French-Style Baguettes

With just a few pantry staples, you can make airy, homemade baguettes! The folding technique used in this recipe helps to create structure in your dough for a strong rise, while also creating an open interior. (Think open holes!) Without a starter or overnight rise, you can have them on the table in time for dinner. The simple flavor profile of a baguette makes it a great vehicle for cured meats, cheeses, dips, or anything else you can dream up.

15 mins
20 to 25 mins
4 hrs 35 mins
three 15" to 18" baguettes
French-Style Baguettes


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  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 1 cup of water (227g), yeast, and salt until thoroughly combined, adding additional water if necessary to make a soft dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

  2. Knead the dough — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — until smooth. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.

  3. Fold the dough over onto itself several times. Return it to the bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in bulk again, about 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and divide it into three pieces.

  5. Stretch the dough pieces into 15" to 18" long loaves, and place them on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet; or into a lightly greased baguette pan. Cover the loaves and let them rise for about 1 hour.

  6. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

  7. Slash the loaves diagonally, and generously spray them with warm water.

  8. Bake the baguettes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they're a deep golden brown. Remove them from the oven, slip them off the pan, and return them to the oven rack. Turn the oven off, and crack the door open about 1". Allow the baguettes to cool fully in the oven.