Easy Sourdough Baguettes

Chewy and crisp sourdough baguettes that you can start in the morning and serve with dinner.
4.88 from 8 votes

This recipe combines gentle kneading with a pinch of yeast for crisp sourdough baguettes with a chewy interior.

sliced sourdough baguette

You know how sometimes the strangest things get you interested in a hobby for the first time? It was like that for me with baking bread. I read a novel in which a character goes on a picnic, and in the basket were some homemade sourdough baguettes. I read that sentence and just knew that baking bread was for me.

I have never once packed a picnic basket with a homemade baguette. But I have baked them many times, both the hard way and the easy way. I love them for my favorite red pepper bruschetta, spinach artichoke dip, and feeling French.

Baguettes can be for beginners

Baguettes are romantic, versatile, and often very challenging. They typically have long proof times. Shaping them is weird. The dough is sticky. This recipe is not like that. (Here’s a great advanced baguette recipe if you’re interested.)

I hesitate to even call these baguettes because they are not an open crumb high hydration recipe. I have one of those, but this is geared towards beginners. The dough keeps its shape and is easy to handle. “Serious” bread bakers might scoff at this recipe. But this one is for normal people. Don’t be ashamed if more advanced baguette recipes scare you. We’ll get there one day. Today, we bake something we know we can be proud of.

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Step by step baguettes, the easy way

First we need to mix our ingredients in a bowl and check the consistency. It’s not going to be wet. If you are used to working with sourdough, it may seem very dry to you.

slightly dry bread dough in bowl

It’s time to cover the dough and let it rest so that the flour can hydrate. We’ll re-evaluate the consistency after this brief test. Give it anywhere from 20-40 minutes. If it still seems very dry, like the dough is not forming a ball, add water very slowly.

Then turn it out onto the counter and knead 5-10 minutes. We are having pretty long proof times with this recipe, so it’s not necessary to go crazy with kneading. The dough should still look smooth:

dough shaped into ball

Now we do the first proof. It will take an hour in a warm place, and the dough should look very puffy when it’s done.

risen dough in bowl

Shaping and proofing

We are going to shape these without getting hysterical about doing it perfectly. First, divide the dough in half and shape into rough logs. Let them rest about 10 minutes, which will make the dough easier to shape later.

baguette dough shaped into 2 ovals

Now stretch them out to about 15 inches, and pinch them to shape. Just pinch along the long, smoothing out the baguette and pinching the seam.

stretched dough into baguette shapes and pinching

Dust the tops with flour, and the bottoms with cornmeal, then slash the tops. Place them either on a curved baguette pan or a parchment lined baking sheet, and cover them with heavily greased plastic wrap.

shaped dough being slashed

Now we cover and allow the loaves to do their final proof. This can be one hour in a warm place, or as long as four hours in the fridge. A cooler, slower rise will have a more pronounced sourdough flavor, and a shorter, warmer rise will taste more like a traditional white bread.

sourdough baguettes, unbaked, fully risen

One they are puffy, bake the sourdough baguettes at 450 for twenty minutes.

2 loaves fulled baked on tray

They should sound hollow when tapped and be golden brown.

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The recipe and video tutorial:

If you love this recipe, please give it five stars!

sliced sourdough baguette with four rounds stacked on wooden cutting board
4.88 from 8 votes

Rustic Sourdough Baguette Recipe

Print Recipe
Chewy and crisp sourdough baguettes that you can start in the morning and serve with dinner.
Prep Time:45 mins
Cook Time:20 mins
rising time:6 hrs
Total Time:7 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup sourdough starter fed
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir.  Dough may look slightly dry but should come together.  Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
  • Check consistency of the dough and add a tiny bit of water or flour until dough is soft but not wet overly sticky.  Turn out onto counter and knead 5 to 10 minutes by hand.  Dough should be relatively smooth.
  • Place dough in clean bowl and cover with damp tea towel.  Allow to rise at cool room temperature 2-3 hours, until doubled in bulk.
  • Turn out onto counter and divide in half.  Shape into rough 10-12 inch logs and cover with damp towel to rest 10 minutes. Prepare flat baking sheet or special baguette pan by spraying with vegetable oil spray and dusting with cornmeal.
  • Shape baguettes into 15 inch long loaves and rub with flour.  Make slashes 1/4 inch deep with a lame or sharp knife.  Place on baking sheet or baguette pan and cover with heavily greased plastic wrap.  Allow to rise 1 hour at room temperature or 3-4 hours in fridge. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown, and allow to cool on rack.

Video

Notes

If you prefer to leave out the yeast, you can!  Simply increase the rising times by a few hours.  You’ll need to start the day before you bake.
Baguettes freeze very well: allow them to cool completely, then double wrap in plastic wrap and foil

Nutrition

Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: breads
Cuisine: european
Keyword: baguettes at home, sourdough baguettes, things to bake with sourdough starter
Servings: 10 pieces
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Katie Shaw, Heart’s Content Farmhouse
Did you make this recipe?Tag me @heartsccontentfarmhouse so I can see!

Other beginner sourdough recipes you might like:

I hope you like these!


Click here to subscribe By on August 29th, 2019

23 thoughts on “Easy Sourdough Baguettes”

    • Laura I’m so sorry I have no experience with instant sourdough. if its equivalent to a package of yeast, you would use the whole thing. I’m just not sure how it works.

      Reply
  1. 5 stars
    Hello Katie, After a few disasters: starter dying, baguettes with a hard crust and not risen enough, I suspected my starter was still too young, so your email has told me so, am going to try with a pinch of dehydrated yeast for the next batch.
    A suggestion, it is better to go by weight than by cups, cups are not exact and digital scales are cheap now, I bought mine from the super market for $20. I used to make baguettes with dehydrated yeast by making the dough in a Panasonic bread machine, shaped the baguettes straight out of the machine because the machine does the first rise, than waited for the baguettes to rise and baked them. It was very easy, regards, Claudine PS. have rated the recipe but haven’t tried it yet!

    Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Wow! I am so happy to have found this recipe. I tried it today – easy and absolutely delicious. I actually used a 1/4 cup of whole-wheat flour in place of some of the bread flour. My whole family were raving about it and the kids wanted more and more! Thank you so much for sharing.

    Reply
  3. 4 stars
    It was easy to follow. I was afraid my baguettes wouldn’t rise, but they did. It was easier than other recipes I have tried

    Reply
  4. I just finished the initial shaping of the baguettes. Do you bake directly from the fridge after the cold proof or let them come back to room temp? I’m deciding whether I should just let them rise at room temp so they can be ready for dinner.

    Reply
  5. I’m new to sourdough, which I thought was a different leavening agent, so I’m confused why this adds a bit of yeast. Can it go without?

    Reply
    • hi Lorena, you are correct! I add the pinch of yeast to these so they will be ready in one day. you can absolutely leave it out! the rising times will be a few hours longer and the final proof may need to be overnight in the fridge

      Reply
  6. Made this with a few tweaks. Added a little bit more water. I let the dough sit covered for about 45 mints after I barely mixed the flour. I just mixed it until the flour couldn’t be seen anymore.
    I then pulled and stretched it rested it and did that a few times. I let it proof for about 1 hr at room temperature and then put it in the fridge to bulk ferment over night. Took it out in the morning let it come to room temp about 2 hours. -Preshaped it let it sit for about 15 mints and then I did the final shaping. Placed in a baguette mould and let them rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs. Preheated the oven to 500 with a steel and a pan at the bottom to drop in the ice. Scored the loaves spritzed them with water. Dropped in the ice cubes spritzed the oven walls and quickly closed the door. Amazing. Best way to bake this type of bread. Thank you.

    Reply
  7. 5 stars
    I’ve made this multiple times for my family. My dad, who is very German, loves them and asks for them all the time now. About to pop 2 into the oven now to have with our lasagna! Thank you!

    Reply
  8. 5 stars
    I love your recipe! My first pair of baguettes were amazing! I used all-purpose flour, which was just fine. However I am running low now but have self raising flour – do you think it will work? Also wondering if I can use the bread machine’s dough cycle for the kneading , and leave it in there for 2 hours before shaping and final proofing?

    Reply
    • Yes you can absolutely knead in the bread machine! Just make sure to check it a few minutes in to make sure the dough is coming together as it can a little dry. I don’t know about the self rising flour. It has baking soda in it which I’m not sure about! Let’s pray for the return of flour soon

      Reply
  9. 5 stars
    Made this because most of the recipes are to labor intensive with my grandkids. Plus I’m new to sourdough starter! My house is cold so I let rise 4 hours the first time. 1 hour in the garage for final proof… Can’t wait until they get out of the oven. Easy peasy and look and smell delish. Thanx for the recipe!

    Reply
  10. My 15 year son old loves baking bread, particularly baguettes. He’s into chemistry so it makes sense. I am going to give him this recipe. He has tried many, some way too complicated with disappointing results! This is just in time for soup season…if it ever cools off!????Thanks!

    Reply
    • I love some of the crazier bread recipes out there, but I think they make it seem very simple when it’s really not!

      Reply

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