Crusty French Baguette (no knead)

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When I gave baking classes several years ago, I invited about 10 Ladies over to bake breads and baguettes. I had prepared the dough a day before, so I did my demonstration. The house smelled heavenly while baking. Afterward we all sat down and tasted the freshly baked bread with some of my homemade French Liver Pate and Cheeses.

While preparing my German Bauernbrot I also prepare the dough for my Baguette. I know that sounds a bit much, unless you are large family. Once baked, let cool, then slice or cut the Bread and Baguettes in pieces and freeze the leftovers in a tight plastic bag. It can be thawed and toasted every morning.

French baguette

Plan 24 hours ahead, you would need to prepare a “Poolish” or pre-dough that needs to rest about 18 hours or overnight.

A Pre-Dough or Poolish, which is water and flour (1 to 1), and a dash of dry yeast, gives the yeast more time for this process. The aroma of the baked goods becomes more intense, more flavors and fermentation acids develop. Pre-doughs are used for yeast growth (up to 30%), aroma development and freshness. They also improve the texture of the dough (more elastic) and the “Krume” crumb and crust properties. The bread will stay fresh longer.

Poolish, pre-dough

Pre-dough or Poolish:

Place 1 cup lukewarm water into the jar, add 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast and stir. Drop in slowly the flour and whisk until there are no more clumps. Cover with plastic foil and let rest at least 18 hours or overnight at room temperature.

Refrigerate Poolish up to 3 days

Baking pans will give the Baguettes their perfect shape. Spray with cooking oil, or place in parchment paper, so it does not stick.

Baguette pans keep the dough in shape and form. There is a narrow and wide form. I prefer the larger Italian bread baking form for my Baguette. You can order on Amazon here!

French baguette

A secret ingredient I use to improve the texture is Diastatic malt

Diastatic malt powder is the “secret ingredient” savvy bread bakers use to promote a strong rise, great texture, and lovely brown crust

Diastatic Malt can be ordered here

Diastatic Malt improves the “Krume”. Savvy bread bakers use it to promote a strong rise, great texture, and lovely brown crust. Just 1 tsp for 3 cups flour, and you would see and taste the difference.

I highly recommend this Danish Dough Whisk to stir. No need to use your hands. You can order it here

You want to achieve this type of crispiness, it will later soften up:

Other add-ins to the flour:

  • Cranberries and Walnuts
  • Rosemary with Olives (or Garlic). Cover with Parmesan
  • Add to flour and cover with Sunflower seeds
  • Sundried Tomatoes and garlic, and/or Rosemary 
  • Cover with Roasted Pumpkin seeds
  • Add aged Parmesan cubes to the flour (my favorite)

To make Crusty Rolls, follow the recipe, let the dough rise for a couple hours, then place it in the refrigerator up to a week covered with plastic foil. Take out in portions and form the rolls or Brötchen in the morning. Make sure to mist the rolls with water, than bake at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes

If you like to start you own Sourdough and need help, I recommend these