If you plan to make an authentic French baguette then you need to know that there are rules you have to follow… There are only four ingredients needed for this recipe: flour, yeast, salt, and water. That’s it, nothing more. This is how we made them at The Cordon Bleu, and they still do, to this day.
It’s a very simple recipe to pull together, and produces an awesome baguette. And the smell of that fresh baking bread is enough to drive you crazy (it does me).
2Chef’s Note: I’ve never been a bread machine kind of baker. It’s not because they do not do a superb job at making bread; I just like be a part of the process. I think that kneading bread is one the most therapeutic things you can do.
3Gather your ingredients.
4Add the flour, yeast, and the salt to the bowl of a stand mixer.
5Whisk to combine.
6Add the bowl to a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, and turn on low speed.
7Slowly add the warm water.
8Allow the ingredients to mix for about 8 to 10 minutes.
9Remove bowl from the stand mixer, cover, and allow the mixture to rest for 2 to 3 hours.
10Chef’s Tip: Place the bowl in a non-drafty corner of your kitchen.
11Chef’s Note: The dough will still be very sticky.
12Remove from the bowl, and place on a lightly floured surface.
13Knead the dough, using additional flour until the dough is elastic.
14Chef’s Note: Depending on humidity, and other conditions, you could need 1/2 cup or more flour for this process.
15Shape 6 ounce portions of the dough into cylinders about 6 to 8 inches in length, and place on a baking sheet fitted with a piece of parchment paper, or into a bread baking rack.
16Place in a non-drafty place in your kitchen and allow the dough to rise until they triple in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
17Place a pie plate of water in the lower rack of your oven.
18Place another rack in the middle position, and preheat the oven to 420f (215c).
19Chef’s Tip: The steaming water will help to make the baguette nice and crispy.
20Use a sharp knife or a lame to slice diagonal cuts through the top of the dough.
21Place the baguettes into the preheated oven, and bake until they are golden, about 25 to 30 minutes.
22Allow the baguettes to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.
24Serve with a nice bowl or soup, or cut them open and fill them with your favorite sandwich goodies. Enjoy.