down into the middle of the bowl. Repeat this motion 8 to 12 times. Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes.
Repeat the bowl fold 3 more times at 15-minute intervals. (See the sample schedule in baker’s tips below for further detail.)
After the last fold (1 hour after mixing the dough), set the dough aside to rest, covered, in a warm spot for 60 to 75 minutes, until puffy but not necessarily doubled.
To preshape the baguettes: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide it into 3 equal pieces (about 300g each). Use lightly floured hands to pat each piece of dough into rough 6" square, pressing gently to eliminate any air bubbles. Starting with the first piece of dough you handled, shape it into a tube: Fold in the left side and the right side to meet in the middle then press to gently seal. Starting at the top, fold the rectangle towards yourself in 3 motions, pressing gently after each fold, to create a cylinder. Gently roll the cylinder across your work surface so that it is about 6" long. Repeat with the other 2 pieces of dough.
Cover the preshaped loaves and let them rest for 15 minutes.
To shape the baguettes: Working with the first piece of dough you preshaped, gently roll the dough into a 14" log: Start by rolling the tube with one hand, placed in the middle, until that section is about 2 1/2" in diameter. You‘ll have created a “dog-bone shape,” with a thinner middle and thicker ends. Next, place both of your hands in the thinner center and gently roll outwards to even out the diameter across the entire length. Taper each end of the log slightly to create the baguettes’ typical "pointy" end.
Place the log seam-side up onto stiff cotton dish towel or baker’s couche that’s been dusted with gluten-free flour. Repeat with the 2 remaining pieces of dough.
Cover the baguettes and allow the loaves to rise until they're slightly puffy. The loaves should look lighter and less dense than when you first shaped them, but they won't be doubled in bulk. This should take about 60 to 75 minutes at room temperature (about 68°F); it could take as few as 40 minutes if you’re working in a warm environment.
During the rising time, preheat your oven to 475°F with a cast iron pan on the bottom of the oven, or on the lowest rack. For best results, use a baking steel or stone. Place it on a middle rack to preheat.
Gently roll the proofed baguettes (seam-side down) onto a transfer peel and then nudge them onto a piece of parchment, still seam-side down. (If you don't have a transfer peel, roll the baguettes onto a piece of parchment placed on an inverted baking sheet.) Use your hands to smooth out any imperfections in the loaves (consider this your last chance to make any adjustments to the shape).
Using a baker's lame (a special curved blade) or a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make 1, 3, or 5 long lengthwise cuts in each baguette.
Load the baguettes into the oven. If you’re baking on a steel, use a baker’s peel, a rimless baking sheet, or an inverted baking sheet to transfer the baguettes, parchment and all, onto the hot steel. (If you don’t have a steel, transfer the baguettes, along with the parchment, to a baking sheet.) Carefully pour about 1 cup of water into the cast iron pan, and quickly shut the oven door. The billowing steam created by the boiling water will help the baguettes rise, and give them a lovely, shiny crust.
Bake the baguettes for 24 to 28 minutes, or until they're a very deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven and cool them on a rack. Or, for the very crispiest baguettes, turn off the oven, crack it open about 2", and allow the baguettes to cool completely in the oven.
Storage instructions: These gluten-free baguettes are best eaten on the same day but can be stored at room temperature for 1 day; toast day-old baguettes before eating. Freeze for longer storage.