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A simple and delicious loaf, perfect for appetizers like bruschetta or French bread pizzas.MORE+LESS-

Updated November 14, 2014


tablespoon active dry yeast

1 2/3

cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Hide Images

  • 1

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine water, yeast and salt.

  • 2

    Pour in flour all at once and mix using dough hook until just combined (no kneading is necessary).

  • 3

    Pour dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise about 2 hours or until doubled in size.

  • 4

    Refrigerate covered, risen dough overnight.

  • 5

    The next day, remove dough from the fridge and, with lightly floured hands and a lightly floured surface, begin to shape the dough into a ball until malleable. Then, stretch the dough into a baguette shape about 2 inches thick. Allow to rest on a baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes.

  • 6

    In the meantime, preheat the oven to 450°F. Place a broiler tray on a rack underneath where the baking stone or sheet will go.

  • 7

    Brush the surface of the rested dough with water and, using a serrated knife, make diagonal slashes along the top of the dough. When the oven is ready, place the baking stone or sheet that the loaf is on in the oven and quickly pour a cup of hot tap water into the broiler tray. Close the oven door quickly.

  • 8

    Bake the baguette for about 25 minutes or until a deep, golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

Baguette (The Easiest Recipe)

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!

1. Feta Spinach Stuffed French Bread

Spinach dip often makes the appetizer menu at many restaurants and its quite often a crowd favorite. But what if you could make said amazing spinach dip all in the well of a fresh loaf of french bread? This delicious recipe takes on the spirit of spinach dip but enhances it ever so slightly.

You can make this recipe with whatever sized french bread you can get your hands on. The bread boat might be the talk of the party but the feta spinach filling will steal the show. It is made up of cream cheese, sour cream, mayo, mozzarella cheese, feta cheese and chopped frozen spinach. This is a serious cheese-lovers dream.

How to Make:

This bread is an easy one that doesn't require a starter or a lot of prep time, which is why it's exactly the kind of bread that stays in our repertoire. It's really very easy:

  • Dissolve the yeast - this recipe calls for fast acting yeast, but you can also use regular active yeast and just wait a bit longer until it's activated.
  • Mix flour - not a lot of kneading required, which is one of the best parts of this recipe!
  • Let rest / rise - let it do its thannng
  • Shape into loaves (and rise again)
  • Bake!

I decided to just make two baguettes, but you could definitely make four. Personally, I like 'em long, but it will make it difficult if you don't have a sheet pan big enough, so really, this recipe will make up to 4 crusty loaves.

I seriously love this baguette. It is the perfect addition for a wine and cheese afternoon with girlfriends and any cheese board or charcuterie. We love a good baguette.

Recipe Summary

  • ¼ teaspoon rapid rise yeast
  • 1 ½ cups water at room temperature
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
  • ½ teaspoon cornmeal, or as needed

Place yeast into the bottom of a large mixing bowl and stir with water mix in salt. Beat flour into yeast mixture with a wooden spoon until dough is thick and sticky and pulls flour from the side of the bowl, 5 to 10 minutes.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let stand in a turned-off oven until doubled in size, 12 to 14 hours. Dough will be bubbly and very sticky.

Place a silicone baking mat onto a baking sheet and dust generously with cornmeal.

Use a floured spatula to scrape dough out onto a well-floured work surface and dust dough with flour. With well-floured hands, pat dough into a rectangle and cut into 4 equal-size pieces.

Dust a piece of dough with flour and use your floured fingers to gently roll and stretch it out into a log about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inches around. Gently transfer to prepared baking sheet. If desired, wipe off excess cornmeal with a damp paper towel. Repeat with another piece of dough. (Reserve remaining dough to bake later or prepare 2 baking sheets to bake all 4 at once). Dust loaves lightly with flour. Dust a large piece of plastic wrap with flour and drape plastic lightly over the baking sheet with floured side down.

Let loaves rise, covered, until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hour.

Move oven racks to the bottom and middle positions. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C) or as high as your oven will go. Place an oven-safe baking dish full of water into bottom rack of the oven.

Use a sharp kitchen shears to cut 4 or 5 angled slashes into the top of each loaf. Poke down the little sharp tips of dough left by the scissors. Spray loaves with water, using a spray bottle.

Bake in the preheated oven until baguettes are browned, about 15 minutes, spraying loaves with water after 5 minutes and 10 minutes. Turn the pan around on the second spraying.

Transfer baguettes to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature before slicing with a serrated knife.

Weekend Recipe: Authentic Baguettes at Home

Making baguettes is a formidable undertaking for any home baker, but the good folks at America's Test Kitchen have a multi-step recipe that will give your bread the authentic flavor and crumb of a proper French stick. Be gentle when shaping the dough, it's key in achieving the right texture!

Makes four 15-inch long baguettes

For best results, weigh your ingredients. This recipe makes enough dough for four loaves, which can be baked anytime during the 24- to 72-hour window after placing the dough in the fridge.

1/4 cup (1 1/3 ounces) whole-wheat flour
3 cups (15 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1 teaspoon diastatic malt powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) water
2 (16 by 12-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pans

Sift whole-wheat flour through fine-mesh strainer into bowl of stand mixer discard bran remaining in strainer. Add all-purpose flour, salt, yeast, and malt powder, if using, to mixer bowl. Fit stand mixer with dough hook, add water, and knead on low speed until cohesive dough forms and no dry flour remains, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer dough to lightly oiled large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Holding edge of dough with your fingertips, fold dough over itself by gently lifting and folding edge of dough toward center. Turn bowl 45 degrees fold again. Turn bowl and fold dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding and rising every 30 minutes, 3 more times. After fourth set of folds, cover bowl tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 72 hours.

Transfer dough to lightly floured counter, pat into 8-inch square (do not deflate), and divide in half. Return 1 piece of dough to container, wrap tightly with plastic, and refrigerate (dough can be shaped and baked anytime within 72-hour window). Divide remaining dough in half crosswise, transfer to lightly floured rimmed baking sheet, and cover loosely with plastic. Let rest for 45 minutes.

On lightly floured counter, roll each piece of dough into loose 3- to 4-inch-long cylinder return to floured baking sheet and cover with plastic. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Lightly mist underside of couche with water, drape over inverted baking sheet, and dust with flour. Gently press 1 piece of dough into 6 by 4-inch rectangle on lightly floured counter, with long edge facing you. Fold upper quarter of dough toward center and press gently to seal. Rotate dough 180 degrees and repeat folding step to form 8 by 2-inch rectangle.

Fold dough in half toward you, using thumb of your other hand to create crease along center of dough, sealing with heel of your hand as you work your way along the loaf. Without pressing down on loaf, use heel of your hand to reinforce seal (do not seal ends of loaf).

Cup your hand over center of dough and roll dough back and forth gently to tighten (it should form dog-bone shape).

Starting at center of dough and working toward ends, gently and evenly roll and stretch dough until it measures 15 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide. Moving your hands in opposite directions, use back and forth motion to roll ends of loaf under your palms to form sharp points.

Transfer dough to floured couche, seam side up. On either side of loaf, pinch edges of couche into pleat, then cover loosely with large plastic garbage bag.

Repeat steps 4 through 9 with second piece of dough and place on opposite side of pleat. Fold edges of couche over loaves to cover completely, then carefully place sheet inside bag, and tie or fold under to enclose.

Let stand until loaves have nearly doubled in size and dough springs back minimally when poked gently with your fingertip, 45 to 60 minutes. While bread rises, adjust oven rack to middle position, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees.

Line pizza peel with 16 by 12-inch piece of parchment paper with long edge perpendicular to handle. Unfold couche, pulling from ends to remove pleats. Gently pushing with side of flipping board, roll 1 loaf over, away from other loaf, so it is seam side down. Using your hand, hold long edge of flipping board between loaf and couche at 45-degree angle, then lift couche with your other hand and flip loaf seam side up onto board.

Invert loaf onto parchment-lined peel, seam side down, about 2 inches from long edge of parchment, then use flipping board to straighten loaf. Repeat with remaining loaf, leaving at least 3 inches between loaves.

Holding lame concave side up at 30-degree angle to loaf, make series of three 4-inch long, 1/2-inch-deep slashes along length of loaf, using swift, fluid motion, overlapping each slash slightly. Repeat with second loaf.

Transfer loaves, on parchment, to baking stone, cover with stacked inverted disposable pans, and bake for 5 minutes. Carefully remove pans and bake until loaves are evenly browned, 12 to 15 minutes longer, rotating parchment halfway through baking. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. Consume within 4 hours.

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Homemade Boulangerie Style French Baguette Recipe

In France, the Baguette is bought each morning fresh from your local bakery. No household goes without their daily bread! But as we all know too well, most countries are on lockdown due to COVID-19 and perhaps can’t get this kind of speciality bread as easily as you once could. So what better way to get your fresh bread than to make your own. Making bread in recent weeks has become more and more popular – I know because my Facebook feed seems covered with images of loaves people are devouring freshly from their oven. One of the reasons we might be making bread is to pass the time, the other is because it is becoming harder and harder to get hold of the little things we enjoy most. In our recipe feature, we are looking at how easy it is to make a baguette you might only think you can get hold of in a Boulangerie, en France ! Here you can follow the step by step guide accompanied by pictures and see how simple this – NO KNEAD – bread is to make! Yes, you don’t even have to knead it!

What’s great about this recipe is it is a French recipe and has been masterfully made by my mum who is French, and for years she has been trying to find an easy recipe to follow in order to make the bread she grew up with. She finally found this one and very often makes it with French Flour she buys when visiting family. The dough of the baguette is so iconic in France that it’s even protected by its own law. But knowing all this she always thought you could only make it with French flour, and would never experiment making it any other way – That is until one day she had run out of her stash of French Flour and thought she’d give it a go with regular British Flour. So here’s how you can make it.

French Baguettes – Easy recipe

  1. Preparation time: 5 to 10 minutes
    No kneading needed
  2. Resting time – twice ½ to 1 hour
  3. Baking 20mn for a light bake – 10mn longer for a crusty baguette (I tend to do mine until they are dark golden brown – I don’t like pale and pasty baguettes but the best way to have them as you want is to check them every 5 to 10mn after the initial 15mn)
  4. Oven 220C
  • 500g flour (for better results, use French flour T55 but the English bread flour also works but will have a slightly different texture)
  • 20g of fresh yeast or 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 350g tepid water (make sure the water is not too hot as this will kill the yeast)
  • 10g salt

In a large bowl, put the salt, flour and make a well in the centre.

Dilute the yeast in the water (I have tried two options, one is the dilute the yeast in a small amount of water, add it to the flour and then add the rest of the water or just dilute in the water – they both work).

Add to the flour and mix until you will have a sticky dough (don’t worry this is normal) Photo 5. If it feels dry, add a little more water.

Form into a ball (if you can, it may be a little difficult but don’t add any extra flour), don’t worry if you can’t, it will work and rise anyway. Keep the dough in the bowl (covered with the tea towel) and leave to rise until it doubles in size (should take between ½ to 1 hour depending on the room temperature, I usually put mine near the radiator on a chair in front of it).

Once it has doubled in size, tip onto a floured surface, knockback and cut into 4 pieces. Once you have the 4 pieces, you should spread them out slightly into a rectangle and fold (fold a small section), and keep folding – a little like rolling but if needs to be pressed down). Once you have a sausage shape, roll out into a baguette. Repeat the process.

You can also bake it in a free-formed loaf, it will take a little longer but nice for a change.

If you have baguettes trays, you can put the baguettes directly onto them (seam side down) but if you don’t, just put them on a baking tray, they may not look as pretty but will taste the same.

Leave the baguettes to rise (double in size) again it can take between ½ and 1hour depending on how warm your room is. Pre-heat your over at 220C whilst the baguettes are rising.

If your baguettes are either on the baguettes tray or baking tray, slash the top – I use a razor blade but a sharp knife will also work (this helps with the rising) and put them into the hot oven (to ensure they have a good crust, you’ll need to put a dish with hot water in the bottom of the oven).

Cook for a least 20 minutes, if you want your bread to be more like we have it in France (well done) it will take 5 or 10 minutes more.

Please note:

  • You should not have to put the paper on the trays the only reason I have to line mine with paper is because they are no longer non-stick so I had to improvise.
  • I start the cooking process with the paper but after around 10mn, I take the baguettes off the trays and slide them onto the oven grille. You don’t have to do this at all if you have non-stick trays or if your baguettes are on a baking tray!! Mine has been used so much that they are not really that good anymore, tried to replace them but with this COVID-19 virus, everyone has decided to start baking.

The baguettes can be frozen on the day they are baked – they can be defrosted at room temperature for about 1hour.

Final notes on the bread

What we found is it is best to make the baguette so that that it looks almost as though it might be burnt – that’s if you want it to be authentic. In France, a baguette is never underdone – its always crunchy to bite. It almost cuts the roof of your mouth but is soft and fluffy inside. You can eat it on its own, with butter, or jazz it up into a sandwich. I have to say this is my absolute favourite bread and one of our favourite ways to eat it as a family is lathered in chocolate spread and dunked in coffee or a giant hot chocolate! Please share how you eat yours in our comments below and let us know what you think when you make yours.

Baguette boules: The BB recipe

Oui, oui, iet ies see famoes Baguette Boule!

Klik hier voor de Nederlandse versie
For people who, for various reasons, cannot or will not make baguettes, this bread is a great alternative! And you do not need a mixer…

This recipe will yield two breads of about 675 g each. We advice you to make this recipe as stated. You could divide all the ingredients in half and end up with one boule. But because of the lengthy process and the fact that the piece of dough for one boule will be a bit too small to handle during stretch and folds, we would urge you (provided you have the oven space) to make the two breads in one go.

From baguette to baguette boule
So what’s the difference from our original 80% hydration baguette recipe ? The most important step was we only used 75% hydration instead of 80%, estimating we could shape a good loaf this way. So for the two baguette boules in this recipe we reduced the amount of water in the final dough from 304 g to 266 g. The amount of water in the poolish stays the same as in the original baguette recipe. The end result is great, the crumb is moist, lovely and sweet like the baguette, but the shape allows you to have a nice sandwich (we Dutch love our sandwiches). The oven spring was a joy to watch, the crust is much like the crust of a baguette. We also really like the color of this bread, you can see how beautiful it has caramelized.

So in honor of this successful experiment we decided that this bread is a keeper and should have a name. So next to the PR (Pain Rustique), PL (Pain au Levain), SF (San Francisco Style Sour Dough) and the MB (Mini Boules) we now have the BB (which either stands for Baguette Batard or Baguette Boule, depending on the shape you choose).

Before you start, you might also want to check our tips for scoring bread with confidence and handling wet dough. You can check out the stretching and folding technique used for this dough in our baguette making video.

Ingredients for the poolish
380 g wheat (bread) flour (around 12% protein)
304 g water (room temperature)
3 g instant yeast
Ingredients for the Baguette Boules
makes 2 boules of 673 g each
the poolish from step 1
380 g wheat (bread) flour
266 g water
12 g (sea) salt
1.5 g instant yeast

Open WKB Dough Calculator

Making the ‘Poolish’
Normally a poolish has equal parts of water and flour, however this time we make a preferment of 80% water which is in between a biga and a poolish. So it is less wet and much less slurry than an actual poolish. In a bowl stir together 380 grams of bread flour with 304 grams of cold water 3 grams of instant dry yeast. Mix it until you have a consistency that looks like very very thick dough-like batter. Cover the bowl and leave for one hour at room temperature. After this hour at room temperature you put the poolish in the fridge for 10 to 17 hours. So if you want to begin your bread making in the morning, you can make your poolish the evening before.

Making the BB’s
The times given in this recipe work best if your room temperature is between 19ºC / 66ºF and 23ºC / 73ºF. If your room is colder, use room temperature water instead of cold water (straight from tap) in the final dough.

Please note: There is no real mixing or kneading in this recipe. It’s all stretch and fold. In a bowl, combine the poolish (directly taken from the fridge!) with all the other ingredients until you have a shaggy mass. Cover your bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes to let the flour absorb the water. Turn out the mass onto your work surface and stretch and fold for 2 minutes in a steady pace. Keep on at it because it doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere but it will be OK. Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutes.

Homemade French Baguettes

This recipe for Homemade French Baguettes requires a few steps to get the perfect pockets of air in the bread but nothing beats homemade bread and the way it makes your house smell. By following these step-by-step directions, you can successfully make great baguettes at home.

The one thing you must do if you want to make homemade French baguettes is plan ahead. While there are only a few ingredients and they are not hard to make, there is a lot of down time waiting for the dough to rise in different stages. Just start a full day ahead of when you’d like to eat the baguettes and enjoy the process. Start by making a poolish. A poolish is what we call a pre-ferment – a starter dough that is made ahead of time and it is key to giving your bread great flavor. Other examples of a pre-fermented doughs are sourdough, levain or biga. The nice thing about using a poolish as a starter for baguettes is that it is made once, takes just 12 hours and is used in its entirety when you make the baguette dough – you don’t have to keep and feed it like you do with a sourdough starter. It’s as simple as stirring three ingredients together – flour, water and yeast.

After 12 to 18 hours at room temperature, your poolish will look like the image below – slightly increased in volume and bubbly.

Add water to the poolish to loosen it and then add the flour, more yeast and some salt. The dough will be relatively wet, but the good news is that you don’t really have to knead baguette dough. We want there to be nice airy bubbles in our baguettes and by simply stretching and folding the dough over on itself is enough to engage the elastic quality of the gluten and then you just have to let the yeast do its job of reproducing and flavoring the dough.

Once your dough has gone through a couple of rises, start to shape the dough into roughly the right shape – a rectangle. Portion the dough into 3 or 4 pieces and flatten them into rectangles. Then, with the long side of the rectangle facing you, fold the dough into a third of its width as you would fold a letter – fold the top third of the rectangle down and fold the bottom third of the rectangle up. It should now look roughly like a log. Let it rest and rise again.

You’ll do this one more time before gently rolling the logs out into a baguette length. It should now rise one last time in a baguette pan or on a baker’s couche – a durable French linen cloth used to keep the doughs rising upwards instead of sideways.

Now it’s time to bake the homemade French baguettes. The key to the crust of a baguette is steam. Professional bakers use stem ovens to get the best crust, but you can create a similar environment at home. Pre-heat your oven with a cast iron pan in the bottom of the oven for at least 30 minutes. Boil the kettle and when you’re ready, put the baguettes into the oven and pour boiling water into the cast iron pan. Use long oven mitts to do this and be aware that there will be a lot of steam. Close the oven door as soon as you can and let the baguettes cook in the steamy environment for just 15 to 20 minutes. It’s the steam that will create that nice crispy crust on the outside of the baguette.

The three baguettes above have a different appearance because two of them were dusted with flour before being transferred to the oven. If you like that rustic look, a simple quick dust with flour is all you need.

So you can see it is a long-is process (lots of unattended time), but there are a couple of ways you can shorten the path to freshly baked bread. You could make the dough, let it rise twice, portion it into 3 or 4 and then freeze the dough for another time. Freeze each portion in an air-tight bag and then defrost the dough on the counter and pick up the recipe where you left off once it has fully thawed. I find it even more convenient to freeze freshly baked baguette as soon as they’ve cooled down. Then, it’s a quick re-heat in the oven at 400ºF for 8 minutes or so and you’re set to go with a fresh loaf. Just grab a bread knife!

Recipe Step-by-Step Quick Notes:

  • Make poolish and let sit, covered, room temperature for 12 to 18 hours
  • Add water to poolish, then flour, yeast and salt. Mix together, turning the dough over on itself several times.
  • Rest 10 minutes.
  • Stretch and fold the dough and put in an oiled bowl, covered with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Rest 45 minutes
  • Stretch and fold the dough. Return to the oiled bowl, covered with a lid or plastic wrap.
  • Rest 45 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into 3 or 4 portions. Flatten each portion, fold and shape each into a log. Cover.
  • Rest 30 minutes.
  • Fold and shape each log into a baguette. Rest either on a baguette pan or baker’s couche, covered.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 475ºF with an empty cast iron pan inside for at least 30 minutes while baguettes are resting.
  • Bring water to a boil on stovetop.
  • Score the baguettes. Send to the oven. Pour boiling water into cast iron pan.
  • Bake at 475ºF, 20 – 25 minutes.

Homemade French Baguettes

  • Prep Time: 35 m
  • Cook Time: 25 m
  • Resting Time: 2 h
  • Total Time: 3 h
  • Servings:


  • 1¼ cups water
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt


Start about 24 hours before you want to enjoy your freshly baked baguettes. Make the poolish by combining 1 cup of flour with ½ cup of water and ⅛ teaspoon of active dry yeast. Stir the ingredients together in a bowl and cover with a lid or plastic wrap. Let the polish sit at room temperature or in a slightly warm area for 12 to 18 hours.

After 12 to 18 hours, the poolish will have grown in volume slightly, have lots of bubbles on the top and be very wet. Add 1¼ cups of water to the poolish and mix together. Then, stir in the flour, yeast and salt. Combine well until a dough comes together and turn the dough over on itself several times. There is no need to knead the dough. Let the dough sit for 10 minutes.

Stretch the dough and fold it over on itself several times. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it in a warm-ish place for 45 minutes.

Stretch and fold the dough over on itself several times again, return it to the bowl, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and leave it a warm-ish place for another 45 minutes.

Divide the dough into three or four portions (4 for shorter baguettes and 3 for longer baguettes). Flatten each portion into a rectangle and fold the dough like a letter, folding the top third of the dough down to the center and folding the bottom third of the dough up over the top third. Each portion of dough should now look like a little log.

Flatten and fold each dough log again, sealing the edges down firmly and roll each log into a baguette shape gently. Now you need to let the baguettes rest one last time in their baguette shape. You can let them rest on a lightly floured baguette pan or on a linen couche. Cover with a clean kitchen towel while the baguettes rise.

When you are ready to bake, the baguettes should just slightly hold a fingerprint in the dough when pressed. Slash the baguette with a baker’s lame or very sharp knife and transfer the bread to the oven. If you are using a baguette pan, simply transfer the pan to the oven. If you are using a couche, use a peel to transfer the baguettes to a baking stone or baking steel. As soon as the bread loaves are in the oven, pour the boiling water into the empty cast iron pan in the oven and immediately close the door.

If you made this recipe, please add your comments and ratings below.

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Homemade French Baguette Recipe

There&rsquos nothing better than fresh bread, which is why I can&rsquot believe I never shared my homemade baguette recipe before. Some links are affiliate links which earn me a commission if you shop through them.

Do you have a favorite smell? For me, it&rsquos bread fresh from the oven.

My biggest problem when I make this baguette recipe? I break it open and eat it still steaming. Did you know that&rsquos bad for your bread? Just like you should let meat rest after it cooks, bread has the same need.

If you cut it while still hot, all that steam lets moisture out so your bread dries out faster. Of course , in my house, a loaf of bread rarely lasts more than an hour, rending this moot. This simple homemade baguette tastes amazing, and the light, fluffy interior means I never stop with just one slice or chunk.

We use this baguette recipe every year on Christmas Eve go to with my husband&rsquos Caesar salad and my lasagna. It makes a perfect base for crostini. We serve it on sandwiches, slathered with hazelnut spread and fruit for dessert, and even make cheesy garlic bread with it. On the rare occasion we have any left, this fits wonderfully in my apple pie bread pudding, too.

No matter how you enjoy it, try this baguette recipe. I know so many people fear yeast, but it isn&rsquot as scary as people fear. The good news? Ingredients are cheap &ndash just flour, salt, yeast, sugar, and water. If it doesn&rsquot work the first time, try again. That said, this baguette recipe has never failed me. Never.

Is this your first time working with yeast? Check out this tutorial on yeast to get a primer before you start.

How to Make This Baguette Recipe

Make your bread dough

Add warm water to a bowl. You want it warm to the touch but not hotter than comfortable &ndash think warm shower. Too hot (over 130 degrees), and you&rsquoll kill your yeast, but turn your hot water heater down! Make sure to use fresh yeast.

I know my yeast lives because I use it regularly. I don&rsquot bother to proof it before making my recipe. Proofing only proves your yeast lives and isn&rsquot required to make bread. If you aren&rsquot sure, go ahead and proof your yeast. Add it to your bowl and sprinkle the sugar over it. If you don&rsquot see bubbles after 5 minutes, start over with new yeast. Bubbles, and you&rsquore golden.

If you know your yeast is good, skip the five minute wait and move ahead. Add a cup of flour plus the salt and mix. Add two more cups of flour and mix again. Watch your dough and add the remaining flour slowly.

You may not need all the flour, depending on your humidity levels, the flour, etc. I use anywhere from 4-5 cups of flour depending on the weather. You want your dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl but still be slightly sticky. If you poke at it, the dough should feel tacky but not immediately attach itself to your finger.

Knead with a stand mixer for 5-7 minutes or by hand for 10-15 minutes on a lightly floured service. It should feel smooth, like a baby&rsquos bottom.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise for an hour and a half.

Make your dough into baguettes

Gently punch it down and separate it into two equal portions. One at a time, stretch the dough into a flat rectangle about 5 x 9 on a very lightly floured surface. Fold a long edge 2/3 the way up the rectangle, then fold the other long edge over. Pinch both long ends together next so that you have a neat seam atop your rectangle. Flip over your rectangle and gently roll with your hands to finish up the loaf shape. Repeat with the remaining ball.

Place both loaves onto an oiled baguette pan. Cover them with your damp towel again, and let them rise for another hour or two. Once risen, use a bread knife to slash three to four diagonal cuts along each loaf to allow expansion while baking.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with a small pan on a low rack. Place your loaves into the oven (after removing the towel!). Add 1/2 cup of water into the pan on that low rack, but NOT on the loaves. Shut the door immediately to steam the bread.

Repeat this process three or four times during the first several minutes of cooking. It will create a steam bath in the oven which will help create a great crunchy crust to your bread. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and it has a hollow sound when you thump it.