I’ve been recently reliving my Paris trip from 2016 via Black Water Lilies: A Novel and various friends showcasing France a la Instagram. Vive la France; the land of baguettes and cheese! Is there any better combination? Not in my opinion!
Which brings about this fabulous baguette recipe that is sure to wow anyone lucky enough to eat it. A friend who lived in France one year shared this recipe with me. It’s authentic and easy, despite the length of the instructions…it goes fast, with no complicated maneuvers–I promise! Just make sure you follow each step and I promise you will be thrilled with the results.
Yield: 4 baguettes Time: Almost 3 total hours, but less than 45 minutes of hands-on time Difficulty level: Medium in terms of general baking, but as far as breads go, it’s simple! Just follow every step.
- 1 envelope (or 2 1/2 teaspoons) Dry Yeast
- 1 tablespoon White Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 cups Warm Water
- 4+ cups White Flour (I like this variety) or 2 cups White Flour + 2 cups Whole White Wheat (I have not tested variations using more than half whole wheat flour.)
- 1 Egg (size doesn’t matter) + 1 teaspoon Water, beaten together
- In a large bowl: dissolve yeast, sugar, salt and warm water. Let stand 10 minutes.
- Stir in the flour. Turn out onto floured work surface–a clean table or counter top .
- Lift and turn dough (which should be very soft), until it sticks together enough to knead. Add more flour if necessary, but make sure dough remains soft.
- Hand-knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (I use a stand mixer for the kneading process, and it takes about 4 minutes).
- Put the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap or clean towel and set in a warm place until doubled–about 45 minutes. I like the top of my refrigerator for proofing/rising dough.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface, pat flat and dust with flour.
- Fold in half and then in half again.
- Return dough to rising bowl and let rise another 30 minutes.
- Turn dough out onto floured surface for the final time, divide into 4 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball and let rest 5 minutes.
- Shape each ball into an oval and roll up like a jelly roll. You’ll end up with 4 10-12″ long rolled baguettes.
- Place the baguettes in one of the following scenarios:
- 2 baguettes per greased cookie sheet
- 2 baguettes per parchment lined cookie sheet
- If you have a typical round pizza stone, you can fit 4 baguettes onto it, but they might grow together during the final rise and bake, meaning you’ll lose some of the areas that would otherwise develop the classic baguette crust.
- If you have a large rectangular pizza stone, you can easily fit all 4 baguettes onto it at once.
- For the most authentic texture and ease of use, bake loaves in a perforated baguette pan.
- Let baguettes rise until almost double–30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450*F when you’ve got 10 minutes left on the final rise.
- Once they’ve finished rising, score the baguettes.
- Brush the tops and sides of the loaves with the well-beaten egg and water mixture.
- Bake loaves for 20-25 minutes. They will be a deep golden brown and when lifted off of the baking surface will sound hollow when tapped.
***If you plan to serve these at an event or dinner, let baguettes rest and reach room temperature before cutting into them. If you plan to just stuff your face with them, dig in while they’re hot! With cheese, obviously.