Green Door Hospitality

Adventures in Everyday Entertaining

Homemade Staples: French Baguette

French Baguette

We are finding that one of our favorite meals, especially on a Friday night after a long week, is to have a fresh baguette with a variety of cheeses, olives, fruits, and nuts.  Pair that with a bottle of wine and sitting out on the deck, well you’ve got perfection in simplicity!

This is a great and easy recipe for making it so you always can have a fresh baguette on hand.  I have dreams about owning a true baguette pan (as well as a wider oven), but in the meantime, I just get the shape as good as I can get it.  The recipe makes two loaves.  I generally will make one for us immediately, and then put the other dough in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  That way I can pull out the other dough later in the week and bake it.  The second baguette is just as fresh, crispy, and delicious.

French Baguettefrom Cooking Light Magazine

  • 1 1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Cornmeal
  • Olive Oil

Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Add 2 3/4 cup flour to the yeast mixture, a cup at a time, stirring until a soft dough forms.  Cover and let stand for 15 minutes.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and spread out dough until you have a rectangle surface area.  Sprinkle dough evenly with salt and knead until salt is incorporated.

Add enough of the remaining flour, a little bit at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to your hands.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in a large bowl coated with olive oil.  Flip dough around in bowl to coat top with the oil.  Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 85 degrees) for 1 hour, or until dough is double in size.

Punch dough down.  Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

Preheat the oven t0 450 degrees.

Divide dough in half.  Working with one portion at a time, roll each portion out on a floured surface into a 12 inch “rope” type loaf shape, slightly tapering the ends.  Place each loaf on a large baking sheet, sprinkled with cornmeal.  Lightly coat dough with olive oil and cover.  Let rise 20 minutes, or doubled in size.

Uncover the dough and cut 3 diagonal slits across the top of each loaf, about 1/4 inch deep.

Bake for 20 minutes or until browned on bottom and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

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43 comments on “Homemade Staples: French Baguette

  1. A Taste of Wintergreen
    June 3, 2013

    That’s a great looking baguette and your idea of a perfect Friday night meal is also mine. You can never go wrong with good bread, cheese, and wine.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Thanks Lindy! And no… you really can’t go wrong with simple and delicious. As much as I love to cook, those simple and casual meals of bread, cheese, and wine are some of my favorite. Especially after a long week when all I want to do is relax. 🙂
      Kenley

  2. I would love to join you on your deck with these delights Kenley! Oh what fun we would have.☺

  3. Jo
    June 3, 2013

    Looks delicious. Bet it smelled even better while baking. I love bread but alas have sworn off it due to gluten concerns. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Thanks Jo. And yeah — unfortunately no gluten means no baguettes. 😦
      I actually just posted a gluten-free dessert, Peach and Blackberry Crisp, that might work better for you. 🙂
      Kenley

  4. lulu
    June 3, 2013

    Wine, cheese and a good bread work for me any time. Oh, and let’s add a little salami sliced real thin. I recently made a Baguette I didn’t like very much. It wasn’t crusty enough. Yours looks to be an improvement.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Linda, this one gets a really nice crust. Brushing with olive oil really helps. And sometimes I will even just lightly brush with olive oil again right after it comes out of the oven.
      And I’m with you on the thinly sliced salami! 🙂
      Kenley

  5. Peri's Spice Ladle
    June 3, 2013

    Wow, can’t believe I landed a baguette recipe, perfect with my bowl of daal! I remember it used to be pretty easy to make back in our college! Thanks for posting it:)

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      You are quite welcome! So glad you like it. 🙂
      And yeah… it really isn’t that difficult.
      Kenley

  6. When I hovered over your blog name on my blog, I saw bread, my weakness. Yummmm. I will try this recipe too. Thanks. Time to warm up the oven!

  7. now at home mom
    June 3, 2013

    Love your idea of relaxing with a baguette on a Friday night on the deck Kenley! 🙂 pretty picture, love how delicious it looks! 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Thanks Ingrid! It’s such a great way to unwind after the week — delicious and not a lot of cooking involved. 😉

  8. leaner by the lake
    June 3, 2013

    Oh god. Baguette + brie + butter might be the best thing I had while in France.

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Oh I can imagine, Eileen! I look forward to when we get to go to France one day. In the meantime, we pretend on our patio. 😉

  9. Home Seasons
    June 3, 2013

    Fresh baguettes sound delicious after a long week! We could gobble them up with just a little butter 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      For sure! It’s good to make them at home since they disappear so fast (then you can just make more!) 😉

  10. the Painted Apron
    June 3, 2013

    You make this sound so easy Kenley, I’ve got to try it. I love freshly baked baguettes~this will go great with that soup of yours I want to make!
    Jenna

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      It goes excellent with that soup, Jenna! 🙂 We just ripped pieces off the loaf and dipped it in the soup while we were eating.
      Kenley

  11. Megan @ Pink O'Clock
    June 3, 2013

    Oh my gosh, that is one beautiful loaf of bread. I’m so impressed. Fresh-baked bread is the best, isn’t it?!

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Thanks Megan! And yes — it really is. Now that we are baking all of our own breads, it is really difficult to imagine buying store bought again.

  12. Your Friday night meal on the porch sounds perfect!

  13. gentlestitches
    June 4, 2013

    Ditto to the porch. That is living! I have never made anything like this but I would like to. Your instructions make me think “I could do that.”

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 4, 2013

      Thanks! And it really is very doable — and the more you make them, the easier it becomes. I’m now making a couple loaves a week and it has become like second nature. 🙂
      Kenley

  14. mmmarzipan
    June 4, 2013

    I had no idea about cornmeal and baguettes! Fabulous, Kenley 🙂

  15. gotasté
    June 5, 2013

    Perfection in Simplicity is the best description for a meal. What you wrote in the first paragraph is the best way to appreciate good food. These baguettes looks beautiful. And keeping one dough in the fridge for later use is a great idea! I will try that too. Thanks Kenley 🙂

  16. Lauren
    June 5, 2013

    Look at how beautiful those are! I haven’t made homemade baguettes in years, but you may have just inspired me…

  17. Charissa
    June 10, 2013

    Do you need the cornmeal on top? When covering the bread in the last steps before baking, will plastic wrap do? Or a towel?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Green Door Hospitality
      June 11, 2013

      The cornmeal only gets sprinkled on the bottom of the pan that you are going to bake the baguette on. Then set the dough on top of the dusting of cornmeal. For covering the dough during any of the rising steps, I recommend using a cloth towel. Just make sure it is relatively thin. Some people do use plastic wrap though so if that is all you have on hand.
      Thanks Charissa for your questions and stopping by.
      Kenley

  18. cristinasandru
    June 10, 2013

    I love French Baguette, thanks for the recipe, I’ll give it a try soon! 😉
    Have a nice day, dera Kenley! 🙂
    Cristina

  19. Good bread can take a meal from ho-hum to outta-this-world. I know that to be true! Now, the most I’ve ever done in the “bread-making” department is using pre-made frozen dough. You motivate me to try new things all the time, Kenley, like use yeast to make dough from scratch. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  22. gentlestitches
    August 5, 2013

    Would wholemeal flour “work” as well?

    • Green Door Hospitality
      August 5, 2013

      Yes it would. Watch the baking times though. Since wholemeal flour is denser it might take a bit more time in the oven.

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