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Sourdough Baguette

It might seem like an easy task to bake a perfect baguette, but in reality it’s one the most challenging things for a baker.

And I’m so into challenges… that’s why I’ve been mastering the formula over and over again. I asked professional chefs questions, looking for details… attempted to bake it many times and experienced so many failures…

Every time I felt I was so close to the right result, there still remained so much to learn…

And today I am finally ready to share with you my go-to formula…

Easy and delicious.

Ready in: 
24 hours
8-10 people
4 x 250g Demi baguettes 

Sourdough starter (night before)

I always feed starter with 90% all purpose flour and 10% rye. Which makes it nice and strong.

Please note, summertime ratio for overnight feeding is higher (1:10:10) compared to wintertime( 1:7:7), because of the temperature difference. Depending on the strength of the starter, you can change the ratio.

Learn how to make starter from scratch here.

Main Dough


Starter preparation steps.

Night before:

  • 10 pm add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let sit at room temp 70-75F till next morning until it reaches the peak (10-12 hours), it should at least double (starter isn’t strong enough), or triple in size(strong starter).

Baguette dough preparation steps.

Next morning:

  • 8 am mix water with flour, using spoon, cover, let rest 1-2 hours for autolyse (during the autolyse stage the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This will activate gluten development).
  • 10 am  Add sourdough starter. Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 min until well incorporated.
  • Cover, let rest for 30 min.
  • 10:30 am add salt and extra water. The process of adding extra water calls bassinage it helps to tighten up gluten. Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 min until well incorporated. The dough should come up together, but still be sticky on the bottom. We will continue gluten development and structure building by performing stretches and folds during warm fermentation period.
  • Spray container with water, transfer dough into container, close lid. 
  • Leave to rest 30 min. At 74-78F /23-26C.

  • 11 am wet your hands and perform 1st stretch and fold.
  • 11:45 am 2nd stretch and fold.
  • 12:30 pm 3rd stretch and fold.
  • 1:15 pm 4th stretch and fold.

Performing stretches and folds will help to continue gluten development.

After the final stretch let the dough rest for 15 min. You should see some bubbles on the surface, the dough has to become lighter. We are looking for 30%-40% rise. Some bakers prefer to push fermentation to 50% rise.

If, for some reason, the dough doesn’t feel proofed enough, add 1 more stretch and a fold, after that go to the next step.

  • 1:30 pm transfer dough to the fridge for cold slow fermentation.

Next day

Baguette preshaping steps.

Remove the dough from the fridge, turn container on the flourless surface. Using the of scraper divide the dough in 2 equal parts, then each part divide in 2 equal parts again. The weight of each dough piece should be around 240-250g.

Round each piece of dough with help of a scraper. And let rest uncovered for 30-45 min.

Baguette shaping steps.

 Baguette loaf shaping requires a technique for proper proofing and achieving a beautiful looking loaf.  

  • Turn the dough round on to floured surface. Pat it down roughly, form a rectangle.
  • Along the longer side, fold the upper third part of the rectangular dough toward the bottom third, then press down the folded section with your palm for it to flatten.
  • Now fold the bottom third toward the top, then press down the folded section with your palm for it to flatten.
  • Then use your thumb to make a crease in the middle of the rectangular dough, then fold it in half.
  • Seal the edges with your fingers, then roll the dough back and forth starting from the center towards the end until you achieve the desired length (about 24-28cm long). Generously sprinkle proofing couche with rice or semolina flour to prevent sticking.
  • Now transfer each shaped dough onto a proofing couche sealed side up. Cover baguettes with kitchen towel. Let them proof for 1 hour 30 min. It could take little more or less time. 
  • Perform poke test to check the readiness. Give the dough a gentle but assertive poke. If the dough springs back right away, let it rise for a few more minutes. If the dough springs back slowly, like it’s waking up from a long nap, and your poke leaves a small indentation, it’s ready to go.
  • During proofing time start to preheat oven 500F with baking stone inside and iron tray on the bottom rack for 1 hour.
  • When the oven is hot and baguettes are proofed enough, flip them over on a parchment paper, score with 3-4 cuts.

  • Prepare 10 ice cubes.
  • Act fast, open the oven, transfer baguettes on to the baking stone, dump the ice cubes into the tray and put it on the bottom rack, close the oven door.
  • Bake for 10 min.
  • Lower the temperature to 475F, open the oven door, remove tray with excess of water. Bake for 15 more min.
  • Let your baguettes cool for 1 hour.

Enjoy 🙌

36 thoughts on “Sourdough Baguette

  1. tks a lot for this recipe, is it possible to use this recipe for a loaf of bread? what have I to change or to do ? thank you

    1. Sure! You can use it just for a loaf without any changes. Maybe a little longer warm proofing time 🙏

      1. Bom dia! Magnifico seus videos, suas explicoes bem detalhista e podemos desfrutar dessas delicias aprendendo perfeitamente com suas explicacões. Encantado parabens e sucesso

  2. Thank you

  3. hi natasha, thanks so much for the recipe. i’ve been following u for someitme now. i live in very hot climate, temp of my dough is usually 80-82F, should i shorten the warm ferm by 45min? do u thnk it’s enough? i’m planning to shorten the time between each stretch and fold by 15min, comes to 45min. thank you!

    also i find that even if i feed 1:10:10 my starter tends to be pretty hungry in the morning, so i feed it 1:2:2 first thing in the morning then use the levain in the afternoon around 4-5 hours later, what do u think of that?

    1. Jac!
      You are doing everything correct!
      For hot climate you definitely have to shorten time of warm fermentation, and final warm bulk before baking
      Also I liked the idea of quick feeding 1:2:2 before adding starter to the dough.
      Good luck 🙌

  4. Hi Natasha,

    These are gorgeous, can’t wait to try tomorrow. My starter is 1:1:1 ratio. Would I use the same amount in the recipe? I’m still relatively new to this, so still figuring out the ‘science’ part 😜 Thanks so much!

    1. Amy!
      If your starter still new, than feeding 1:1:1 or 1:2:2 definitely will work.
      Good luck 🙌

  5. Hi Natasha, I have noticed that you use the electric mixer to mix the levain and then again when adding the salt but you don’t use it when mixing up the water with the flour for autolyse. You use a spoon instead. Is there a specific reason why you don’t use the paddle to mix the flour with the water? Thank you.

    1. Daniel, hi!
      Yes, you don’t need to use mixer, to incorporate water and flour for autolyse, , unless you wanted too.
      Dough stays lumpy, but after autolyse, nice gluten development happens by itself 😊

  6. when you say mixing maching 2-3 min and kitchen aid type mixing maching 4-6min what kind of mixing do you mean with the first with short time one? I have a bosch similar kitchen aid with mouse tail mixer accesorie, and will follow kitchen aid ratios. But I am courios the other mixing machine you reference. Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi!
      My regular old mixer (some generic brand), somehow mixes the dough faster, than KitchenAid, that’s why I recommend longer mixing time with KitchenAid.

  7. Hi Natasha. If i want make only 2 baguette.Do I need to do half starter of the specified or only for dough?
    Thank you

    1. Julia, hi!
      For 2 Demi baguettes, use 1/2 of all the ingredients 😊

  8. Dear Natasha,
    I did the baguettes and they are perfect, thank you very much.
    During cooking, and it is not the first time, I have the sides of the baguette soft, not crunchy, why?
    I have to leave to dry in the open oven for 15 minutes.

    1. Erica, hi!
      Thank you for your feedback.
      It could be that baking stone isn’t hot enough, or your oven releases the heat.
      But anyway, great, that you Are baking them longer.

  9. There is definately a lot to know about this subject. I love all of the points you made.

    1. Thank you so much 🙏

  10. Hi Natasha,
    Thanks for sharing the recipe, I wanted to know how does the icecubes help in the process?

    1. Hi!
      It adds more steam 😊

  11. dear Natasha,

    I noticed that for your recipe, u always leave your loaves uncovered after preshape. Is there a reason for that? To form a skin?

  12. Hi Natasha, thank you for sharing!
    From your experience how much difference makes the baking stone? My baguettes are not raising in the oven. My regular breads do but I bake them in the dutch oven.
    Thank you!

    1. Yulia, hi!
      I’m having same problem.
      My oven can’t keep the steam. I’m getting better results, if I bake Demi baguettes in Dutch oven.

  13. Appreciation to my father who stated to me concerning this blog, this
    website is in fact amazing.

    1. Thank you so much 🙏

  14. Can you freeze extra baguette or the dough uncooked! Thanks!

    1. You can refrigerate the dough before shaping for up to 48 hours

  15. How do you know when the dough is on 40 % fermetation? How you measure the growth?

    1. I’m making marks on container. Or you can use small glass to track fermentation

  16. Hola. La harinatodo uso del arranque seria lade pasteleria?

  17. Hi Natasha,
    I want to say thank you for this amazing recipe.
    I’ve been making sourdough bread on my own and this baguette is far the best one I’ve ever made. It is very moist inside and has crispy crust.
    Thank you for selflessly sharing this.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind feedback!
      I’m so glad you liked it 🙏

  18. Hi Natasha.
    I’m going to make your recipe but I don’t have a stone can I make it on my cookie sheet? Thank you

    1. Hi!
      You can try, and also you have to provide a steam dough ring baking.

  19. Hi Natasha! I’m a big fan of your bakes. Is it possible to make this recipe without the cold fermentation step?

    1. Hi!
      Proof it longer, then shape, proof and bake

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