A homemade baguette is a true treat! Better yet, this recipe requires only four simple ingredients and absolutely no kneading.
Baguette is perfect for every occasion. From soups to salads to hearty roast dinners, fresh baked bread is always welcome on our table.
Baguette making can be an extremely time consuming process, but with this no-knead recipe you will cut corners without compromising taste. We are obsessed with the chewy inside and crispy exterior. It’s just like the baguette we had on our last family trip to Paris!
What is Baguette?
If you have eaten at a French restaurant, it’s likely you have tried this iconic bread. Simply put, a baguette is a long, thin loaf of French bread that is characterized by a crisp crust and chewy center. The ingredients are pure and simple, consisting of water, flour, salt and yeast.
How Do You Make Baguettes From Scratch?
This method is the easiest way to make baguette and happens to also be my personal favorite. Follow these simple steps to nail the loaf each time:
- Mix the dry ingredients together and add water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight (up to 20 hours) on the countertop in a well oiled bowl.
- Generously flour your hands and your baking sheet.
- Form dough into baguette shape (about 12 inches long) and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
- Bake in the oven for ten minutes with a pan of boiled water resting on the bottom rack. Remove the water and bake until golden brown.
DON’T PANIC! The dough will be really sticky and that’s perfectly OK. To make handling it easier, make sure the work surface is really well-floured or wet your hands periodically throughout the shaping process.
Tips for the Best Baguette
- Use the right flour. Try using flour with higher protein content to get the best texture. A couple of my favorites include King Arthur or Bobs’ Red Mill. Any Canadian brand will typically fit the bill.
- Score the top with a very sharp knife. Scoring, or slicing, the top of your baguette isn’t just for decoration. When you initially shape your bread, you are creating a very taut surface. When you pop your baguette into the oven without scoring the top, the heat causes a burst of gas called an “oven spring” that can rupture the top of the bread and destroy its shape.
- Freeze and reheat your baguette. I like to bake a couple loaves of bread at once and freeze a couple for later. Reheat them in the oven and they will be just as good as freshly baked bread!
- Make sure your yeast is fresh. This common mistake happens to the best of us. Over time, active yeast deactivates and loses its ability to make your bread rise and fluff. Always check the label to make sure it’s not expired!
- Don’t skip the steam bath. The steam bath is crucial to making the outside of your bread crusty. It’s well worth the extra step!
I probably don’t have to tell you too much about how to enjoy baguette, but here are some of my favorite ways to serve it.
- European-style butter or high-quality olive oil. Pulgra and Kerrygold are delicious options you can find at most grocery stores.
- Smoked Salmon Dip. This 15-minute recipe is super easy and features an instructional video with yours truly and my husband, Tim! 😉
- Slathered with Raspberry Jam. Our recipe only requires 3 simple ingredients and our boys are hooked on it.
- Alongside a steaming bowl of borscht. It’s sorrel season! Pair a toasty piece of baguette with our schavel borscht.
- Make a steak sandwich. C’mon, you deserve one!
- Serve up some bruschetta. Nothing says summer quite like bruschetta made with farmer’s market tomatoes.
Share Some Love ❤️
- The night before, combine all ingredients together. First mix the dry ingredients together and then add water. Mix the ingredients until the dough comes together. Cover it with a plastic wrap and let it sit for 12-20 hours on the countertop.
- The following day, the dough should be wet, sticky and bubbly. Generously flour your hands and the baking sheet.
- Take the dough (if it sticks, apply more flour to your hands) and form a baguette shape. Place it on a baking sheet and sprinkle a generous amount of flour on it. Score the top with a sharp knife and cover it with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F. You will need to have 2 shelves in an oven. Fill a deep cooking sheet with 2 cups of hot boiled water, and place it on a lower level, inside your oven. This will make the bread crispy on the outside. Place the bread on the top rack. Remove water from the oven after 10 minutes. Keep on baking the bread for another 30 minutes or until golden crispy brown.