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How to Make the French Baguette

French baguettes are a classic part of French food, and people all over the world love them for their crispy outside and soft, airy inside. Making your own French baguette at home can be fun and give you a taste of France, no matter where you are. 

Here’s how to bake baguettes at home. Read on for baking tips at the end of the article.

History of the French baguette

It’s not clear where the French baguette came from, but this beloved bread has been a part of French culture since at least the 18th century. 

The word “baguette” comes from the Latin word for “stick” or “wand,” which describes how long and thin it is. 

In the past, the baguette may have been created because of a law that said cooks couldn’t start working before 4 a.m., which made it hard to make the usual round loaves in time for breakfast. Because the baguette was smaller, it cooked faster and more evenly, which fixed the issue.

Loved the world over

The baguette is famous for both its unique shape and the many ways it can be used in French cuisine. It goes with every meal, from breakfast to dinner, and is a big part of French society, both socially and in the kitchen. It’s also famous because it’s made with simple ingredients that everybody has. It doesn’t take a lot of skill to get the right texture and flavour, just a little bit of practice. 

Here’s how to make a classic French baguette


  • 500g of strong white bread flour
  • 10g salt
  • 7g instant yeast
  • 370ml water, at room temperature


  1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Keep the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Add the water, and mix until a rough dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. This helps develop the gluten, which gives the baguette its structure.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back the dough, then divide into two equal parts. Roll each piece into a long, thin shape about 30cm in length. Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  5. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth and leave to rise for another hour.
  6. Preheat your oven to 240°C (465°F). Just before baking, slash the tops of the loaves with sharp diagonal cuts. This allows the dough to expand freely. Mist the oven with water before sliding in the loaves to create a steamy environment, which helps achieve a crispy crust.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom.

Baking tips for better bread

It is very important to make steam in the oven so that the crust doesn’t form too early, which could stop the rise. Putting a small tray of water at the bottom of the oven while it’s baking will help you do this.

Using strong bread flour (or baker’s flour) is essential for developing enough gluten.

Be precise with your measurements, especially for the flour and water, to ensure the right hydration level for the dough.

The dough should be allowed to rise in a draft-free, warm place to ensure it doubles in size properly.

For efficiency or to bake baguettes at scale, why not consider investing in premade french bread stick dough? The dough is easy to prepare and can be baked on site. You can also get creative and use the same dough base to bake garlic bread, cheese plaits, herb breadsticks, garlic breadsticks, and more.

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