Makes 3 loaves



  • pinch of instant yeast or active dry yeast**
  • 1 cup (4 ¼ oz) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cool water


  • all of the starter
  • 1 cup lukewarm water*
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast or active-dry yeast**
  • 3½ cups (14 ¾ oz) all-purpose flour

Special Equipment

  • stand mixer with dough hook attachment or bread maker
  • baking stone
  • spray bottle of water
  • baker's lame or sharp knife



  1. Make the starter by mixing the flour and yeast, then mixing in water to make a soft dough
  2. Cover and rest at room temperature for about 14 hours, or overnight. The starter should have risen and become bubbly [If it hasn't, your yeast may not be working. Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of yeast in 1 tbsp lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar, and wait 15 minutes. If nothing happens, replace your yeast, and begin the starter process again]

Mix Dough & Rise

  1. In bowl of a stand mixer, add all of the starter, water,* salt, instant yeast and flour with a dough hook attachment. Start mixer on speed 1 and mix 1 minute
  2. Scrape down sides of bowl. Turn to speed 2, mix 6-8 minutes
  3. Place the dough in a lightly-greased medium-sized bowl, cover, and let the dough rise for 3 hours
  4. Gently deflate dough after this time, turning it over, and let rise again, covered, for another 2 hours

Divide & Rest

  1. Lightly-flour dough and work surface. With a bench scraper, gather dough into itself to form a ball. Divide dough into three equal pieces
  2. Shape each piece into a rough, slightly flattened oval, cover with plastic wrap coated with non-stick cooking spray, and let them rest for 15 minutes
  3. During this time, preheat oven and baking stone to 450º

Shape, Rise & Bake

  1. Shape dough by working with one piece of dough at a time. Fold the dough in half lengthwise and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten it slightly, and fold and seal again. With the seam-side down, cup your fingers and gently roll the dough into a 15" log
  2. Place the logs seam-side down onto a lightly greased or parchment-lined sheet pan. Cover them with lightly-greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaves to rise until they've become very puffy, 1-2 hours
  3. For best results, use a baking stone placed on the second-to-lowest rack of the oven. Otherwise, bake on a parchment-covered sheet pan, evenly-spaced apart
  4. Using a very sharp knife held at about a 45° angle, make four or five 4" vertical scores in each baguette. Spritz the baguettes heavily with warm water; this will help them develop a crackly-crisp crust
  5. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a medium, oven-proof sauté pan. Place pan on the bottom rack of the oven
  6. Transfer the baguettes onto the baking stone (if using, or transfer sheet pan to oven). Bake until they're a very deep golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes
  7. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack. For the very crispiest baguettes, turn off the oven when they are done, crack it open about 2”, and allow the baguettes to cool in the oven

*Use this amount of water in the summer or in a humid environment, but the amount may need to be increased by ¼ cup in the winter or in a dry climate

**If you're using active dry yeast, mix it with the water, then combine with the starter, flour, and salt