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This No-Knead Baguette recipe transforms 4 simple ingredients into something extraordinary. With no kneading required and just a simple mix-and-rest approach, you’re on your way to creating heavenly baguettes that are as effortless as they are delicious.
Easy No Knead Baguette
Oh, this No-Knead Baguette recipe is absolutely delightful – simple, yet yielding such scrumptious results! There’s something so satisfying about making bread at home, especially when it’s this easy. The magic of watching dough transform into these beautiful, golden brown baguettes, with their crispy crusts and soft insides, is truly a joy.
Why You’ll Love This No Knead Baguette Recipe
- 4 Ingredients: The recipe requires only 4 ingredients, most of which are likely already in your pantry. This makes it accessible and convenient.
- No Kneading Needed: he absence of kneading means less physical work and less skill required, making it a perfect choice for beginners or those who want to enjoy homemade bread without the usual hassle.
- Impressive Results: Despite its simplicity, this recipe yields baguettes that are visually stunning and delicious, with a crisp crust and soft, airy interior.
- All-Purpose Flour: All-purpose flour is versatile and easily available, making it a go-to choice for bread recipes. If you need a substitute, bread flour can work too; it’ll give your baguette a chewier texture due to its higher protein content.
- Active Dry Yeast: Yeast is the magical ingredient that makes the dough rise. It’s responsible for the light, airy texture of the bread. If you don’t have active dry yeast, instant yeast is a suitable alternative. Just remember, that your dough will rise much quicker, you’ll probably only need to let it rise for 2 hours.
- Salt: Salt adds flavor and also regulates yeast activity, ensuring the bread rises perfectly. In a pinch, you can use kosher salt instead of regular table salt, but be mindful of the grain size, as you might need to adjust the amount.
- Warm Water: Water hydrates the flour, the ideal temperature range is between 105°F and 110°F (40.5°C to 43.3°C). If your tap water is heavily chlorinated or has a strong taste, consider using filtered or bottled water for a neutral flavor profile.
You’re going to love how easy it is to make this No-Knead Baguette. It’s almost like magic – with just a few simple steps, you’ll have delicious, crusty bread that’s perfect for any meal. Let’s get started!
First up, grab a large bowl and toss in your flour, yeast, and salt. Give it a good mix, then pour in the warm water. Now, stir everything together with a wooden spoon until you get a sticky dough.
Once your dough is all mixed up, cover the bowl with some plastic wrap. Just leave it on your kitchen counter, at room temperature, for about 12 to 18 hours. Yep, it’s a long wait, but trust me, it’s worth it. This slow rise gives your baguettes that amazing flavor and texture.
After the long rest, flour your work surface really well – this dough can be sticky! Gently deflate the dough in the bowl, then plop it onto your floured surface. Divide it into two pieces and start shaping. Just fold and pinch each piece into a rough rectangle.
Let them rest again, seam side down, covered with cling film and a tea towel, for about 60 minutes.
Here’s a pro tip: Before you preheat the oven, place a pan of water on the bottom rack. The steam created during baking will help achieve that perfect golden, crispy crust. Now, get your oven preheated to 450°F (225°C). While it’s heating, you’re going to shape your baguettes. Turn the dough so the seam faces up, fold the top and bottom into the center, and roll each piece gently to form that classic baguette shape. They should be about 14 inches long.
Lay a floured kitchen towel on a baking tray, and place your shaped baguettes on it, seam side up. Cover them up and let them rest for another 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll know they’re ready when you can gently poke the dough and it slowly springs back.
After the final rise, carefully transfer your baguettes to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Now, grab a sharp knife or a lame, and make some diagonal slashes along the top of each baguette. This isn’t just for looks – it helps the bread expand evenly while baking. Pop them in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they’re golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Try to resist the urge to cut into them right away. Let your beautiful baguettes cool for at least 30 minutes. This waiting time lets the inside set up properly. Then, you’re all set to slice and enjoy. Trust me, the aroma and taste of freshly baked bread are absolutely worth the wait!
Frequently Asked Questions
How sticky should the dough be for a no-knead baguette?
The dough for a no-knead baguette should be quite sticky – more so than traditional bread doughs. It’s normal for it to stick to your fingers and the bowl. This high hydration (more water) is crucial for creating the baguette’s light, airy texture and crisp crust. Don’t be tempted to add more flour to reduce stickiness; it’s part of what makes this bread work!
Can I speed up the rising process if I’m short on time?
Unfortunately, the slow rise is a key element of this recipe. It allows the flavors to develop and gives the bread its unique texture. If you rush it, you might end up with a denser, less flavorful bread. It’s best to plan ahead and allow the full 12-18 hours for the first rise. However, you can use instant yeast and that should reduce your wait time to about 2 hours.
My dough didn’t rise much during the first 12-18 hours. What went wrong?
There could be a few reasons. First, check if your yeast is fresh and active. Expired yeast might not work effectively. Also, ensure that your water wasn’t too hot or too cold, as that can affect yeast activation. Room temperature can also play a role – if your kitchen is very cool, the dough might rise more slowly.
Can I use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour?
You can substitute some of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, but I wouldn’t recommend replacing it entirely. Whole wheat flour absorbs more water and can make the dough heavier, so your bread might turn out denser. A good rule of thumb is to use a mix of about 25% whole wheat to 75% all-purpose flour.
What if my kitchen is very warm or humid? Will that affect the dough?
Yes, warmer or more humid conditions can speed up the fermentation process. If your kitchen is particularly warm, you might find that the dough rises faster than expected. In this case, keep a closer eye on it and consider shortening the resting time if the dough seems ready earlier.
Can I add flavors or ingredients to the baguette dough?
Can I add flavors or ingredients to the baguette dough?
Absolutely! You can easily customize this recipe by adding herbs, spices, or other flavorings to the dough when first mixing the flour with water. For instance, try mixing in some dried rosemary, thyme, or olives for a savory twist. Just be mindful not to add too much extra weight or moisture to the dough.
How can I tell if the bread is fully baked?
The best way to check is to tap the bottom of the baguette. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. Also, the crust should be a deep golden brown. If you have a cooking thermometer, the internal temperature of the bread should reach around 190°F to 200°F (88°C to 93°C).
My dough is too wet and hard to handle. What should I do?
If the dough is excessively wet and difficult to shape, lightly flour your hands and the surface where you’re working. However, try to add as little flour as possible to maintain the dough’s hydration level. Wet dough is a key characteristic of no-knead bread recipes, leading to that desirable airy texture.
- Temperature Matters for Rising Dough: Ensure your kitchen is at a moderate temperature for the dough to rise properly. If it’s too cold, the rise will be slower; too warm, and it may rise too quickly. Aim for a consistent room temperature around 70°F (21°C) for the best results.
- Use a Dutch Oven for Baking: For an even more impressive crust, you can bake your baguette in a preheated oval Dutch oven, if you have one. The enclosed space mimics a professional baker’s oven and traps steam naturally, creating an excellent crust. Just be sure to handle it carefully, as it will be very hot.
- Measure Ingredients Precisely: Bread making is a science, so precise measurements are key. Use a kitchen scale for the flour and water to ensure accuracy. This helps in achieving the perfect dough consistency every time.
- Slashing the Dough: When scoring your baguette, hold the knife or lame at a 30-degree angle. This angle helps in creating a beautiful grigne (the ridge that forms on the crust) and allows the bread to expand evenly during baking.
- Cooling is Crucial: Resist the temptation to cut into the bread right away. Letting the baguette cool completely on a wire rack helps to develop the texture and flavor. Cutting too soon can result in a gummy interior.
After the baguette has completely cooled, wrap it in a clean cloth or place it in a paper bag, then keep it at room temperature. This method helps preserve the crust’s crispness and the bread’s soft interior for about a day or 2.
To freeze the baguette, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn, then place it in a freezer-safe bag or container. The baguette can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the bread in a warm oven, to revive that freshly-baked taste and texture.
Discover More No Knead Breads
- No-Knead Challah Bread
- No Knead Jalapeno Cheddar Bread
- No Knead Honey Oat Bread
- No Knead Potato Bread
- No Knead Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- No Knead Olive Bread
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups warm water
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, and salt. Add the warm water and stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
The Next Day
- Generously flour your work surface. Start by deflating any air in the dough by folding its edges into the center a few times. Once that’s done, transfer it to your work surface.
- Divide your dough into two equal pieces, and then engage in a gentle process of folding and pinching to form each piece into a chunky rectangle. Let it rest, seam side down, covered with cling film and a tea towel, allowing it to proof at room temperature for 60 minutes.
- Lay a kitchen towel on a baking tray and sprinkle it with flour – keep it nearby for later. Turn your dough so the seam is facing up and fold the top and bottom into the center. Now, roll it gently under your hands until it looks like a baguette and is about 14 inches (35 cm) long.
- Place it on the prepared towel, seam side up, and let it rest, covered, for another 45 minutes to an hour. It’s ready when you can poke it and your finger leaves a dent. If it springs back, give it another 15 minutes.
- 20 minutes before the proofing is done, place a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F (225°C).
- Gently roll your puffed-up baguettes onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and stretch them out a tiny bit more, so they're about 17 inches long. Grasp a lame or a sharp knife at a slight angle, and with a composed, deliberate motion, create a series of diagonal slashes across the top of your baguette, ensuring equal spacing for a uniformed expansion as it bakes.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they're a nice golden brown. Let them cool for at least 30 minutes before you dive in.
- Dough Consistency: The dough will be quite sticky and shaggy after mixing. Resist the urge to add more flour; this stickiness is normal and key to the recipe’s success.
- Rising Time Flexibility: The first rise can range from 12 to 18 hours. A longer rise will develop more flavor. If your kitchen is warmer, the dough may rise faster.
- Shaping the Dough: When shaping your baguettes, use a gentle touch. The goal is to form the shape without deflating the dough too much.
- Baking Surface: Bake the baguettes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy removal and cleanup.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.