How to Make French Baguettes


I always thought you can't make real French baguettes at home, but once I tried it I realized I was wrong. Again. You're going to be fairly shocked when you realize just how simple this is. The only way to make bread this any more French is to put some butter on it!

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
14 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
15 hrs 5 mins
2 large or 4 small baguettes


  • 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


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

Cook's Note:

For best results, measure by weight, not volume for this. You should measure out 325 grams water and 18 ounces flour by weight (500 grams).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

305 Calories
1g Fat
64g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 305
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Sodium 682mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 64g 23%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 9g
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 94mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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