The Humble Baguette

To me, there’s no better smell than the aroma of fresh baked homemade bread.

I love making bread.

And that’s a good thing because in our family, we need at least two loaves a day! When I was a little girl, I remember my mom saying how I could live on bread alone. My mother was a very good baker and always made the most delicious homemade buns for our family.

Later, as an adult  and mother (and sadly, without baking and cooking abilities), I distinctly remember the day my husband mistakenly tossed out our bread maker over 18 years ago … I was devastated! How could I make bread without the machine?  However, that providential incident  forced me to learn to make bread for my growing family. And I shudder to think of using a bread machine now! (Sorry to those who use one … perhaps they have perfected them by now? But still, I prefer a good old homemade loaf over anything machine made).

Bread is so wonderfully versatile; it can round out a family meal with flare and stretch a simple meal of simmering soup by satisfying all this hungry eaters around your table. It’s a skill I require of all my daughters, as well.

Recently, I was shocked to hear from a friend that Canadians cannot bake good bread. I wasn’t just surprised, I was, to be honest, insulted. I KNOW Canadians can bake beautiful bread! We have European roots in our bloodline … amazing breads, crunch loaves, soft fluffy rolls, artisan breads, they can and are all baked by wonderful Canadians that I know.

Today, to prove a little point … I thought I’d share my French baguette recipe, which is one of my favourites.


It’s also very easy to make! You must, however, start this dough the night before (or at least the morning before dinner, in the very rushiest of scenarios).

We’re going to start off with 3 cups of flour, 1/2 teaspoons of yeast, two teaspoons of salt and 1 1/2 cups of warm water. Mix this all together in a bowl (no proofing your yeast) and let it sit for over night or at least 6-8 hours.

[I always double, if not, triple my recipes, so I would automatically double this for a few loaves at a time.]

I mixed up this dough last night after church.



This morning, after the breakfast rush was over and the kitchen was warmed up, it was time to check on my dough. By now, it looked like this:



The dough should be alive and fluffy and very wet. Do not worry – just keep a generous cup of flour nearby to use on your hands and your surface so the dough will not stick.


Divide your dough into two sections.


Roll out gently into a baguette shape – this is a wet dough – it will be a little sticky, but work with it gently.


Score the tops of the bread (slash diagonally with a knife). Cover and let them rise. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 450 degrees and place a saucepan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven. The moisture will create the traditional crunch textured crust, while still providing a beautiful soft texture on the inside of your loaf.


I forgot to take a photo of the pans I use – but you can find them here. I’m sure, with creativity, you can just use a regular pan. Your loaf may spread a bit more, but that is okay – you will be eating this loaf so quickly!


Once your loaves are ready to go in the oven (about 30 minutes rest time – depending on how warm your kitchen is) … place your bread into the hot oven and put on the kettle for a nice cup of tea.  Enjoy the delicious aroma of love and homemade bread wafting through your home ….


After about half an hour, your bread should be ready. You can tell by tapping on the bread – if it sounds hollow and is a lovely golden, dark brown, they are finished. Place on a cooling rack. I know it is tempting to cut into your warm bread, but you must wait until they are cooled fully.


These baguettes are absolutely delicious served with – anything! Soups, pasta dishes … breakfast with jam … a little snack in the afternoon with a slice of melted cheese …


This is one of my favourite recipes … please let me know if you try it.



Yes, Canadians can bake beautiful artisan breads. It’s in our history and part of our heritage. 

March 2, 2024 - 6:26 am

Gigi Teresa, I hope so – 🙂 The washing machine was great to use. I’m glad I know how to use it now – you never know when one may need it! I hope you are doing well.

March 1, 2024 - 12:27 am

Teresa Gigi, what beautiful bread! Your children are going to have such wonderful memories of mama and home. I love the old washing machine ~ very wise and a good thing to have in the times we are living. Blessings to you and your family.

February 24, 2024 - 7:40 pm

Danessa stride Thanks for another lovely post! It is one of the most satisfying things, to make bread, I absolutely love it. I often make 8 to 10 loves at a time, every 2 weeks, it freezes very well. And I love to gift it to friends, sadly so many of my friends don’t know how to make bread or have the internet, that’s so sad. I will try your recipe, I’m sure it’s delicious

February 22, 2024 - 6:04 pm

Gigi Rebecca, that sounds delicious! I’m sure your family appreciates it!

February 22, 2024 - 6:04 pm

Gigi Cathy, yes I love these bowls! I always look for them for my daughters to put into their Hope Chest! Enjoy your bread!

February 22, 2024 - 2:56 pm

Cathy Bray Hi Gigi! i have that exact same bowl. Don’t you just love it?! I found it in an antique store. They just put more thought into everything. I will be trying your bread (making tonight to serve tomorrow) I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

February 22, 2024 - 1:51 pm

Rebecca I just tried making baguette bread last week — I used a sourdough recipe — it turned out so good! I’m gonna make another batch on Saturday. I’ve started making more and more bread and I try to have at least 1 loaf of bread everyday to go with our dinner.

February 22, 2024 - 5:07 am

Gigi For Haven: I made two loaves (from the original recipe) with freshly milled flour yesterday – they were definitely more of a wet dough and you’d need you form to hold their shape but they were delicious! We ate them with our luncheon soup that day, so no photos as my family was too quick. 😉 They were more of a rustic bread – obviously, but just as good!

February 21, 2024 - 8:29 am

Gigi HI Nancy, you can make two loaves from the original recipe – they will be a bit thinner, but that’s definitely preferred for baguettes!

February 21, 2024 - 12:04 am

Haven Gigi, how wonderful that you have a neighbor who mills commercially! I’ll be so curious to hear how your baguettes turn out today. I have struggled a lot with getting nice bread out of freshly milled whole grain. Perhaps partly because I usually use sourdough. But today I had some success with 100% spelt, not baguettes but more of a sandwich bread. I just love seeing your bread creations! They are always lovely and scrumptious looking.

February 20, 2024 - 6:22 pm

Nancy Hello, Gigi. What a lovely post; thank you for sharing it. I am now looking at baguette pans since I’d love to try your recipe. Can you confirm that the single recipe using 3 cups of flour makes 1 baguette loaf? It looks like you made two baguettes in this post, so I’m assuming it’s a double batch (6 cups of flour)? I look forward to all your posts; seeing your family’s many adventures and how you live is so encouraging.

February 20, 2024 - 11:09 am

Gigi Bobbie, I’m sure the machine would come in handy on busy days, for sure!

February 20, 2024 - 9:32 am

Homeofmanyblessings gonna try this today, I have been making bread for years,but this looks lovely!I have a bread machine that I use for days that I just don’t have time,but then I have certain breads that I just have to make with my hands.There is something so wonderful about it!Also I love your little bread basket.What an adorable way to present it on the family table.Thanks for the recipe and have a great day!

February 20, 2024 - 6:32 am

Gigi Hello Haven, I do mill my flour but not 100% of the time, as our neighbour mills 100% organic flour that is just amazing! (Crystal Green farms). I will try it out today and report back! I’m sure it will be a very wet dough and therefore you will need to use your own judgement to adjust the consistency of the dough. What kind of grains do you use? I use spelt and red fife.

February 20, 2024 - 12:49 am

Haven Hi Gigi! I’m curious if you’ve ever tried this recipe with freshly milled flour? And if so, what kind of grain? It looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing.

February 19, 2024 - 8:07 pm

Gigi Lillibeth — thank you for the vote of confidence! 😉

February 19, 2024 - 7:34 pm

Lillibeth I think Canadians are VERY good cooks and I know if I follow a Canadian’s recipe it’s going to be good!
I was just trying to bake baguettes without a fancy pan today, and a couple of rather flat loaves later, realized that I need one of those pans after all:)