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Fast French Baguette


A lovely, delicious homemade baguette made from scratch and ready to eat in 2 hours! Adapted from a Mark Bittman recipe.MORE+LESS-

2 1/4

teaspoons active dry yeast

3

to 3 1/2 cups Gold Medal™ unbleached all-purpose flour

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  • 1

    In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk yeast into 1 cup water and let sit 5 minutes.

  • 2

    Add 3 cups flour and salt and mix, using paddle attachment, until just combined.

  • 3

    Switch to dough hook (or remove dough from bowl and knead by hand) and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes (10 minutes if kneading by hand), until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape dough into ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

  • 4

    Punch down risen dough and divide in two pieces. Roll each piece into a foot-long rope and place side by side, about 3-4 inches apart, on a pizza stone or baking sheet lined with lightly floured parchment paper.

  • 5

    Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and preheat oven to 400°F.

  • 6

    Once oven is preheated and dough has risen slightly (about 20-30 minutes), remove plastic wrap and slash each baguette a couple times using a very sharp knife.

  • 7

    Place baguettes in oven, reduce heat to 375°F and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. The bread should read about 210°F with a thermometer when done.

  • 8

    Remove from oven, spritz with water and allow to cool on cooling rack.

No nutrition information available for this recipe

More About This Recipe

  • I’ve been consistently baking bread for nearly two years.To the bread connoisseur or professional baker that’s a blip on the radar, but for me, it’s been a long, wonderful journey of learning how to make from-scratch bread in my home kitchen. I’m proud to say I have learned a lot along the way (though I still have much to learn).Of course, there have been plenty of moments of disbelief (“There’s no way I can make bread at home! Me? By myself? With my hands? No bread machine? Pssh, please.”), spills and tearful moments of impatience. I didn’t say baking bread is always a pretty process. But, with a lot of practice (and a lot, a LOT, of lessons in patience), I made homemade bread, and it was possible, and it wasn’t that hard, and I did have the time for it.A lot of people tell me they have no time to make homemade bread. And sometimes, I still don’t think I have the energy or the time to make it every week. But there are recipes like this fast French baguette that prove us all wrong. You can have yummy, fresh-baked bread on your table in two hours. Yes, TWO hours. It’s delicious, too, and very easy to make.What I love about this baguette recipe (besides its incredible speediness) is that the result is light and porous, just like a baguette that takes 24 hours to make. The bread does harden over time so it’s best to eat it right away, but even the crustiness of day-old baguette is perfect for toasting and topping with bruschetta or a tapenade.So, no excuses. Get down to business. We’ve got (yummy, easy, quick-to-make, very possible) bread to bake!

Fast french baguette

I hear it all the time — “I can’t make bread, it’s too hard,” “I don’t have the patience to make bread,” “There’s no way I could make that!”

Poppycock. Hogwash. All of it.

I remember myself almost two years ago thinking the very same things. There’s no way I can make bread at home! Me? By myself? With my hands? No bread machine? Pssh, please.

Then, when I realized there were actually cookbooks out there dedicated solely to baking bread at home, I knew that indeed, it was possible. So, I tried it.

And I tried it again. And again, and again, and… well, you understand. And eventually, it worked. I made homemade bread, and it was possible, and it wasn’t that hard, and I did have the time for it.

It took a lot of practice, I’ll admit it. It took a lot of determination, some tears, some serious frustration and also some elated leaps of joy when, “The yeast actually worked!” or, “Guess what, I made a sandwich loaf!”

Sometimes I still think I don’t have the energy or the time to make bread. But then there are recipes like this fast French baguette from a hero of mine, Mark Bittman, who has proved us all wrong with this one. You can have yummy, fresh-baked bread on your table in two hours. TWO hours. And it’s delicious, too, and very, very easy to make.

So, no excuses. Get down to business. We’ve got (yummy, easy, quick-to-make, very possible) bread to bake.

Fast French Baguette
Adapted from Mark Bittman

Yields: Two foot-long baguettes

Ingredients:
1 cup warm water (about 110 to 115 degrees F)
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
2 teaspoons salt

Directions:
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk yeast into 1 cup warm water and let sit 5 minutes. Add 3 cups flour and salt and mix, using paddle attachment, until just combined. Switch to dough hook (or remove dough from bowl and knead by hand) and knead on medium speed for about 5 minutes (10 minutes if kneading by hand), until dough is smooth and elastic. Shape dough into ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch down risen dough and divide in two pieces. Roll each piece into a foot-long rope and place side by side, about 3-4 inches apart, on a pizza stone or baking sheet lined with lightly floured parchment paper. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Once oven is preheated and dough has risen slightly (about 20-30 minutes), remove plastic wrap and slash each baguette a couple times using a very sharp knife. Place baguettes in oven, reduce heat to 375 degrees F and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. The bread should read about 210 degrees F with a thermometer when done. Remove from oven, spritz with water and allow to cool on cooling rack.


A Kitchen Scale is really necessary if you want to do a lot of baking as to get the right ingredients We love this one!

Also, to help with the Maillard reaction, AKA the gorgeous browning effect, you'll need a little spray bottle with water. Nothing fancy, just something like this one.

A Lame Bread Slashing Tool - this is basically a super sharp bread razor to make those lovely bread slashes. You can also use a super sharp knife, but isn't it always more fun to have a special tool?


If you have any leftover and you want to eat them the next day, just put them in a bread box and briefly bake them again, so they taste fresh from the baker.

If you have more leftover, just freeze a few. Just bake the baguettes briefly and they taste like freshly baked. The baguettes are ideal for preparing in large quantities, so you always have them on hand.


Classic French Baguette Recipe

TRADITIONAL FRENCH RECIPE: This is the traditional french recipe for the classic and super famous french baguette. Honestly, you won't find a more accurate recipe for baguette anywhere else on the net.

The "baguette de tradition française" is made from wheat flour, water, yeast, and common salt. It does not contain additives, but it may contain up to 2% broad bean flour, up to 0.5% soya flour, and up to 0.3% wheat malt flour.

While a regular baguette is made with a direct addition of baker's yeast, it is not unusual for artisan-style loaves to be made with a pre-ferment or "poolish", "biga" or other bread pre-ferments to increase flavor complexity and other characteristics, as well as the addition of whole-wheat flour, or other grains such as rye.

Baguettes are closely connected to France, though they are made around the world. In France, not all long loaves are baguettes for example, a short, almost rugby ball shaped loaf is a bâtard (literally, bastard), or a "torpedo loaf" in English its origin is variously explained, but undocumented.

Another tubular shaped loaf is known as a flûte, also known in the United States as a parisienne. Flûtes closely resemble baguettes and weigh more or less than these, depending on the region.

A thinner loaf is called a ficelle (string). A short baguette is sometimes known as a baton (stick), or even referred to using the English translation.