This quick and easy homemade french baguette recipe is simple to make and the hands on time is fast! It's beautiful and delicious, crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. Try a baguette with cheese or butter or used as sandwich bread. I love to make this and take it to potlucks, or have it as an appetizer when people are coming to dinner.
Long and thin crispy French bread, these are so yummy and delicious! It's the perfect side with chicken and salad or soup or really anything. It's very easy to make and has the best texture! For other fun bread finds, check out our Best Ever Dinner Rolls or our yummy Pumpkin Chocolate Swirl Bread!
- fast-acting yeast
- salt- table salt or pink himalayan
- olive oil
- all-purpose flour
- egg (for egg wash)
1. Combine warm water, sugar and yeast in a liquid measuring cup. Proof by allowing to activate and bubble for about 5 minutes. There should be quite a bit of foam on the top. If not, dump it out and try again. It's extremely important to have active yeast. Pour liquid in a bread maker or bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, then add 4 cups flour, salt and oil. Mix on low speed until combined (or press start on the dough setting on the bread mixer).
2. Add in the remaining 1- 1 ½ cups flour, starting with 1 cup. The dough should form a soft ball and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic-y and smooth. If the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl, add flour 2 Tablespoons at a time until it pulls away. Lightly spray with cooking spray and cover with a kitchen towel (or just leave in closed bread maker). Allow to rise until doubled in size, 40-60 minutes. No longer or the dough will be too sticky.
3.Turn the dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide in half. I use a kitchen scale, but you can also just eyeball it the best you can. Stretch and pat or gently roll each half into a rectangle, about 5 inches wide and 18 inches long. Roll up length wise and press down gently to push out any air pockets. Pinch the ends and tuck the ends under.
4. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and place spaced apart from each other. Allow to rise another 30 minutes. Using an extremely sharp knife, make slashes diagonally across the top of the bread. If you don't have a super sharp knife, make the slashes before rising so as not to flatten the rise.
5. Bake at 415. Put the bread in the oven and throw in a handful of ice cubes (5-8) on the bottom, quickly closing the oven door. Bake for 20 minutes. While baking, whisk egg together in a small bowl. At minute 12, pull out the loaves and spread with egg wash. Return them to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes. The bread will be done when it's deep golden and sounds hollow when turned over and thumped on the bottom with the end of a wooden spoon.
Hint: How are baguettes made? There is a key secret to getting that chewy crusty exterior: ice! Throw a handful of ice cubes (5-8 cubes) on the bottom of the oven as you put in the bread. It creates some steam that gives it that crusty exterior we all love to love. How do you get that golden brown crust? A simple egg wash about 12 minutes into bake time will do the trick.
- honey- 1 teaspoon of honey may be used instead of table sugar during yeast activation.
- Garlic & Rosemary: add 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder and 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary to the dough for an Italian flavor.
- Parmesan: Add 1 teaspoon garlic powder to the dough. After adding the egg wash at minute 12, cover in a thick layer of fresh grated parmesan cheese.
- Honey and Thyme- Add 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme to the dough. After it's done baking, chop another 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme into 2 Tablespoons honey and drizzle over the top of the the loaves.
The ice at the bottom of the oven gives the crust the chewy crusty texture. The egg wash gives it the deep golden glossy color. If you let the dough rise longer than an hour, it will get sticky and be difficult to work with.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days for the best texture.
Reheat in the microwave for a few seconds, or in a preheated oven for 3-4 minutes.
To Freeze: Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Thaw to room temperature then reheat in an oven preheated to 375* for 5-6 minutes before serving.
Roll into a rectangle about 5x18. Roll up hot dog style with the seam at the bottom and pinch the ends under.
Our favorite way is to lightly butter both sides of a slice and toast it on a fry pan. Baguette slices can go in the toaster, but can be tricky to remove.
If a baguette is too hard and crusty, lightly dampen a tea towel and wrap it in the warm baguette. Leave for about 20-30 minutes and reheat again slightly.