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French Baguette

French Baguette
This classic french baguette recipe breaks down the step-by-step process so that you can achieve artisan homemade baguettes! This recipe produces authentic French baguettes with a crusty outside and a fluffy, chewy inside.
Yield 2 14-inch baguettes




  • 3/4 cup (90g) bread flour
  • 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (90g) filtered water, slightly warm (about 90°F [32°C])
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Platinum Yeast

Final Dough

  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) bread flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Platinum Yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (6g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (163g) filtered water, slightly warm (about 90°F [32°C])


  • Make the poolish: The night before making your baguettes or at least 6 hours before, make the poolish. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the poolish; stir until all the flour is absorbed. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for at least 6 hours, but preferably 8-10 hours.
  • Make the dough: Add the final dough DRY ingredients (flour, yeast, salt) to a separate bowl/ whisk to thoroughly combine. Add dry mixture and the final dough water into the bowl with the poolish. Stir until well combined. It may appear as if there is not enough liquid but as you work it together it will become a sticky dough. Use your hands to work the dough and fully incorporate all of the flour. As soon as all of the flour is hydrated and you have a shaggy dough with no dry spots, cover the bowl with a piece of plastic wrap and let it set at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Stretch and Fold: After the dough has rested for 30 minutes, do a series of three stretch and folds with the dough. With the dough still in the bowl, lightly dampen your hand (this will prevent the dough from sticking) and pull on one side of the dough and stretch it up and then fold it down over the top of the dough. Rotate the bowl 90° and do the same with the next side. Do this again until you have stretched all four sides of the dough up and over on itself. Cover the bowl and let it rest for 30 more minutes. Stretch and fold the dough for the second round. Cover and let rest for 30 more minutes. Stretch and fold for the third round. Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 more minutes. This is a two-hour process from when the dough is mixed to when it is ready to be shaped. Four 30 minute resting periods with three stretch and folds in between.
  • Prep the Oven & Other Equipment: During the final resting period, prepare your pans and your oven. Position an oven rack in the very bottom position and another rack in the middle position. Place a cast-iron skillet or another heatproof skillet on the bottom rack. Place a baking stone, baking steel, or a sheet pan turned upside down on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C). The oven and pans need to be heating for at least one hour before the bread goes into the oven. Lightly flour a lint-free kitchen towel or baker's couche. This will hold your shaped dough as it rises. Additionally, line a pizza peel or a flat (unrimmed) baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Pre-Shape & Rest the Dough: If you have a scale, weigh the dough and divide it in two equal pieces with a bench knife (do not tear it). Each piece will be about 305 grams. You can eyeball this if you do not have a scale. On a very lightly floured surface, press one piece of dough into a rectangle and gently stretch the short ends out. Fold each short end into the center and press down with your fingertips to seal. Fold each long end into the center and press with your fingertips to seal, creating a seam in the dough. Set the dough aside and repeat this process with the second piece. Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let them rest for 10 minutes.
  • Shape into Baguettes: With the seam side up, press the first piece of dough into a thin rectangle. Starting at the top left edge, begin folding down the dough about ½ inch (1.5 cm) and sealing it with your fingertips, working your way across the top. Repeat this process, continuing to fold down on the dough and sealing to create a tight log. Once you have a thin, tight log, turn it seam-side down. Using both hands, roll the dough on the countertop, working it into a long thin snake shape. Try to keep the dough as even as possible and work it into about a 14 inch (36 cm) baguette. Move the piece of dough to your prepared towel or baker's couche. Push the towel or couche up on both sides of the baguette to create folds to hold the dough's shape. Repeat this process with the second piece of dough.
  • Let the Dough Rise: Cover the pieces of dough with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for 45-60 minutes until doubled in size.
  • Transfer the Dough & Score: Place a baguette board or a cutting board right beside one of the baguettes. Gently pull up on the towel to flip the baguette over onto the board. Move the baguette over to the parchment-lined pizza peel or baking sheet. Gently flip the baguette onto the parchment paper, so that the seam side is down. Repeat this to move the second baguette over. Using a very sharp knife or a bread lame, cut 4-5 slashes in the top of the baguettes. The slashes should go diagonally and at a slight angle, going about ¼ inch (0.5 cm) deep.
  • Bake: Fill a bowl with about 2 cups of ice cubes. Open the oven and carefully slide the whole piece of parchment paper with the baguettes onto the preheated baking stone or sheet pan. Quickly pour the ice cubes into the preheated skillet on the bottom rack and immediately shut the oven door. Turn the oven temperature down to 475°F (246°C). Bake for about 25-40 minutes. It is traditional for baguettes to have a very dark crust. Check them at 25 minutes and decide if you would like a darker crust. Bake for 40 minutes for a dark, almost charred, crust.
  • Cool: Allow the baguettes to cool before slicing. This will completely develop their flavor. Baguettes are best when eaten the same day. However, leftover baguette can be wrapped in foil and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  • Using a scale to measure the ingredients is highly recommended for this recipe.
  • Keep fingers damp when working with this dough to prevent it from sticking. It is a very wet dough and you do not want to add more flour into it.
Recipe by Baker Bettie.

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Review & Comments

Natalie | Reply

Can I use the sourdough yeast with the baguette recipe?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Natalie,
No, this recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon of dry yeast. The Platinum Instant Sourdough can only be used in recipes that call for 1 (0.25oz) packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry (instant or active dry) yeast. Simply substitute one full packet of Platinum Instant Sourdough for 1 (0.25oz) packet or 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry yeast. A full packet must be used since it is a blend of yeast and dried sourdough culture.
You can find recipes developed for this product here.
I hope you will find this information helpful.

Nova | Reply

Could this recipe be mixed in a bread maker?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Nova,
You could use a bread maker to mix the poolish and other dough ingredients until the flour is fully incorporated. Place dough in greased bowl; cover and let sit on counter for 30 minutes. Then continue with step #3. You may also like to try one of our bread machine recipes:

Happy baking!

Nancy | Reply

5 stars
First time I tried this French bread, which came out well. I love it.

Betty Harrison | Reply

If you don’t have Platinum Superior Yeast in the house can you use another yeast in place of. Would love to try the recipe.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Betty,
You can substitute Red Star Quick Rise or Active Dry Yeast in this recipe. Rise times may be a bit longer, just keep an eye on your dough.
Happy baking!

Supriya Kutty | Reply

I always failed to make this bread which we call baguette,. after reading your recipe I found I can make it easily hoping for the best
Love baguette love your all recipes

Sharon | Reply

What is the max time recommended for the pololish to be out before using?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Sharon,
The preferred time for the poolish to sit is 8 to 10 hours. I wouldn’t recommend going over 12 hours. Let us know if you make it!
Happy baking!

David Costner | Reply

5 stars
I’ve used this recipe dozens of times. It’s proven to be a really good starting point. Based on my experience with it, I would make two suggestions.
1. I use AP flour. I get a better final result if I lower the reccomended hydration to about 125g.
2. I bake at 475 degrees for 25 minutes with a pan of water on the lower shelf for steam.

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