Baguette – crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside, and with a lovely texture that’s chewy and delicious. Would you like a foolproof baguette recipe? And what’s more, it’s an incredible 6p per baguette!
Weekend Baguette Recipe
I’ve called it a weekend baguette recipe because it takes a little time to do. But that is all elapsed time, there is very little actual effort involved. No strenuous kneading for instance.
You need to mix the dough one day, and shape and bake it the next. The first day is a few minutes for the yeast to activate, a couple of minutes to mix the dough, just mixing it, no kneading it, then pop it in the fridge
Overnight, or until whenever you do the next step, it will gradually develop beautiful flavour. That kind of flavour that really good bread has. You can leave the dough in the fridge for 3 or 4 days without it coming to any harm.
My husband loves baguette. He’ll often buy one, have some for breakfast, some for lunch, then leave the rest to go hard. I know this now, and rescue the leavings to either freeze and bring out later, or turn into breadcrumbs to use in all kinds of things
I’ve tried to make them before, trying a couple of baguette recipes, but not really being that happy with the results.
This effort is a result of a bit of Googling and more experience in successful bread making. It’s a mashup of several online recipes
My husband could barely wait for them to come out of the oven, he was practically hopping up and down, and scoffed a whole one with cheese for his lunch – one of his very favourite things
Cool them completely, them wrap and freeze on the day of baking for best results. That’s if they don’t get eaten! Home made bread is pretty irresistible
The flour to use to make baguette
I tested this recipe while in coronavirus lockdown. The flour that I used was an Italian triple zero one, it’s simply the flour that I could get. It’s very finely ground
Google tells me that the best flour to make baguette is no more than 12-12.5% protein. The flour I used is 11% protein. Value flour is 10g protein, so next time I make these, I’ll try using value flour, when I can get some. I’ll report back on what happens. I can’t see why it wouldn’t work using value flour.
It doesn’t seem a good idea to use strong bread flour for these. Although Allinsons bread flour is 12%, still within the recommended level. I’m going to try different flours and see what happens, and let you know of course!
- 500 g plain flour up to 12% protein
- 7 g dried yeast
- 2 tsps salt
- 375 ml hot water
- Using a large bowl, put the yeast and the water in and leave it for 10 minutes to froth. Now add the flour and salt. Mix it all up with a big spoon. There’s no need to knead as we are going to leave it to allow the gluten to develop on its own
- Now cover the bowl with a plate and leave it in the fridge overnight. It will sit there happily all the next day too if you need it too. The dough will rise overnight, developing marvellous flavour as it goes
- When you’re ready, punch back the dough and divide into 4 pieces. Mine weighed 240g each. Let it sit on the worktop for 15 minutes to recover from the chill of the fridge and to bring the yeast back to more lively activity
- Now shape your baguette. I kneaded mine out to a long sausage, folded it over a couple of times, then let each one hang a little in my hands until they were the length I wanted them to be. They are very stretchy and will resist being stretched into shape, springing back easily
- Place your shaped baguette on one or two baking trays, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for an hour
- Now pre-heat your oven to 230C / 210 fan / 420F / Gas Mark 9. Place a pan of water in the base of the oven. Or if you're lucky enough to have a fancy oven like me, choose a programme that injects steam into the oven cavity
- Bake your baguette for 23 minutes until a lovely golden brown and leave to cool completely before storing
- Click here to start a 23 minute timer
- After we had enjoyed one hot and crisp from the oven, the rest were left to cool completely, then I broke them in half and stored them in a plastic bag in the freezer
Got a great recipe? How about submitting it to appear on Thrifty Lesley!