Bread, dough and batter recipes

How to make French baguettes

How to make French baguettes

Info.

  • Half
  • 520 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • € 0.35 / person
  • 270kcal per 100g.

How to make French baguettes .

Within French cuisine, bread has a reserved place. There is especially a type of French bread, which has crossed borders and is representative of its country of origin in the rest of the world. I am talking about the French baguettes .

The baguette has a very specific manufacturing process, it must measure between 55 and 56 cm. long and weigh about 250 to 300 g. It is a crisp “rod”, with a creamy and final flavor with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Since 1995, France has had a regulation defining the true baguette, the traditional baguette . Indicate times, ingredients, percentages and processes to follow to get the perfect and traditional baguette .

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As a sign of the great importance of bread in French culture, I can tell you that annually, in the month of May, the bread festival takes place. In front of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris, bakers and amateurs meet to see, taste and learn.

In the blog you can find other  bread recipes of those to show off with yours with little effort. Some very easy to prepare bread muffins and a loaf of bread  that will make your sandwiches a luxury.

Preparation of the preferment of our baguettes

  1. In a bowl we mix all the ingredients of the preferment. We mix all the ingredients well until we get a uniform ball of dough.
  2. We put the dough in a bowl and cover it with a damp cloth. We let it ferment for not less than 3 hours in a warm place.

Preparation of the bread dough

  1. In a bowl add the rest of the flour, salt and water. Mix well and knead for 5 minutes, until you get a smooth ball.
  2. We cover the dough with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for 15 minutes before continuing with the process.
  3. We incorporate the preferment and the yeast. Knead for 15 or 20 minutes and let the dough rest again, in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth, for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the dough is fermented, we pour it onto a previously floured work surface. We divide the dough into the portions that we want. In our case, the amount of dough is ideal for 4 small baguettes.
  5. We ball each of the portions to give it a round shape and let them rest again, covered with a damp cloth in a warm place, for 30 more minutes.
  6. We stretch each of the portions to give it a rectangular shape.
  7. We fold the dough towards the center both on its top and bottom and it is on itself. We seal the edge well and place it down.
  8. We place the baguettes already formed on a thick cloth that we can shape to place each baguette in one of the folds.
  9. The idea is that the folds of the cloth serve as a support so that the baguettes maintain their shape and ferment without being crushed.
  10. We let them ferment once more for 30 minutes, covered with a cloth.

Baking and final presentation of French baguettes

  1. We place the baguettes on a baking sheet lined with vegetable paper and cut them superficially to give it their characteristic shape.
  2. We preheat the oven to 250ºC. Previously we will have inserted a tray in the base of the oven that we will keep empty while the oven reaches the baking temperature.
  3. When the oven is very hot, we introduce the tray with the baguettes. We add a glass full of water that we will quickly pour into the empty tray at the base of the oven.
  4. We close the door and the baking process will begin at that time.
  5. By adding water at this point, we manage to provide steam to the interior of the oven. With steam we get a crunchier and harder crust.
  6. Bake for 15 or 20 minutes, depending on the size of the baguettes.
  7. We remove the tray from the oven and let the bread cool on a rack before consuming it.

A perfect bread recipe to have a fun time at home preparing homemade bread. 

Here you have a step by step in photos where I show how to prepare this recipe for French baguettes . Do not miss any detail so that they come out perfect.

Curiosities and origin of the baguette

  • It is a bread of uncertain origin. On the one hand, legend has it that it was the bread that Napoleon’s troops took with them during their campaigns to feed themselves. On the other hand, it is supposed to be actually an adaptation of a Viennese bread that arrived in Paris in the 19th century.
  • Whatever its origin, the great fame of this bread spread mainly around the 1920s and thanks to the French government. It seems that the forced change in the hours of the bakers. They could no longer work all night, only after 4 in the morning, it made the process of making this bread, rest and fermentation times, vary. This fact simply turned a bread into a culinary treasure for its flavor and texture, the quintessential French bread.
  • At first it was called fancy bread but the word baguette, which means stick or bar, was incorporated into the vocabulary of bakers and customers. Water, flour, salt and yeast are the only components of true French bread.

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