Making baguettes is a skill. It takes time to get them right. Practice makes perfect.
These are by no means perfect. Baguettes are not easy to make especially without a solid surface to bake them on. And with an oven that does not hold steam very well. Still, I encourage you to try making them because it is quite rewarding tucking into your own homemade baguettes!
A couple of thigs that may help with baking these baguettes – make sure your oven is preheated well. I normally let my oven preheat for at least 30 – 40 minutes. Also, try to create some steam. You can place a baking tray in your oven when preheating and come baking time splash a 1/4 cup of boiling water on it as soon as you put your baguettes in the oven. A couple of ice cubes could work too.
This recipe makes 2 medium sized baguettes. Multiply the amount of ingredients if you wish to make more.
Watch the video down below to see detailed instructions.
For the poolish –
90g (3.2oz) strong white bread flour
90g (3.2oz) cold water
Tiny pinch of yeast
For the main dough –
190g (6.7oz) strong white bread flour
6g (0.2oz) salt
2g (0.07oz) dry yeast or three times the amount of fresh yeast
90g (3.2oz) water at around 18C (64F) *
To learn more about dough temperature when using a preferment click here.
- Make the poolish by mixing the water, yeast, and flour. Ferment for 12 hours.
- Add the remaining water, yeast, and salt to the poolish and mix until well combined. Add the remaining flour and mix to combine.
- Knead the dough for around 5 – 7 minutes. Desired dough temperature 25C (77F). If it is warmer, then reduce proofing time. If it is cooler, then extend it.
- Proof for 45 minutes.
- Proof for 45 minutes.
- Divide and preshape into rounds. Do not shape them too tightly as they will need time to relax before the final shaping. The tighter the preshape, the longer the rest.
- Rest for 20 minutes.
- Shape into long baguettes, place smooth side down between folds of floured cloth. Shaping a baguette take practice. Do not rush it. Watch my hands and take your time.
- Final proof 30 minutes. During this time pre-heat your oven to 240C (460F) fan off.
- Place the baguettes on a tray, score.
- Bake with steam for around 23 minutes. Turn upside down if the bottoms are not done. Your oven may be more powerful than mine, so your baguettes may bake more quickly. Keep an eye on them.
Cool down and enjoy!
Watch the video here