This Sourdough Baguette Recipe produces two artisan loaves with a crisp crust and light, chewy crumb. The recipe takes more than 12 hours, but the vast majority of the time is hands-off.
I think that this recipe for crusty baguettes is reason enough for making a sourdough starter.
Because the loaves freezes really well, I often make a pair of baguettes each time I need to feed my sourdough starter.
Scroll through the process photos to see how to make Sourdough Baguettes:
A timeline for making Sourdough Baguettes:
- If your starter needs feeding, do that the night before or early in the morning of the day you want to make the dough.
- Mix the dough in the afternoon. Allow it to ferment at room temperature all day and refrigerate the dough in the evening before going to bed.
- The dough can stay in the refrigerator for 2-3 days at this point.
- Take the dough out first thing in the morning and shape the baguettes. If you want the bread for dinner time, wait until the afternoon to take the dough out of the refrigerator.
- Leave them at room temperature to rise for 1 1/2- 2 hours.
- You should have fresh bread by lunch time.
- If you want to start early in the morning to have bread for dinner, feed the starter the night before. Make the dough in the morning and leave it to ferment until the afternoon. Form the baguettes and leave them to rise, skipping the refrigeration step. Bake the bread in time for dinner.
Since you’ve got your starter fed, peruse the entire list of My Best Sourdough Recipes. Have fun!
I know you hate to throw away that sourdough discard. Check out these recipes that use sourdough discard.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
- 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) active sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 1/2 cup (4 oz, 120ml) warm water
- 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz, 210g) unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- Combine the starter, water and 1 cup of the flour. Mix with the paddle on low speed until it forms a wet dough. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30-60 minutes.
- If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook. Add the salt and the rest of the flour and mix until the dough begins to form a ball around the hook. Knead the dough for 5 minutes on medium high speed. If mixing by hand, add the flour using a wooden spoon and/or a plastic bowl scraper. This dough is quite sticky so if you are mixing by hand you can skip the kneading step for a "no knead" bread.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside at room temperature.
- After 30 minutes uncover the bowl, lift one side of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other three sides of the dough then flip the dough over. You're basically turning the dough inside-out to redistribute the yeast. Cover the bowl and after 30 minutes repeat the procedure. Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes repeat the procedure again.
- Cover the bowl and after 60 minutes turn the dough one more time. By now the dough should be lively, elastic and airy. If the dough is still sluggish give it another hour or two at room temperature. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight or proceed with forming the baguettes to bake the same day.
- Sprinkle a baking sheet or baguette pan generously with cornmeal. If you will bake on a baking stone use a baking peel or use the back of a baking sheet so you can transfer the bread to the baking stone.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and dump it onto floured surface. Cut the dough into two pieces. Gently stretch each piece of dough into a 8” x 4” rectangle. Tightly roll like a jellyroll then use flat hands to roll the dough from the center out to form a 16” long baguette.
- Place the two loaves side by side onto the baking sheet or into the baguette pan. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 - 3 hours. The rising time will vary depending if the dough is cold from a night in the refrigerator.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 475°F. If you have a baking stone put it in the oven to preheat. Place a shallow pan on the bottom of the oven to preheat. Just before putting the bread in the oven, pour a cup of hot water into the pan on the bottom of the oven and shut the door to capture the steam.
- Sprinkle the tops of the baguettes lightly with flour. This makes scoring the dough a little easier. Use a very sharp knife or razor to make 3-4 diagonal slashes on top of each loaf. Bake until deeply browned and if you tap on the bottom of a loaf it sounds hollow, about 15-20 minutes. The interior temperature should be 200°F.
- Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.
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