4-Ingredient French Bread Baguettes Recipe

homemade French bread baguettes

Diana Rattray

Ratings (10)
  • Total: 38 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 18 mins
  • Rising Time: 105 mins
  • Yield: 18 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
228 Calories
7g Fat
36g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 18 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 228
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1188mg 52%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 4g 15%
Protein 5g
Calcium 110mg 8%
*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.)

This recipe makes 3 baguettes, about 13 ounces each, and they're relatively fast and easy to prepare and bake. The steam from the water makes for crusty bread, excellent for soups, pasta dishes, or to use for crostini.

The simple 4-ingredient recipe makes perfect loaves every time!

If you've never made bread before, this is a good starting point.

Slice the bread and serve it with soup or slather it with garlic butter and toast it for fabulous garlic bread. The bread makes a fantastic topping for onion soup as well. The baguettes can be frozen, but if it gets a bit stale, use it to make French toast or pain perdu, a Cajun-style French toast.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water ( warmed to about 100 F to 105 F)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups bread flour (24 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil (for the bowl)

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine the water and yeast in the bowl of an electric stand mixer or standard mixing bowl; let stand for about 5 minutes.

  2. Add about half of the bread flour to the yeast mixture and mix with the paddle attachment for about 2 minutes, until smooth. If mixing by hand, use a whisk and mix until the batter is smooth and well blended.

  3. Add the remaining flour and the salt and switch to the dough hook. Mix on low speed until combined, then mix on medium speed for about 10 minutes. If mixing by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 to 12 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Add flour or water in very small amounts if the dough is too sticky or too stiff.

  4. Oil a large bowl with vegetable oil.

  5. With floured hands, gather the kneaded dough up into a ball. Place in the oiled bowl; turn over to oil all sides. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place for 1 hour.

  6. Take the dough out of the bowl, fold it over on itself a few times, then put back in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place for another 30 minutes.

  7. Cut the dough into 3 equal portions. On a floured surface, roll each portion of dough out into a rectangle. Starting at the long end, roll up each rectangle to form a long baguette. Pinch the seams and ends and place in a baguette pan or on parchment paper on a large baking pan. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise for about 15 minutes longer (while the oven preheats).

  8. Place a pan of hot water on the bottom of the oven. Heat the oven to 400 F.

  9. With a very sharp knife or baker's lame, cut shallow slits along the top of the baguettes before baking.

  10. Bake the baguettes for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Tips

  • If the water is too hot, the yeast could be killed. If you can't check the temperature of the water, just make sure it is slightly warm. The yeast should dissolve in a few minutes.
  • Has it been kneaded enough? Most bakers recommend the windowpane test. After kneading for the recommended amount of time, tear off a 2-inch piece of dough. Hold it between your thumbs and fingers and gently stretch it to form a "window." If it breaks up easily, it isn't ready. If you see a nice, translucent membrane, or "windowpane," it is ready.