French Baguette

French Baguette Recipe

The Spruce

Prep: 14 hrs
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 14 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 8 to 12
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
38 Calories
0g Fat
8g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 38
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 310mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 12mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A baguette is one of the true icons of the French culinary tradition. The perfect baguette, light with a crusty exterior and a soft, slightly chewy interior, is as sublime a creation as has ever emerged from any oven.

A simple long, thin crusty loaf of bread, the baguette is traditionally made with only water, salt, yeast, and flour.

Now, as with so much in the culinary arts, and in baking particularly, simple does not mean easy. You can spend a lifetime mastering the art of the baguette. Getting to know the feel of the dough, and the smell of it is part of what baking is all about.

Even so, just because it takes a lifetime to master doesn't mean you shouldn't give it a try. In fact, you'll probably surprise yourself with how good a job you do, especially if you've ever done any kind of yeast-bread baking before.


  • 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast

  • 1 1/2 cups water, room temperature, plus more for brushing the baguette

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    French Baguette Recipe Ingredients
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  2. Combine the yeast and the water in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the salt until it's dissolved.

    Combine the yeast and the water
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  3. Now add the flour and mix until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You'll now have a large, sticky ball of dough.

    add the flour and mix
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  4. Cover the bowl with plastic and let it sit inside your oven for 12 hours, or until it's doubled in volume. An oven is a good place for this because it won't get very drafty in there.

    Cover the bowl
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  5. After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured work surface and gently shape it into a flat oval. Don't use too much flour, though. You want the dough to stay sticky. Use the smallest amount of flour you need to keep the dough from sticking.

    After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured work surface
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  6. Gently roll each piece into a thin cylinder, stretching it out as you roll it.

    Gently roll
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  7. Transfer to a baguette pan if you have one, or onto a sheet pan with a baking mat dusted with cornmeal.

    Transfer to a baguette pan
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  8. Cover with plastic and let the loaves just sit there until they've doubled in volume, which will take 60 to 90 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. It's a good idea to lightly flour the plastic so it doesn't stick.

    Cover with plastic and let the loaves just sit there
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  9. Toward the end of this time, preheat your oven to 475 F.

    preheat your oven
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  10. When the loaves have doubled in volume, brush them with water and use a razor, or a very sharp knife, to make one long slash down the length of the loaves, or a series of diagonal slashes.

  11. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom rack of the oven and place the loaves on the center rack.

    place the loaves on the center rack of oven
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  12. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the pan of water, rotate the pan and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown.

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  13. Let cool.

    French Baguette Recipe
    The Spruce
  14. Then slice or just tear into them and enjoy.


  • Note that there's no kneading involved here, and the dough is going to be very sticky, which is important, because it's the moist consistency of the dough that will give the baguettes their chewy texture.
  • You'll also want to bake the baguettes with a pan of hot water in the oven for the first half of the baking time. It's the steam that gives the baguettes their crispy crust.
  • A baguette pan will help the loaves hold their shape, but if you don't have one, you can use a regular sheet pan.