Malika Kapoor

Make your own French Baguette at home

A baguette is a French crispy, thin, and long loaf of bread made of shaggy lean dough. Baguette aka French stick or French loaf is a perfect combination of golden crispy bread outside and tender chewy inside. Baguette is a very important recipe in French cuisine. This bread needs only four ingredients and it’s so easy that a person with no baking experience can bake it. So, let’s get started.

 

Ingredients:

700g- Flour (All-purpose flour/ bread flour)

590g- Water

13g- Salt

13g- Yeast

Method:

  • Take a bowl and fill it with 500g of warm water and add 13g yeast in it. Stir it well till it dissolves completely.
  • After that, take a large bowl, add flour and salt and mix it well. Dig a well in the centre of the dry mixture. Add water with yeast in it and mix it well with your hand. Cover it with a plastic wrap or cloth and let it rest overnight or 12-15 hours.
  • Add another of 90g cold water to the mixture and now use your both hands and mix it well. At this point, our dough is watery and not the consistency we are looking for.
  • To get that perfect consistency, the first step is to slap and fold the dough. For that dump the dough on a clean platform. Take both hands and scoop the dough up from the front and back. Slap it down on the work surface and fold the remaining dough over the front. Continue it for 5-10 minutes and increase the power and speed as you go.
  • Cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest for 15 minutes. Repeat the slap and fold procedure once again for another 5-10 minutes. Put it in the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth and this time let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • The second step is to stretch and fold. Remove the cloth and stretch out the dough as high as you could without tearing it and fold it back in the bowl. Repeat this trice from all the sides in 30 minutes of interval. And then let it rest for 1 hour.
  • Now our dough’s consistency is perfect and comparatively less sticky. Take the dough out of the bowl on a clean surface. Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Now shape the dough into a tight oval by pushing dough under itself.
  • Take flour and spread it evenly across the doughs’ surface. Now take a piece of dough and flip it upside down. Pull both the front and backside of the dough and bring it to the centre. Now bring both the left and right end of the dough and fold it in the centre.
  • Add additional flour on the surface of the dough and generously spread flour on the platform you are working on. Now roll and stretch out the dough gently to form the shape of the baguette. Repeat the same for the next 3 pieces.
  • Now take a kitchen cloth and sprinkle flour generously on it. Now place all 4-baguette dough on the floured cloth and cover it with a cloth or plastic wrap. And let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven at 260 degree Celsius or 500 Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. At the same time, fill a tray half full of water and insert it in the oven when it’s preheating. This step will prevent baguettes to burn, and will also make it brown and crispy at the same time.
  • Meanwhile, sprinkle some more flour on the top of baguettes. Take a large baking tray and transfer baguettes on the tray. Make sure the tray is longer than the size of baguettes. Reshape the baguettes with both hands, if it loses its shape while transferring.
  • Now let’s begin scoring the dough. Traditionally, baguettes are scored diagonally 3 times, over the length of the dough. Make sure the knife or razor blade, you are using, is sharp enough. Cover the dough with a cloth till the oven is ready to bake.
  • Once the oven is preheated, drop its temperature to 250 degree Celsius or 482-degree Fahrenheit. Remove the cloth from the top of the dough and insert baguettes dough tray in the oven. And set the timer for 20 minutes.

Disclaimer: Careful of the hot steam while putting the dough in the oven.

  • After 20 minutes, quickly remove the water tray from the oven. Drop its temperature to 220 degree Celsius or 428-degree Fahrenheit and keep it baking for another 15 minutes.
  • Carefully take the tray out of the oven and your crispy brown baguettes are ready.

Make sure, after you take the tray out of the oven, let it rest 5-10 minutes at room temperature, after you take them out of the oven, before serving or cutting. After it cools down, you can enjoy the baguette. Baguettes can remain fresh from 2-3 days if you wrap loosely on room temperature.

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