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Easy Sourdough Baguette for Beginners

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Sourdough baguettes are an easy and delicious recipe for soft fluffy bread with a crisp crust.This simple recipe is perfect for beginner sourdough bakers and a simple high hydration recipe to make.

This easy sourdough baguette recipe is perfect for beginner sourdough bakers.
four baguette loaves stacked on top of each other at a diagonal
sourdough baguette sliced

Make this classic French bread known for its long shape with a crispy crust and soft interior at home with simple steps, minimal effort, and delicious results. 

After you get good at making general loaves, it is such a fun challenge to practice your shaping techniques. I love making soft sourdough dinner rolls, sourdough breadsticks are a fantastic addition to dinner, sourdough hot dog buns are fun, and sourdough pretzels are so fun to make with kids. They are all fun to make and practice but are also forgiving and don’t require perfection. 

This sourdough baguette recipe is another perfect way to work on your shaping technique and is a good introduction to higher hydration doughs. This recipe has a 75% hydration, which means there is quite a bit of water compared to flour in this recipe, so the dough is softer and wetter than in a regular loaf. This means that it’s harder to work with, but it results in bigger open holes. It is not as wet as a ciabatta recipe, but it does high a higher hydration than a sandwich bread.

I recommend trying my sourdough French bread recipe first, and them coming back and trying this recipe with a higher hydration!

New to sourdough? Read my ultimate guide to sourdough for beginners to get all the answers to your questions in easy to understand ways!

four baguette loaves stacked on top of each other at a diagonal

Ingredients needed for this recipe:

  • All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour provides the necessary structure and texture. You don’t need anything fancy, just a basic good quality flour. 
  • Water: It hydrates the flour, enabling gluten development and enhancing the dough’s elasticity. 
  • Sourdough Starter: The sourdough starter introduces a complex, tangy flavor to your baguette. It’s also a natural leavening agent. Make sure it’s bubbly and has doubled in volume after feeding. Learn how to make a sourdough starter if you don’t have one already.
  • Kosher Salt: Other than enhancing flavor, salt plays a crucial role in controlling fermentation. It also strengthens gluten structure, regulates yeast activity, and adds depth to the overall taste of your sourdough bread. 
ingredients for sourdough baguette with labels

Equipment needed for this recipe:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Kitchen scale
  • Parchment paper
  • Sharp knife or bench scraper
  • Large rimmed baking sheet
  • Plastic wrap or a damp towel
  • 9 by 9 baking dish 
  • Lame for scoring
  • Spray bottle for water

For more information on what tools you need for making sourdough, read my post on essential tools for the sourdough baker.

sourdough bageuee sliced in half lengthwise so you can see the interior crumb

How to make sourdough baguettes

This recipe is simple to make! For the full set of directions, please scroll down to the recipe card below. This is just a general overview on how to make it to help you plan.

Feed Your Sourdough Starter:

  1. Begin by feeding your sourdough starter and  ensuring that your sourdough starter is active and bubbly. This process typically takes 4-12 hours before starting the bread. 

Make the dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, all-purpose flour, the bubbly sourdough starter, and salt. Feel free to use a dough whisk, stand mixer, or clean hands.
  2. With wet hands, gently mix the shaggy dough for about 5 minutes until it comes together. 
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch and Fold:

  1. Perform a series of stretches and folds: Wet your hands to prevent sticking, then grab one edge of the dough, stretch it upwards, and fold it over. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. 
  2. Do this every 30 minutes for 3 rounds. This process strengthens the dough structure.

Bulk Ferment:

  1. Cover the baguette dough with a wet towel or plastic wrap and let it bulk-ferment until it doubles in size. The duration will vary based on factors like room temperature and the activity of your starter. For me, this step took 5 hours. Look for small bubbles on the sides of your proofed dough to confirm readiness.

Shape Your Dough:

  1. Divide your dough into four equal parts using a sharp knife or bench scraper.
  2. Pre-shape each piece by forming them into a ball. 
  3. Allow them to rest on the counter for about 20 minutes. 
  4. Shape each piece into a baguette by gently stretching the dough into a rectangle. 
  5. Fold the sides into the middle, creating a seam. 
  6. Roll it over so it’s seam-side down and stretch it to elongate the shape.

Refrigerate Overnight:

  1. Place the shaped baguettes seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, scrunching the paper in between each loaf. You want the paper to help hold each loaf individually while also allowing each loaf to kind of support the ones on either side. You can also use a baguette pan/mold if you have one. (see photo below
  2. Cover them with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
  3. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 36 hours. This slow fermentation will enhance their flavor.

Prep Your Oven and Baguettes (the next morning):

  1. On the next day, preheat your oven to 500 degrees for about an hour.
  2. Boil about 2 cups of water.

Score the baguettes:

  1. Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score the top of each baguette with 3 or 4 deep cuts at a 45-degree angle. You want the cuts to be at kind of an angle down the length of the bread. Make sure your blade is super sharp and make your cuts as quick and smooth as possible.

Bake:

  1. Fill a baking dish or Dutch oven with boiling water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. This creates steam, essential for a crispy crust. 
  2. Spritz the baguettes with water for browning and a crunchy crust.
  3. Place them in the oven and carefully reduce the heat to 450 degrees. 
  4. Bake for 20 minutes.
  5. Rotate the baguettes for even browning and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
  6. Allow each golden brown baguette to cool slightly before slicing. 

*Tip: Want a crisper crust? Preheat the oven with a pizza stone and use a water-filled pan for steam. Brushing the surface with olive oil before baking can also enhance crispiness.

close up of freshly baked baguette in pan

Baker’s Schedule

Knowing how long a recipe will take you and when you need to be done by will help you know when to start making a recipe – that way you won’t end up baking at 2am because you didn’t take the time to know how long the process would take.

Here is roughly how long this recipe will take you:

  • Mixing the dough: 30 minutes (plus sourdough starter feeding time)
  • Stretch and fold: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Bulk Ferment: 4 to 6 hours
  • Shaping: 30 minutes
  • Overnight Cold Proof: 8 to 12 hours in the fridge (you can also leave this for up to 36 hours)
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Cool Time: 15 minutes

Overall this recipe will take you about 16-21 hours from start to finish, depending upon how cold or warm your house is.

Pro Tip: These timelines are general guidelines. Remember to watch your dough and not the clock – timing could be longer in colder/drier weather and faster in warmer/more humid weather.

a slice of baguette stacked on top of baguette loaf

Storage Information

These baguettes store best when covered lightly and stored at room temperature. They will keep for 3-4 days, but will be best when enjoyed fresh.

How to serve this to your family

This baguette is perfect for serving in so many ways. Cut it into thin rounds and serve it as part of a kid friendly charcuterie board. Or serve it with before a meal with Italian oil. Or serve it as part of a meal like rosemary peach chicken to soak up extra sauce or beside turkey noodle soup

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

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four baguette loaves stacked on top of each other at a diagonal

Sourdough Baguette Recipe

This easy sourdough baguette recipe is perfect for beginner sourdough bakers.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Bread
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Overnight Proof: 8 hours
Total Time: 17 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
Calories: 756kcal
Author: Jenni

Ingredients

  • 800 grams all-purpose flour
  • 600 grams water
  • 125 grams sourdough starter active
  • 16 grams salt
  • 2 cups water

Instructions

  • Feed Your Sourdough Starter: Begin by ensuring that your sourdough starter is active and bubbly. This process typically takes 4-12 hours before starting the bread. Feeding it with flour and water will awaken the natural yeast.
  • Hydrate the Flour: In a large bowl, combine the warm water, all-purpose flour, the bubbly sourdough starter, and salt. Feel free to use a dough whisk, stand mixer, or clean hands.
  • Mix and Rest: With wet hands, gently mix the shaggy dough for about 5 minutes until it comes together. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  • Stretch and Fold: Perform a series of stretches and folds: Wet your hands to prevent sticking, then grab one edge of the dough, stretch it upwards, and fold it over. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Do this every every 30 minutes for 3 rounds. This process strengthens the dough structure.
  • Bulk Ferment: Cover the baguette dough with a wet towel or plastic wrap and let it bulk-ferment until it doubles in size. The duration will vary based on factors like room temperature and the activity of your starter. For me, this step took 5 hours. Look for small bubbles on the sides of your proofed dough to confirm readiness.
  • Shape Your Dough: Divide the dough into four equal parts using a sharp knife or bench scraper. Pre-shape each piece by forming them into a ball. Allow them to rest on the counter for about 20 minutes. Shape each piece into a baguette by gently stretching the dough into a rectangle. Fold the sides into the middle, creating a seam. Roll it over so it’s seam-side down and stretch it to elongate the shape.
  • Refrigerate Overnight: Place the shaped baguettes seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a baker’s couche, baguette pan, or mold. Cover them with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel, or place them inside a large plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 36 hours. This slow fermentation will enhance their flavor.
  • Prep Your Oven and Baguettes (the next morning): On the next day, preheat your oven to 500 degrees for about an hour and also boil about 2 cups of water.
  • Score the baguettes: Using a razor blade or sharp knife, score the top of each baguette with 3 or 4 deep cuts at a 45-degree angle.
  • Bake: Fill a baking dish or Dutch oven with boiling water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. This creates steam, essential for a crispy crust. Next, spritz the baguettes with water for browning and a crunchy crust. Place them in the oven and carefully reduce the heat to 450 degrees. Bake for 35 minutes and rotate the baguettes about 20 minutes into the baking process for even browning.
  • Enjoy! Allow each golden brown French baguette to cool slightly before slicing. Enjoy your homemade sourdough baguettes with their delightful crispy crust and chewy interior.

Notes

Bread is best when eaten the same day, but can be stored loosely covered or placed in a paper bag for up to 3 or 4 days. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 756kcal | Carbohydrates: 159g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 1568mg | Potassium: 214mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 9mg
4.50 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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