Easy Homemade Baguettes

Easy Homemade Baguettes

Easy Homemade Baguettes stacked two high and one sliced with butter in the foreground.

Homemade bread is easy!

Glorious, chewy, crusty bread is at your fingertips with these Easy Homemade Baguettes. The recipe is credited to Dan Leader’s 4-hour Baguette and I’ve done little to alter the recipe other than reducing the amount of salt and put it in my own words. Many types of bread can be made within 4 hours, so you may be wondering why this recipe is anything special. A traditional French Baguette starts with some kind of “starter” usually consisting of a partial amount of the flour, water and yeast. This starter is left to ferment for many hours and often overnight, making it a lengthy process. The benefit of using a starter is to promote more flavour and a better texture. Dan Leader’s 4-hour Baguette is a wonderful recipe because it creates a similar result in much less time.

Dough rising in a glass bowl for Easy Homemade Baguettes

Dan Leader does this in a couple of ways. The first being the delayed addition of the salt. The salt is added after the dough has rested and hydrated. Salt inhibits yeast growth, so by adding it at a later stage allows the yeast to develop better, creating more flavour. The second is an additional rise after folding the dough. The folding helps to stretch out the gluten strands and therefore helps to create a nice texture. The additional rise also helps with yeast development and better flavour.

Dough resting and rising on a wooden board with a bench scraper in the background.
Baguette dough rising in a metal baguette pan on a linen kitchen towel.

Adding ice to a hot pan placed below the baking rack will ensure a lovely crust on your baguettes by allowing the dough to rise fully before a crust forms.

Food 52 calls this a genius recipe and I can see why. A few deliberate actions in the recipe saves a whole lot of time and produces wonderful results. If you love homemade bread, this recipe is a must try. Enjoy!

Three Easy Homemade Baguettes are baked golden and resting on a wooden board with a linen kitchen towel.

Three Easy Homemade Baguettes are baked golden and resting on a wooden board with a linen kitchen towel.
Easy Homemade Baguettes
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    3 baguettes 4 hours
    Cook Time
    25 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    3 baguettes 4 hours
    Cook Time
    25 minutes
    Three Easy Homemade Baguettes are baked golden and resting on a wooden board with a linen kitchen towel.
    Easy Homemade Baguettes
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      3 baguettes 4 hours
      Cook Time
      25 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      3 baguettes 4 hours
      Cook Time
      25 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: baguettes
      Instructions
      1. In a large bowl stir together water and yeast and allow to ferment for about 10 minutes until foamy.
      2. Add 2 3/4 cups of flour and stir until moisture is absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.
      3. Flour your work surface with a sprinkle of the remaining flour. Dump out dough onto your work surface and sprinkle with salt and a tablespoon of flour to knead the dough without it being too sticky. Continue kneading the dough and adding flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth but still a little tacky, about 8 minutes. Using a bench scraper to lift the dough off the counter helps until it becomes less sticky. The exact amount of flour is dependant on your working conditions and existing moisture in the flour you are using.
      4. Place dough in a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area for 60 minutes until double in size.
      5. Remove dough to your work surface and using your fingers push and spread dough to remove air pockets and to shape into an approximate 8"x 6" rectangle. Fold the long sides of the dough into the centre and then fold the top and bottom into the centre. Place the folded dough back into the bowl, seam side down. Cover and allow to rise for 60 minutes.
      6. Preheat oven to 475℉ and place a heatproof pan or cast iron skillet on the rack below your centre baking rack. If using a baking stone, place it in the oven to preheat as well.
      7. Divide dough into 3 equal portions and roll each into an approximate 14" log. Allowing the dough to rest for 60-second pauses between rolling will help the dough relax and hold its shape when rolled. Place shaped logs onto a baguette pan. Alternatively, you can lay logs onto lightly floured parchment that sits on a rimless baking tray. Leave enough space between the logs to pinch the parchment and lift up, creating pleats between the logs. Place rolled kitchen towels on both ends of the parchment to provide support. Cover and allow to rise for 50 minutes.
      8. Using a sharp knife or bread lame, make at least four 4" slashes across each loaf. Add ice cubes to the hot pan in the oven and place baguettes on centre rack above. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden and baguettes sound hollow when tapped. If using parchment, remove towels and pull parchment by the corners to flatten. Place pan in the oven as indicated above onto your preheated baking stone or simply on the middle rack if not using a stone.
      Recipe Notes

      -The exact amount of flour needed is dependent on many factors such as humidity and type of flour. Keep a small portion of flour aside and add by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth yet still tacky.  By all means, use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead the dough if desired.

      -Use an upside-down baking tray if you do not have a rimless one.

      -A baguette pan is an inexpensive investment that allows the loaves to brown evenly on all sides.

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      Cinnamon Raisin Challah

      Cinnamon Raisin Challah

      Do you fondly remember raisin bread as a child?  I do, yet these days my husband and I tend to eat cinnamon raisin bagels more so than the bread.  I couldn’t resist giving the raisin bread I remember some new life.  This loaf is sweet and eggy with lots of cinnamon, a pinch of cardamom, plump raisins and a sprinkling of coarse sugar. 

      What is Challah?

      In very basic terms, Challah is a braided yeast bread made with eggs.  So by this definition, one can imagine the possibilities for variations.  

      Traditionally however, Challah is an egg-rich, braided bread eaten in the Jewish cuisine on ceremonial occasions. The term Challah is also a reference to the separation of a portion of the bread for an offering. 

      To me, it’s a darn tasty way to enjoy toast in the morning!

      About this Challah

      In this recipe, I opted to use brown sugar because I wanted that hint of molasses.  I also added a small amount of cardamom because I think it is wonderful in baked goods.  The raisins are pre-plumped, mostly because mine were looking a little dry. The top is dusted generously with coarse sugar for a little extra indulgence and crunch.  This loaf was braided with only 3 strands, but by all means, use a 5 or 6 strand braid if you prefer.  

      Enjoy!

      Baked and golden Cinnamon Raisin Challah braid rests on a wooden trivet that is draped with a navy and brown napkin. The loaf has two slices cut and resting at the front of the loaf. A knife and apricot jam sit to the side.
      Cinnamon Raisin Challah
      Print Recipe
        Servings
        1 large loaf
        Servings
        1 large loaf
        Baked and golden Cinnamon Raisin Challah braid rests on a wooden trivet that is draped with a navy and brown napkin. The loaf has two slices cut and resting at the front of the loaf. A knife and apricot jam sit to the side.
        Cinnamon Raisin Challah
        Print Recipe
          Servings
          1 large loaf
          Servings
          1 large loaf
          Ingredients
          Servings: large loaf
          Instructions
          1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, brown sugar and yeast. Allow to proof for 7-8 minutes.
          2. Stir in 2 whole eggs, egg yolks, oil, and raisins. To this mixture add 2 cups of flour, cinnamon, cardamom and salt. Begin kneading, allowing all the flour to be absorbed. Add remaining flour gradually until dough begins to pull away from the sides and is smooth about 7-8 minutes. The dough will be a little sticky but you should be able to handle it without additional flour.
          3. Lightly oil a large bowl and turn out dough into bowl flipping to coat sides. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a draft-free area for 90 minutes. (It will not appear to be double in size)
          4. Remove dough and knead a few times to punch out the air. Divide dough into 3 equal portions of approximately 300g each. Allow dough to rest for about 5 minutes. This helps relax the dough and will make it easier to roll into logs.
          5. Line a large baking tray with parchment.
          6. Roll each third into a 14" long log. Lay the 3 logs parallel to each other on the baking tray. Braid dough tightly, pinching the ends together and tucking under slightly.
          7. Cover loaf with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise in a draft free area for 45 minutes.
          8. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a small bowl whisk together 1 large egg and cream. Brush generously on the loaf and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approximately 32 minutes until golden and an internal temperature of 195℉ is reached.
          9. Remove from oven to a cooling rack and allow to cool prior to slicing.
          Recipe Notes

          For extra plump raisins, soak them in hot water for 10-15 minutes and drain well prior to adding to dough.

          This bread is wonderful toasted with a little apricot jam.

          It toasts quickly because of the sugar content.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

          Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

          Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls bake up perfectly soft and speckled with fresh rosemary.  This makes them absolutely perfect along side your baked ham or golden roasted turkey.  There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, filling the kitchen with an amazing aroma.  The kind that sparks a memory and elicits a feeling of comfort. 

          These lovely rolls are easier than you think, requiring no fancy equipment and use everyday ingredients. When making bread, it’s important to distribute the yeast evenly, whether you’re using fresh yeast or dry yeast.  Because I’m using dry yeast, I bloom it with the liquids and sugar prior to mixing. This not only ensures the yeast will be evenly dissolved and distributed but also gives it a head start in the production of carbon dioxide which helps make the bread rise. 

          You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests.  Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls are delicious and simple and will make your holiday table the best it can be.  Enjoy!

          Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            12 rolls 30 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            18-20 minutes 105 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            12 rolls 30 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            18-20 minutes 105 minutes
            Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              12 rolls 30 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              18-20 minutes 105 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              12 rolls 30 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              18-20 minutes 105 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: rolls
              Instructions
              1. Whisk together buttermilk and 1/4 cup water. Warm to 95℉-110℉ in the microwave using 30 second intervals.
              2. Combine warmed liquids, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (see note). Allow yeast to bloom for 10 minutes
              3. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, rosemary and salt. Start kneading and add the butter chunks a few at a time, along with additional flour until the butter has been incorporated and the dough is starting to pull away from the sides. Continue to add flour by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
              4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, approximately 60 minutes.
              5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Remove dough from bowl to a clean work surface. Knead two or three times by hand to remove the air. Divide dough into 12 equal portions of 55-58 grams each. Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray 1/4" apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
              6. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp of water with a fork and brush evenly onto rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20, rotating tray half way through baking time. Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper. Allow rolls to cool to slightly warm or room temperature for serving.
              Recipe Notes

              -If kneading by hand, bloom yeast as instructed and stir in the first portion of flour, rosemary and salt.  Turn the wet dough onto a work surface and add a few chunks of butter and 1/4 cup additional flour.  Knead by hand, adding remaining butter and flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticks excessively to the work surface. Proceed as the recipe indicates.

              -Spacing buns 1/4" apart will result in tray style rolls that you have to pull apart.  For more individual rolls,  increase spacing to 1 1/2" between rolls.

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              Mustard Herb Skillet Bread

              Mustard Herb Skillet Bread

              One could say I have a mild obsession with making bread as it’s rare that I don’t make it weekly and usually feel guilty buying store bread. Most often I make variations of my favourite doughs, because I’m also guilty of liking familiarity and convenience. So, in keeping up with my obsession I thought I’d share this lovely Mustard Herb Skillet Bread. It’s thick and soft with a golden, crusty coating of mustard, herbs and cheese. It’s great for dunking but what I find even better is to split the bread and make a nice sandwich out of it with sliced ham or turkey. And don’t worry about the next day, because it’s almost better when it’s toasted or grilled. The mustardy coating gets even crunchier and that’s when you hit it with a fried egg, cause it’s true, everything is better with a fried egg!!

              The mustard rub topping is just a slight variation of my go to mustard rub that I really do put on everything. I simply omitted the lemon juice and added the addition of parmesan cheese. In my humble opinion, bread and cheese are just meant to be together. Plus, the cheese lends to a nice chewy crust. Don’t be skimpy on the mustard rub either, it’s the star of the show. Enjoy!

              Recipe source for Mustard Herb Skillet Bread:  Compelled To Cook

              Mustard Herb Skillet Bread
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                20-22 minutes 80 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                20-22 minutes 80 minutes
                Mustard Herb Skillet Bread
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  20-22 minutes 80 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  12-16 wedges 25-30 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  20-22 minutes 80 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Bread
                  Mustard Topping
                  Servings: wedges
                  Instructions
                  Mustard Topping
                  1. In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients except for cheese and set aside until ready to use.
                  Bread
                  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together water, yeast and sugar. Allow to ferment for 5-7 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of flour, olive oil and salt. Begin kneading, adding additional flour by the 1/4 cup until dough starts to pull away from the sides. Continue to knead until dough is soft and silky, about 5-7 minutes.
                  2. Turn out dough into a large greased bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft free area until double in size, about 1 hour.
                  3. Preheat oven to 425℉. Oil a 10" cast iron skillet and push dough evenly into pan with oiled fingers, creating dimples as you go. Allow dough to rest a few minutes to relax dough if having trouble pushing it out to the edge. Cover and allow to rise for 20 minutes.
                  4. Brush dough with mustard topping and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool a few minutes in pan before lifting out onto cooling rack. May be eaten slightly warm or at room temperature.
                  Recipe Notes

                  Recipe yields approximately 490 grams of dough.

                  Everyday Lunch Buns

                  Everyday Lunch Buns

                  Everyday Lunch Buns are just that, used everyday, almost! Since I’m a shift worker who packs up to 4 meals a day when including my husband, I need a reliable go to option for our everyday lunches. While I will generally take frozen leftovers for my main meals, my husband does’t always have the luxury of a microwave or a way to heat frozen meals. That’s one of the reasons a cold lunch is best for him. The other is because he likes to run errands over his lunch and is often driving while eating…..I know, distracted driver for sure!! For these reasons I make bread and buns regularly, and my go to recipe is tender, yet sturdy enough to fill will shaved meats or tuna salad. They’re also made with multigrain cereal and whole wheat flour for added fibre and nutrition.

                  I believe these buns are the reason I got a new 7quart, 1.3HP KitchenAid Stand mixer for Christmas this year. I can now make multiple batches at once, it’s fantastic to say the least. This recipe also falls into a new, fun category called “Mark’s top ten”. My husband’s favourite recipes, some of which are not mine in their entirety but HIS favourites. You’ll see them make an appearance every so often, for fun and good food to eat if nothing else.

                  You’ll notice that I use a dry multigrain cereal as apposed to multigrain flour. As USUAL, I cannot always find multigrain flour in my community, so I took matters into my own hands and decided to add my own multigrain mix from dry cereal. The solution really works well, as I cook a pot of cereal, allow it to cool, then wrap and freeze in individual portions for future use. No more hunting for the flour, just grab a little bundle from the freezer when getting ready to make a batch of buns. I believe it’s also a cheaper option than the flour as well. It’s one more step to the recipe, however if you make bread and buns often, it’s a great way to do it. Enjoy!

                  Recipe source for Everyday Lunch Buns:  Compelled To Cook

                  Everyday Lunch Buns
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 Buns 30 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 Buns 30 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                    Everyday Lunch Buns
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 Buns 30 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 Buns 30 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      23-25 minutes 1 3/4-2 hours
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: Buns
                      Instructions
                      1. In a small sauce pan combine dry cereal and 2/3 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately 5 minutes until visible moisture is gone. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to 95-110℉
                      2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together buttermilk, 1/2 cup water, honey and yeast. Allow to ferment for 5-6 minutes until frothy. Add whole wheat flour, 1 cup bread flour, cooked cereal, butter and salt. Stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup bread flour and begin kneading until flour is absorbed. Continue adding bread flour by the 1/4 cup until dough is supple and pulls away from the bowl, approximately 7-9 minutes.
                      3. Grease a large bowl with oil or non stick spray. Remove dough from mixer and form into a ball, placing into greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm draft free area until double in size, 60-80 minutes.
                      4. Line a large baking tray with parchment. Remove dough from bowl and knead 3-4 times to remove air. Weight out dough into 12 equal size portions of approximately 85grams. Arrange dough balls with even spacing 4x3 on baking sheet. Cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise until puffed and double in size, approximately 45 minutes.
                      5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Bake buns for 18-20 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and slide buns onto cooling rack. Brush with melted butter if desired. Allow to cool to room temperature.

                      Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread

                      Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread

                      So what gives this fantastic Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread its rich chocolatey colour and deep flavour? It’s the combination of coffee, cocoa and molasses. Not all breads labelled pumpernickel will include all three elements, they may only have the cocoa and molasses for example. I personally like the bold rich flavour and deep colour that using all three ingredients provide. I also like the addition of caraway seeds to give it more of an authentic deli rye bread taste.

                      Today’s modernized version of pumpernickel breads use the combination and variation of these three ingredients (coffee, cocoa, molasses) to mimic the colour and flavour of true pumpernickel bread which gets its colour and flavour from course rye flour, rye berries, sour dough starter and a very long slow baking process. Once known as a peasant bread, pumpernickel bread has now become a sought after bread for hors d’ oeuvres, appetizers and deli sandwiches. I like to enjoy mine piled high with pastrami or smothered with cream cheese and smoked salmon.

                      Recipe source for Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread:  Compelled To Cook

                      Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        1 large loaf 30 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                        Servings Prep Time
                        1 large loaf 30 minutes
                        Cook Time Passive Time
                        30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                        Multigrain Pumpernickel Rye Bread
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          1 large loaf 30 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                          Servings Prep Time
                          1 large loaf 30 minutes
                          Cook Time Passive Time
                          30 minutes 1 1/2-2 hours
                          Ingredients
                          Servings: large loaf
                          Instructions
                          1. In a small pot combine dry cereal and 3/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 8 minutes until all visible water has been absorbed, stirring occasionally. Set aside and allow to cool to 85-110℉.
                          2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook stir together coffee, remaining 1/2 cup of water, sugar and yeast. Allow to ferment for 5-8 minutes. Stir in rye flour, whole wheat flour, cooked cereal, molassess, cocoa, oil, vital gluten, caraway seeds and salt. Begin kneading and add bread flour by the 1/4 cup, incorporating each before adding more. When dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl reduce the addition of bread flour to 1 tbsp at a time and continue to knead until supple and no longer sticky, approximately 10 minutes total.
                          3. Form dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm 85℉ draft free area until doubled in size, 60-80 minutes.
                          4. Preheat oven to 375℉
                          5. Punch down dough and shape free form into a boule or elongated loaf 11-12" long. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 30-40 minutes in a warm draft free area. Make 4-5 large slashes along the boule or loaf with a sharp knife or bread lame. Brush with egg wash and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and an internal temperature of 195-200℉ is reached. Remove from oven to cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature prior to cutting.