The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baguette - the quest for the french formula

dontblamethebread's picture

Baguette - the quest for the french formula

I have been trying to be able to emulate the french baguette and I have yet to find the right formula. King Arthur flour does not cut it in my opinion. Anyone who can recommend a good flour? I want a exrtmely light baguette with a crisp snap and big whole crumb stgructure. I have tried recipes from Artisan Baking Across America, King Arthurs recipe and the Bread Makers Apprentice but helas they don't come close. They look good and taste ok but I am still in the quest for it.

Any advise greatly appreciated.




arzajac's picture

This works really well for me.

The taste gets better if you refrigerate the dough for more than a day or two...


tgw1962_slo's picture


Yes, I've noticed the recipes on KAF are kind of generalized. Heck, they don't even suggest using their French or European flour. What's up with that...?!

From what I've been reading, several issues come into play while making baguettes.

1. Having the right flour (French flour is actually lower in gluten than US flour (French is about 9-9.5%, US is closer to 11.5%). 

2. Hydration. You want a hydrated dough around 68%. Yeah, its kind of hard to work with when its that wet, but that's part of the deal. I usually keep it drier until I'm ready to put them in the oven. Then I spritz the heck out of them and use a hand held steamer to inject steam into the oven.

3. A baker's stone (simulates a "deck oven"). I've had some success with those baguette pans sold at KAF. They help to hold the shape of the loaves.

I've also read that by French Law, the bakers are only allowed to use Flour, water, and yeast (I don't think they can even use salt as it is considered a preservative).

I've been experimenting a lot with this too. Even adding a small amount of rye flour, or just doing a starter with rye. Yeah, I know. it isn't a typical baguette ingredient. But I was just experimenting. I've also used some whole wheat flour or White whole wheat.

Each time I make baguettes, I adjust my approach by just a little bit. Trying to do something different than the previous time.

But this forum is a great place to get advice and ideas. Good luck.


holds99's picture

Try this link:

If it doesn't work key in Anis Baguette in the Seach box.