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Baguette Recipe (Easy with Video!) – A Couple Cooks

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This crusty French baguette recipe is easier to make than you think! Here’s a video tutorial showing how to make this classic crusty bread.

Baguette Recipe

What’s better than a crunchy fresh French artisan baguette? (Almost nothing.) Well, here’s an easy baguette recipe you can make at home! It’s simple to make: there’s no special equipment required! And the only ingredient you need are all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. You will be absolutely amazed at the crunchy texture, tangy flavor, and beautiful long loaf. We have a long list of bread recipes (including our “famous” sourdough bread), but Alex and I agreed this one is our new favorite. The flavor is out of this world. Here’s what to do!

How to make this baguette recipe: an overview!

Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with this baguette recipe. The process spans 3 days! Day One takes 1 hour (just a few minutes of hands on time) and you’ll need about 3 hours on Day Three to shape and bake it. In between, you’ll rest the dough in the refrigerator for 2 days. This is the secret to the very best baguette flavor! Here’s an outline of what you’ll have to do:

Day 1Mix the dough, proof 1 hour, refrigerate (15 minutes active)
Day 2Refrigerate dough
Day 3Proof and shape dough (30 minutes active, 2 hours inactive)
Bake (40 minutes)
Cool (20 minutes)
How to make a baguette
French baguettes and no knead bread

Equipment list for making a baguette (nothing special needed!)

This baguette recipe requires no special equipment! Compared to other artisan bread recipes like our sourdough, artisan, or even no knead, it’s got the smallest list of required tools. There’s no Dutch oven and no proofing basket needed. Here’s what you need!

Required tools for this artisan bread recipe

  1. Parchment paper
  2. Baking sheet
  3. Sharp knife or lame for scoring the bread
  4. Kitchen scale for measuring (optional)

All you need is all-purpose flour

Another feature of this baguette recipe is that all you need is all-purpose flour! Our other bread recipes use flour blends like whole wheat and bread flour. Baguettes are surprisingly simple: requiring only all-puprose flour, salt and yeast.

This recipe makes 2 loaves: halve it if desired!

This baguette recipe makes 2 loaves of bread. If you don’t think you’ll eat two in a few days, here are some options:

  • Make half the recipe. It works just as well with half the quantities: you can follow the recipe to a T.
  • Freeze the second baguette. You can freeze the second baguette for several months, then reheat it from frozen. It comes out a little crustier but the flavor is just as good! See the “Storage” section below.
Easy baguette recipe

Think ahead! A 2 day rest is required.

We said it once, but we’ll say it again. This bread requires thinking ahead a few days. You’ll need to rest the bread dough for 2 days in the refrigerator. Why?

  • The 2 day rest makes a complex, tangy flavor. Resting the dough in the refrigerator is also called “fermenting”. As the dough ferments, it develops a naturally tangy and complex flavor. (We also suggest this with our best pizza dough.) You can truly taste the difference!
  • It doesn’t have to be exactly 48 hours. There is some wiggle room, so don’t worry if you do about 1.5 days instead of a full 2 days on the rest time.

How to shape a baguette (video!)

The part of making this baguette recipe that requires the most technique is folding and shaping the dough. It’s easiest to learn how to shape the dough by watching. So, we made you a video! Here’s Alex demonstrating how to shape a baguette. We highly recommend watching this video before you start!

How to score a baguette

See those beautiful lines on the top of the baguette? Those are called score lines. Scoring is slashing the top of the dough with a sharp knife to allow it to expand when baking. Here are some things to know about scoring the baguette (also watch the video above):

  • Use your sharpest knife, or a lame. You’ll want the knife to be ultra sharp. We purchased a lame for this, since we make lots of bread recipes. But a knife works just as well!
  • Make shallow, diagonal overlapping cuts. You want to cut just the surface — if it’s too deep it collapses, if it’s too shallow it bursts. Make the pattern look like the one in the video above, where the cuts overlap diagonally.
French baguette recipe

Storage & reheating info for this baguette recipe

This baguette recipe has no preservatives, so the storage is different from a bread you might buy from the store. Since this recipe makes two loaves, you can freeze the second one and eat it later! It comes out a little crustier than the day of baking, but it’s still fantastic and the flavor is perfectly preserved. Here’s what to do:

  • Room temperature storage (2 days): Once you’ve baked your French baguette, it is best eaten within 48 hours. Store it wrapped in a towel at room temperature.
  • Frozen (3 months): Let the baguette cool to room temperature, then wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a plastic bag. Freeze for several months.
  • Reheating: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Unwrap the baguette and add directly to the oven grate (from frozen!) and bake about 15 to 20 minutes until warmed through.
Baguette on cheese board

Ways to serve this baguette

There are so many ways to serve a baguette! Likely you already have ideas. Here are some of our favorites, including some ways to use stale bread:

  • On a cheese board. See above! Add a variety of cheeses, olives, nuts, and jam and you’ve got one incredible cheese board for entertaining.
  • With salted French butter. One of the very best taste treats: this baguette with salted French butter. Look for French or European-style butter at your local grocery.
  • With dips. Try it with our Spinach Artichoke Dip: it’s delightful.
  • Crostini. When it’s starting to go stale, turn it into Easy Crostini and top with toppings, or make Goat Cheese Crostini.
  • Garlic toast. Another idea for Day 2, make it into this insanely garlicky Garlic Toast.
  • Breadcrumbs or croutons. If you get to the point where it’s pretty stale, make it into breadcrumbs or croutons! You can also use it for panzanella or bread soup.

This French baguette recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, and dairy free.

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Description

This crusty French baguette recipe is easier to make than you think! Here’s a video tutorial showing how to make this classic crusty bread.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour (4 cups)*
  • 8 grams instant or active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
  • 12 grams kosher salt (2 teaspoons)
  • 350 grams warm water (1 1/2 cups)

Instructions

Day 1: Make the dough (15 minutes active, 45 minutes inactive)

  1. Mix the dough: Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir to combine. Add the water and stir until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
  2. Knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Resist the urge to add lots of flour. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  3. Proof 45 to 60 minutes: After the kneading is finished, form the dough into a ball and return to the bowl. Proof until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Gently shape each half into a boule (ball shape) by folding the dough under itself. Place each dough into a separate covered container, with room for the dough to double in size.
  4. Refrigerate 2 days: Place containers in the refrigerator for 2 days to ferment (this is where all the flavor comes from!).

Day 3: Shape & Bake (30 minutes active, 2 hours inactive, 40 minutes bake, 20 minutes cool)

  1. Proof 1 hour: When ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Place dough onto lightly floured counter and pull ends under dough to form a boule shape (watch video for this and all following steps). Repeat with second dough. Cover with towel and rest 1 hour.
  2. Fold the dough & rest 10 minutes: After an hour, flip the dough over and pull out the left and right ends. Fold the ends into the center of the dough and gently roll into a log. Pinch the seams on the sides. Be careful not to press too hard while rolling to avoid deflating the dough. Repeat with second dough. Cover with a towel and rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Pre-shape the dough & rest 5 minutes: Sprinkle the doughs with flour. Flip the dough and pat it gently into a rectangle. Fold in half and use the heel of your hand to pinch the seam and form a log shape. Flip and repeat the process. Repeat with second dough. Cover with towel and rest 5 minutes.
  4. Shape the dough & proof 45 minutes: Place a clean towel on a baking pan and dust it heavily with flour. Starting from the center of the dough, use your hands to roll the dough into a long baguette shape the almost the length of your pan. Make sure to roll your hands all the way past the ends of the dough to create the tapered point. Carefully transfer the dough to the floured towel and tuck it on both sides to provide support. Repeat with second dough. Cover with a towel and proof for 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a cast iron pan or your thickest baking sheet on the rack just below and off to the other side of oven. You’ll pour water into it later to create steam.
  6. Score the bread: After proofing, carefully move each dough out of the towel and transfer it directly onto the pan. Ensure the dough is straightened and dust it lightly with flour. Use a sharp knife or lame to score each bread 4 times at a slight diagonal, just overlapping pattern.
  7. Bake at 475 degrees: Place the tray in the oven and add steam: cover your hand with a towel and very carefully pour 1 cup of water onto the cast-iron pan or baking sheet, then immediately close the door. Bake 16 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees: Open the oven door and fan it a few times to release moist air. Bake for 23 to 25 minutes until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes before serving.
  9. Storage instructions: Store at room temperature wrapped in a towel for up to 2 days. To preserve the second loaf, you can freeze it: wrap in foil and place in a plastic bag. Store for several months in the freezer. To reheat, bake from frozen for 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Notes

*If you’d like only 1 loaf, cut the quantities in half. The recipe works just as well!

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: Baguette Recipe, French Baguette,



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I’ve been making my easy wild blueberry chia jam on REPEAT during this quarantin…

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I’ve been making my easy wild blueberry chia jam on REPEAT during this quarantine. It’s a cinch to make (not like grandmas jams😅) & has no added sugar (unless you choose to add some which is A-OK 👌). PB&Js are also a staple during this quarantine 😂


w i l d b l u e b e r r y c h i a j a m
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbsp chia seeds
Juice of half a small lemon
Optional: 2-3 tsp maple syrup or honey
Combine chia seeds & apple juice & let sit for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, add blueberries to a small sauce pot & cook over medium heat until blueberries start to burst, about 5 min. Mash with a spatula or fork while you continue cooking another minute or two. Remove from heat & immediately stir in apple chia mixture plus lemon juice. Mix well. Let sit a few minutes to continue thickening.



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Bakers and Gardeners Seek Guidance and Community Online

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Somewhere amid the polarization that’s playing itself out on social media — a critical and impossible-to-ignore schism between those privileged to ride out the coronavirus pandemic with from-home work and enriching activities, and vulnerable communities struggling for even the most basic of resources — there is an optimistic narrative. Fractured and isolated as Americans may be as we shelter in place, some of us are seeking, and finding, solace in each other, virtually. 

This has been especially evident in the masses of first-time bakers and gardeners taking to Instagram and Twitter. Yes, there’s been a backlash against perceived flour, yeast, and seed hoarders as those commodities continue to be difficult to procure after spikes in sales. But there’s also been a concurrent surge of goodwill as novices attempting to forge deeper relationships with their co-shut-ins and whatever bits of nature they can access, reach out to each other online.

“We’re becoming more capable with technology, we are finding new ways to connect with our neighbors, and all of this can be a way in which we can make sense of this pandemic,” says Roxane Cohen Silver, a psychology professor at the University of California, Irvine. And it’s working to the benefit of those on both sides of the equation: the ones who need guidance, and the ones who have it to offer.

Help for New Bakers

Some Internet denizens have sought help from professional chefs. A recent tweet from Nigella Lawson, for example, suggested using leftover potato-boiling water to incorporate into bread dough for better texture and rise, and got over 6,000 retweets and more than 52,000 likes. Other would-be bakers have turned to less-vaunted sources, like Oklahoma City resident Matthew Broberg-Moffitt, a business writer and former counselor who once trained as a chef. 

Just as COVID-19 began driving Americans indoors, Broberg-Moffitt offered to answer “simple baking questions” for his 6,000-plus Twitter followers. He got dozens of requests: for gluten-free cookie recipes, suggestions for alternatives to scarce yeast, advice on what to do when the dough doesn’t rise, an explanation of the difference between whole wheat and white flours, and tips for making bread turn out less dense.

“I believe there’s some kind of collective consciousness that’s looking to fulfill an unmet need, and many people associate that with baking,” Broberg-Moffitt says. “I’m really amazed at how many people are trying it.”

Demystifying Bread Baking

One of those people is Shannon Hall, a stay-at-home mom of three in Cincinnati who says she’s always been fascinated but intimidated by the number of steps it takes to produce a loaf of bread. But when schools closed, she says she “longed for a bit of comfort for myself and my children,” and decided to take Broberg-Moffitt up on his offer. 

“He gave me a simple bread recipe to follow” from King Arthur Flour, Hall says, one that the company claims is the “easiest loaf of bread you’ll ever bake.” She read and re-read the directions, checked back in with Broberg-Moffitt several times for moral and practical support, then “followed the recipe diligently.” When it didn’t turn out the way she’d hoped, she vowed never to bake again. She’s since reconsidered, though. She’s waiting for a rolling pin she ordered to arrive in the mail and gearing up to try a simpler baking task: homemade biscuits, the thought of which, she says, “makes me smile.”

Broberg-Moffitt, too, derives happiness from his exchanges with Hall and other bakers he’s coached, many of whom follow up with him after their initial efforts to show him what they’ve accomplished on their own. “I know people enjoy getting a personal response rather than Googling a question,” he says, but “I also enjoy trying to be a positive, encouraging presence. I’m a caregiver, so my needs are being met when I can fulfill that role.”

Where does he turn when he’s the one needing inspiration? The King Arthur Flour website, Divas Can Cook, and Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Pizzas and Pitas

Ehab Bander, a tech designer in San Francisco, has taken baking classes a couple of times but put off testing his new-found knowledge, in part because baking still seemed like “a bit of a mystery: If you do one step wrong you’ll mess it up. I definitely had fear,” he says. When coronavirus led to the closing of local bakeries and forced him, his wife and their twin 8-year-old daughters to stay home, he found “the flour in the pantry was just staring at me.” 

Rather than simply staring back, Bander put the flour to use, making pizza dough. “It was a great way to share something with my kids, and we didn’t have to [go out] at a time when we need to be hunkering down for safety,” he says. His impulse has been to turn to YouTube for guidance, which he’s been scouring for a pita recipe to spark memories of his childhood in Lebanon. And gearing up to whip up a sourdough starter for the first time (thanks to the national dearth of yeast), he’s thinking of signing up for an Instagram class to “make sure I don’t mess it up.”





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