The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Basic Baguette Formula

redcatgoddess's picture

Basic Baguette Formula

This is the most basic & easiest to acheve Baguette formula from Le Cordon Bleu (where I am trained).  This formula will yeild about 3 22" classic baguette.  You can use this recipe for

 805 g bread flour

16 g salt

6 g instant yeast (or 18 g fresh or 9 g active)

523 g water (or 511g if fresh yeast is used, or  520g for active yeast)


This is what we called "straight dough," basically, everyone comes to the party!

  1. Mix the dry ingredients together, includes the yeast (active or fresh yeast needs to disolved in the wtaer 1st.
  2. Add the water to the dry.  Now, just mix the dough w/ you hand, until there is no dry or wet spot (and yes, the dough is still VERY sticky at this point and I know, but just leave it).  Cover it with the mixing bowl & let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough and knead/throw the dough (and yes, it will stick to the counter top or board, but please do NOT use any more flour, additional flour WILL change the formula.  Just knead the dough until it is not longer stick to your tough about 5 - 10 minutes.  Cover the dough w/ the mixing bowl again, let stand for another 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the dough and LIGHTLY knead it until the dough starts to show a little tearing on the side of the dough. 
  5. LIGHLY spray the mixing bowl w/ commerica pan spry (to make sure the dough doens't stick to the bowl, then cover w/ the plastic wrap.  Let ferment for 45 minutes (yes.. that's all it takes).
  6. After 45 minutes, slowing & lightly (use a bowl scraper) 'flap' the dough upside down onto the counter, then lightly pat out the large air bubbles & fold the dough into 3rd (3 folds).  Put the semi-rectangula/long dough back to the bowl, cover, let rest for another 45 minutes.
  7. Use a bowl scraper, 'flap' the dough from the bowl & dived into 3 potions (about 450 g each).  Lightly pat out large air cells, 3 folds, cover w/ plastic wrape and let rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Shaping... seal the seam of the baguette dough by firmly push the seem against the counter (as if you are chopping it, then start from the middle of the dough, slowly roll out the length of the baguette.  Then place the shaped dough onto a inverted baking sheet w/ springle of cornel, parchment, corn meal (pan, corn meal, parchment, corn meal).
  9. After shaping, spry the shaped baguette w/ either commerical pan spry or warm water, then cover w/ plastic wrap again, and let it bench rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Scoring... use a lame or sharp knife. Slash the baguette 5 or 7 times at 45 degree angle & about 4" long on the surface of the baguette.  The angel of the slach should look about 20 degree.
  11. Baking... 400F w/ 8 minutes of steam + 12 minutes = 20 minutes + extra minutes for desired crust color. Now, if you are a home baker, make sure you spry the baguette w/ WARM water HEAVILY then bake at preheated 400 F oven, about 20+ minutes, depends on the desired color.
  12. DO NOT CUT OPEN THE BAGUETTE UNLESS IT'S COMPLETELY COOLED!!!  Restaurants have us thinking WARM bread is the best, however, if you are cutting open a warm baguette, your 2 hrs work has just down the drain for nothing.  It has to be cool, please... another 30 minutes will not kill you...

I made the following Epi w/ this formula.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Pardon me, but I think you got off on the wrong foot. You see we have had some wonderful baguette discussions lately and the recipes and adaptations using sourdough have been fantastic and also interesting. Then your recipe appeared and is condescending. Could you edit please?

Thank you.


redcatgoddess's picture

I am aware this is not a sourdough formula, and it never intends to be.  This just a simple formula for people who wants to tried their hands at making baguette 1st or making without a mixer.  I had changed the title to basic baguette so it won't be misleading.. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

As you referred to "we"  way up above, does that mean you are still studying at Le Cordon Bleu? 

Mini O

ehanner's picture

Where do I start? This site is loaded with people who make an effort to learn the best techniques for the best breads from all over the world. We try to be civil and courteous to each other and especially to show respect to those who use English as a second language. Some times things don't come out the way they are intended. That in mind, I need to set the record straight here.

It is comendable that you would try to learn the skills of professional bakers. The thing is, you make statements as if they are facts not in dispute, that are not in line with common practice. I embrace your efforts to learn as I am sure many others here will but you should wait to give advice on technique until you have mastered the skills. I don't want to be rude or disrespectful of your efforts but the image of the baguette shows me you are at the very early stages of learning these skills. 

The method you describe above is a process that takes 2:10 from mix to bake. I'm quite certain the baguette would be less than wonderful and I wouldn't want anyone reading your "authoritive post" to think this is the way to create a Parisian Baguette. I'm sorry, it is not. If that is really what they are teaching in the school you are attending, you should consider withdrawing. You are not being well served from what I can tell in your posts.



redcatgoddess's picture

Ok, I think everyone is taking this the wrong way...  If any of my post had came out as "authoritive," I do apologize.. it had never meant to be..  I just want to clear a few things and this will be the last time I am on this subject since I see no point of 'arguing' over something this silly...

One, I am not a master of the bread making & I had never claim to be.  I am a trained pastry chef, not a bread maker.  I am just sharing something I had learnt from my days of school & my personal experiences, and hopefully my post will be helpful for someone (I sure wished I had some of the pointers when I was learning).  Two, the baguette in the photo was one of my 1st baguette that I had ever made.  I won't even have the photo if not for my boyfriend wanted me to keep tracked of what I had learnt from school to showed to our families.

The formula was handed to us as part of our MUST KNOW classic baguette, of which we made daily for 2 month to try to perfect (crumb, shape, slashing, and etc) according to French bread law, along with 5-6 different type of breads daily.  Along w/ this basic baguette, we were also taught how to use preferment old dough, poolish, and sourdough to make baguette.  Like I said, this is basic, the simplest of them all.  And is really a good baguette needs more than 3 hrs time?  I don't know, since I have not yet read a book said that 3 hr baguette is an awful one.  Isn't the most wonderful thing in life is the simplest with love? 

It's ok if you don't like my formula, it's ok to say you don't think it will turn out right.. it is even ok to say that this formula is down right awful if you had tried it.  However, please do not insult my school for I had met a lot of chefs whom are passioned about what they do & believed in what they are doing in make better quality items with better ingredients.  And all of them had taught with passions for years after years.  And I respect them for it.  My chef was trained by Peter Reinhart, even he doesn't claim to know all things, how can I be?  I value your opinions & anyone's experience in bread making.  But I am just here to share & hope to gain some in the process...



SteveB's picture

Welcome to The Fresh Loaf (TFL), redcatgoddess.  The TFL community is quite diverse.  It is composed of homemakers, professional bakers, blue collar workers, white collar workers... you name it.  We have many different countries and many different cultures represented here as well.  Each member of TFL has his/her own goal when it comes to baking bread.  Some want to learn how to bake a flavorful and nourishing loaf for their family in as quick and convenient a way as possible and others (like myself and others who shall remain nameless!) are obsessed with baking the perfect loaf (whatever that is).  The common thread amongst us all is that we realize that none of us has all the answers and that we can all learn something from each other, regardless of our backgrounds.  From your post, I can sense your eagerness to share with us the baking knowledge you have gained and we are thankful for your generosity.  We look forward to a healthy, open exchange of ideas with you.