This Gluten Free Baguette Recipe is pure alchemy. A Crusty French Stick with a texture and chew that will transport you back to the boulangeries of France. There’s nothing ‘gluten free’ about it other than the ingredients! And with one simple sub, it’s equally perfect dairy free and vegan.
Published 27th June 2022
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A Crusty French Gluten Free Baguette Recipe… Tested to the hilt so you don’t have to
Introducing my long-awaited crusty Gluten Free Baguette Recipe. I’ve been a little obsessed with it for the last few weeks. But it’s SO good. It’s been worth every trial and test, to make absolutely sure it’s as perfect and versatile as it can be for sharing with the world.
Now… at the risk of ‘dissing’ myself, I know I already have a ‘brown baguette’ on the blog. Actually, it’s still a darn good recipe with a great texture and a soft, airy crumb. But It’s a very different recipe… With very different ingredients… And the recipe I share here today, is in an altogether different league. Because this very French gluten free baguette is as close to the genuine article as I have ever tasted.
Indeed, THIS recipe may be the only gluten free baguette recipe you need. It’s got the most amazing texture, with a crust and ‘chew’ that’s to die for. With each bite, memories of baguettes from French boulangeries come flooding back. This baguette is EXACTLY as it should be. And I challenge anyone to tell me it isn’t real bread.
Is this Gluten Free Baguette Recipe easy to make?
Without a doubt, yes. If you can weigh, mix and knead a little (that’s right… I said ‘knead’!), then making my gluten free baguette is as easy as pie.
Sure, the recipe has two proofs. But they are there, one after the other, to ensure the real French Bread texture we all long for. And let’s be honest, if two proofs are what standard wheat baguettes need, then why wouldn’t they be necessary for gluten free perfection?
I am well aware that some gluten free bread recipes sell on their ‘simplicity’ of a single rise with instant yeast. But (in my experience) their texture and flavour honestly rarely ‘cut it’. If you want a recognisable ‘copy cat’ recipe that mimics the real deal for shape and (more importantly) texture, then the minimal extra work and proof time is more than worth it.
What key ingredients are needed to make my Gluten Free Crusty French Baguette?
To make the BEST wheat free Crusty Baguette, you’ll need to have the right gluten free flours and some other bits… Here’s what you need for the recipe and why…
The perfect baguette gluten free flour blend
When it comes to gluten free bread making, I don’t even bother with using commercial blends. I have never yet found one that has the ability to mimic real bread and I refuse to eat bread that tastes ‘gluten free’. So… For this baguette (as for other bread recipes on the blog), I have carefully created a gluten free flour blend that works. It is a balanced blend of starches and structural protein-rich flours, that combined together are total alchemy.
But I have also tested a few subs for the flours that I most often get told are a problem for people to use. And I have also ensured that the flour blend is corn-free and can be made both rice-free and oat free. In it is…
- Tapioca starch
- A small amount of potato starch
- A combination of either buckwheat, fine brown rice or millet flours and either sorghum or oat flour. These all work in combination as far as I have tested and I could have carried on testing and switching… But I had to draw the line somewhere, or the recipe would never have been ‘finished’. So with flexibility in mind, feel free to tweak and switch as you wish. I suspect this recipe is more forgiving when it comes to some of the individual flours, than even I had hoped (providing the basic ratios remain).
Psyllium husk and xanthan gum
This gluten free baguette recipe lists both ground (not fine powder) psyllium husk and a small amount of xanthan gum. Why?
- Psyllium husk is essential to the texture, hydration and ‘chew’ of the crust and crumb. Do NOT try to make this baguette without it. If you can’t tolerate psyllium, my other brown baguette recipe may be worth trying instead.
- Xanthan gum adds fluffiness to the texture. Without doubt, it makes a textural difference. But if you can’t tolerate it, you can leave it out.
I have tested this recipe with both dairy milk powder and coconut milk powder and both are equally effective. But I guess you may be wondering why it’s in the recipe at all?
Quite simply, while it offers a richer flavour, it also supports the rise and structure of the dough, as well as a crumb that is soft and tender. Oh… and super-important, for a true French Baguette experience, the addition of milk powder also helps achieve a perfect crust.
If you can’t find milk powder (it’s usually in with long-life milk at the supermarket), then you could substitute by using hand-warm milk in the recipe in place of the water.
Salt adds and enhances flavour in bread, but also ensures a controlled rise when it interacts with the yeast. However, salt can also have a dehydrating effect. Thus, when baking bread, NEVER change the quantity of salt stated in the recipe. It should always be balanced with the amount of yeast used and changing salt levels could seriously impact the end result.
The best yeast for a French gluten free baguette?
Because my gluten free baguette has an important double proof (see below), the recipe specifically uses dried active yeast… That is, the type of yeast that has to be activated in warm liquid with a little sugar before adding to the mix.
Do NOT try substituting for instant yeast. The yeast I have chosen gives a controlled rise and supports the uneven crumb that is important to the authentic texture of the baguette.
I always use Allinson’s Dried Active Yeast which is available in most good supermarkets. Or use something with similar qualities. But regardless of brand, make sure you check the ingredient labels for any hidden gluten. Dried yeast can be notorious for added wheat.
If you want to use fresh or an alternative yeast that is suitable for a double rise, you may need to experiment with ratios to get the levels right. However… this article on yeast substitution may be a helpful starting point.
Honey or Maple Syrup
The addition of honey or maple syrup in the recipe is there to enable the yeast to activate and grow. While it’s fine to use a little granular sugar instead, I always choose to use a natural, unrefined liquid sugar. Why? Because it…
- Dissolves easily with the yeast and water during activation.
- Offers natural, tempered sweetness that doesn’t make the bread taste ‘sweet’.
- Honey is a natural preservative, which supports the texture and shelf-life of the bread.
Bread recipes often include the addition of either vinegar or lemon juice. But why are they there?
Well… The mild acidity they bring, helps to break down the protein and starch in the bread dough… This in turn supports a moist, light and tender crumb and a good rise.
Using a little oil in a gluten free baguette recipe not only helps to hold in moisture and add shelf-life, but brings flavour and enhances texture too. With a kneadable dough like this one, it also makes the dough easier to handle and the baguette easier to roll.
The level of water added to my gluten free baguette dough is finely balanced and has been tested and tweaked for best results. I would thus advise that you measure by weight using digital scales for accuracy.
It is also really important, that the water added both for the yeast activation and final dough mix is at the right temperature. If it is too cold, the yeast won’t activate… Too hot and it will die, stop working and the bread won’t rise.
The right temperature is hand hot… 38 C/100 F. Although it’s fine to use up to 39.5/40 C, check the temperature carefully. I always use an accurate food thermometer to be sure. But if you don’t have one, check by touch.
Is this gluten free French Stick recipe safe for people with Coeliac Disease?
Absolutely yes. This French Stick has been developed using gluten free flours and there are no other gluten-containing ingredients. Thus it is completely safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease).
I am aware that some Coeliacs cannot tolerate oats. But the oat recipe is just an alternative and the baguette can be made with any number of flour combinations as suggested above. So, be sure to use flours that are appropriate to your dietary needs.
And of course (as always), be sure to check ALL ingredient labels for any risk of cross-contamination, hidden gluten and ‘may contain’ warnings.
Can this gluten free baguette be made dairy free and vegan?
Yes again. As this is already an egg-free recipe, the only ingredient that needs to be specifically dairy free is milk powder (or milk, if you cannot find powder). – See above. Other than that, this recipe is for a gluten free, dairy free, Vegan baguette!
Tips for making the PERFECT Crusty Gluten Free Baguette
Follow the recipe
I know I bang on about this all the time, but nothing frustrates me more than when bakes go ‘wrong’ because the recipe hasn’t been followed.
Treat every recipe as the road map on how to get from inspiration to bake! Both the ingredients and process are as they are for a reason… Especially when it comes to baking gluten free.
Carefully activating the yeast when making this gluten free baguette recipe is an important part of the process and ensures that the yeast is both alive and active.
Check the temperature of the warm water carefully (hand hot… 38 C/100 F), and lightly whisk with the yeast and sugar to blend. Leave in a warm place to activate for about 10 minutes. The liquid should bubble and froth on the top. If it is slow to react, set the bowl over a steaming mug of water and leave it a little longer.
If after this, there are still no signs of life, assume the yeast is dead. Either the yeast was too old or the water was too hot… In which case it won’t work. Throw it away and start again!
When making gluten free baguettes, weigh with precision
Accurate weighing is always essential when baking gluten free. Gluten free flours are less forgiving than wheat and have to be carefully balanced against moisture and other ingredient levels.
I ALWAYS weigh in grams. And that includes weighing liquids such as water, honey, oil and milk. Cups and spoons and measuring jugs are NOT accurate enough…
If you don’t have them already, I would absolutely recommend investing in some good kitchen scales that offer the option to weigh in both standard and ‘micro’ measures. I use these dual platform scales, which have a micro-scale for accurate measurement of yeast and salt as well.
For best results use a mixer with a dough hook
Although you can probably make my gluten free baguette recipe by hand-mixing and kneading, I would advise using an electric mixer with a dough hook. Based on my experience of hand-making my gluten free artisan rolls, the texture is simply more even and less dense using a machine.
I think this is probably because the dough is thicker than for most gluten free bread and thus, needs more mixing strength than I have… But alongside the need to mix, comes the need to evenly hydrate and the dough still starts as a ‘batter’. Once the liquid and flours come together, it is important to get them blended as quickly and effectively as possible to avoid lumps and clumps. Although ultimately (with full hydration) the dough becomes kneadable, it is simply not the same process as dough with gluten.
I use my KitchenAid Hand Mixer. Although it may seem more expensive than some, it is seriously the best hand mixer I have owned.
Hydrate the baguette dough as instructed
Dough hydration is crucial when making your gluten free baguette. Without time for the flours and psyllium to absorb the liquid, the dough cannot be effectively shaped into a ‘stick’ and the texture of the bread will be inconsistent and uneven.
While I tested various processes of hydration to get the best baguette texture, ultimately it simply came down to time. It’s fine for this loaf if you pre-mix ALL the dry ingredients together (including the psyllium). But it’s essential once all the wet and dry ingredients have been combined, that they are given a good 10 to 15 minutes for the moisture to be absorbed in balance.
Additional hydration time is then gained through the first proof.
Why are two proofs important when making this gluten free baguette recipe?
Although many gluten free bread (and baguette) recipes use only a single proof, adding a second proof for this recipe is what gives the baguette its distinctly French texture, aroma and flavour. So here’s why two proofs are necessary:
- Better hydration (more time for the moisture to absorb into the flours and psyllium, resulting in a more even bake).
- Maturity of flavour – The double proof brings the distinctive yeastiness that is found in ‘real’ bread.
- The ability to create a light, yet slightly unevenly airy crumb through the unequal formation of air pockets. It’s a technique I learned watching the Great British Bake Off when I developed my Gluten Free Focaccia Genovese. After the first proof, the knocking back is relatively gentle and this results in the retention of some, slightly larger air pockets in the dough, alongside newly formed ‘second proof’ bubbles.
A crusty baguette needs a bit of extreme heat and ‘measured’ steam!
If you want a good crust and perfect oven-spring on your baguette, then you MUST add steam to the oven and bake it for the initial period extra hot. Simply pop a heat-proof dish in the base of the oven and when hot, add a little boiling water so that the oven becomes a special baguette sauna…
To get the best oven spring, I would also advise that the steam is added to the oven 4 to 5 minutes before baking the baguette… This ensures the steam is at its optimum.
However, because the moist hot air needs to be balanced with an opportunity for the baguette to cook properly inside and to dry the crumb enough that it is not sticky, the steam is added for the start of the bake only. Thus… I specifically add just 60 to 70ml water for steaming… Just enough to force the final rise and create a great crust, but not so much that the bread cannot ‘dry’. After 20 minutes of harsh heat, the steaming is done… The oven is then turned down and the baguette can dry-roast and develop the perfect chew.
Do I need to use a baguette tray and baking paper to bake this French Stick?
Now, this is where making my gluten free baguette gets really exciting… Why? Because the dough is truly kneadable… And that means that it holds its shape! Seriously. I’ve tested baking the dough both in and out of a baguette tray, and there was very little impact on the end shape!
So… While I personally choose to bake baguettes using a baguette tray (because I like the extra reassurance and they don’t roll off when I take them out of the oven), if you don’t have one, then it’s fine to give the recipe a go without. If you do want to buy one, I use a non-stick baguette tray like this one.
BUT… (and this is important)… Do NOT bake the baguette on baking paper. The crust needs full access to the extreme heat of the oven. In testing, I found that baking the dough free of a paper lining, made a big difference to the resulting crust.
Scoring your gluten free baguette for an authentic French look
Okay… I confess… I’m really NOT an expert scorer. What I have in baking determination, I lack in creativity and lighthandedness. BUT… I’m learning and this is what I think I’ve worked out…
- Use a very sharp small knife and preferably a lame cutter.
- Don’t cut too deep. I’m terrible for slashing deep… But the best effect for the traditional baguette ‘slash’ appears to come from a light touch!
- Three (and four maximum) slashes is enough.
- Slash diagonally.
Beyond that… I found this article which was quite interesting for general advice on scoring dough.
Kneading and shaping the dough into a baguette stick shape
Because this is a firm and kneadable gluten free dough, it’s super-easy to work with and shape into a baguette ‘stick’ shape. Simply roll on a lightly oiled surface into a long sausage, and gently taper the ends.
Once this is done, I usually roll it through a light dusting of brown rice flour (although it’s not essential), so that the slashes really stand out once the baguette has been baked.
How many gluten free baguettes does this recipe make?
This recipe will make 2 standard-sized gluten free baguettes (that fill the length of my baguette trays). However, the same recipe can be used to make 3 or 4 shorter baguettes, or 5 or 6 (or more) largish ‘baguettine’ dinner/lunch rolls.
How will I know when the gluten free baguette is done?
Knowing when gluten free baguettes are cooked and ready to come out of the oven is partly about knowing your oven and experimenting a little. The timings I have given are perfect for my oven and for the desired thickness of crust and tenderness of crumb… Providing the instructions on steam levels have been followed. When the baguette is ready, it should feel light, with a good tapping sound.
If you want to test the internal temperature, you will need a good food thermometer with a spiked probe (the crust is quite tough when first out of the oven). It should read around the 100 C mark (212 F).
However… Here’s the thing. There have been a couple of occasions when I have messed up the baking and forgotten to turn the oven down, or I have deliberately ‘under-baked’ to see what happens… It turns out, my gluten free baguette is a versatile beast. Over-baked and the crust becomes thicker (and a bit darker), but the crumb seems to remain relatively well-protected. Under-baked and it is slightly stickier, but not in the least unpleasant.
Get ahead… Overnight fridge proof
This recipe has been tested using an overnight fridge proof for the first rise on several occasions and with different flour combinations. And it works perfectly, saving time and meaning the opportunity to get ahead. Actually, the additional time for hydration may even benefit the crumb.
Simply mix the dough to the stage of first proof… Bring the dough together into a ball and cover the bowl… And pop it in the fridge overnight (it will slow-rise in the coolness of the fridge)…
In the morning, grab the bowl from the fridge… Knock back, roll into sticks and proof again (it will need a little extra rise time as the dough will be cold), before baking!
Should the baguette cool down completely before eating?
Yes. Although it’s really tempting to cut into freshly baked bread, my gluten free baguette benefits from the opportunity to cool down. That’s not to say you can’t cut it warm (and there have been many occasions when I have simply been too impatient to wait). But if you do cut early, the crumb may still be slightly sticky.
On the other hand… does that really matter? I actually quite like the slight stickiness of the warm (not hot) baguette. But it’s up to you.
Process Photos for making this Gluten Free Baguette recipe
How long will this gluten free French Baguette last?
Like all standard French Sticks from a traditional boulangerie, my Gluten Free Baguette is best eaten on the day that it has been made. After this, the texture will start to become tighter, although not by any means completely hard.
To be honest though… When I was a child, I used to have a bit of a ‘thing’ about eating slightly stale baguette, slathered with butter… And for the first time in over 10 years, I have finally been able to do my ‘thing’ again. Don’t judge!
Nonetheless, a stale baguette should never be a wasted baguette! There are plenty of options for using up any leftovers…
- Slice in half and toast it… OMG, this gluten free baguette is fantastic when stale and toasted.
- Revive by wrapping in foil and throwing in a hot oven for 10 minutes, with a further 5 to 10 minutes uncovered. No cooling necessary! (Dare I say… Almost better than just baked).
- Make garlic bread… Slice and slather in garlic-infused butter and either wrap in foil and throw in a hot oven for 15 minutes. Or… Toast, slather in garlic butter and pop back under the grill to melt.
- Turn into fabulous slices of Party Bruschetta.
- Brush with oil and bake into perfectly crisp Crostini.
- Use it to make gluten free Bread Crumbs… Perfect for coating Scotch Eggs, making Veggie Burgers, adding crunch to Stuffed Peppers, or for topping Mac and Cheese.
- Turn it into Croutons to top deliciously warming Roasted Vegetable Soup.
Ready to make my Gluten Free Baguette recipe?
That’s all I need to tell you (I think). And so… I share my epic Gluten Free Baguette Recipe below. Enjoy lovely people. This one is a keeper and I honestly haven’t been able to stop eating it!
If you make it, let me know… Leave a comment, rate the recipe and tag me on social media with your beautiful baguette pics. You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest (#glutenfreealchemist).
If you have any other questions, just shout!
For lots of other bread inspiration, head over to our dedicated Gluten Free Bread Index. And for everything else… Grab a cuppa and chill with our full Gluten Free Recipe Index. It’s all shared, for free, with my love.
Ideas to serve your baguette with…
** © 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist.**
Gluten Free Crusty French Baguette
- small oven-proof dish
- 5 g dried active yeast NOT instant yeast
- 12 g honey or maple syrup
- 80 g hand-warm water at 38 to 39.5 C
- 100 g tapioca starch
- 70 g buckwheat flour or millet flour or fine brown rice flour
- 75 g sorghum flour or oat Flour
- 20 g potato starch
- 15 g ground psyllium husk not fine powder
- 12 g dairy milk powder or non-dairy milk powder tested with coconut milk powder
- 1 tsp xanthan gum if can’t tolerate, then leave out
- 5 g fine sea salt
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 24 g olive oil
- 180 g hand warm water at 38 to 39.5 C
- In a mixing bowl, weigh the yeast, honey (or maple syrup) and 80g hand-warm water.
- Gently whisk together, to dissolve the yeast and blend.
- Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to activate and become frothy.
Mix the flour blend
- While the yeast is activating, weigh all the dry ingredients (flours, psyllium, milk powder, xanthan gum and salt) into an airtight container (or separate bowl) and mix well until fully blended.
Making and proofing the dough
- Once the yeast is activated, measure and add the cider vinegar, olive oil and remaining 180g of hand-warm water and whisk together.
- Add the dry flour mix and (preferably) using an electric whisk with a dough hook, gently beat all the ingredients together until blended. Halfway through mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are amalgamated. The dough will be wet and very sticky in appearance.
- Set the bowl aside to hydrate for about 10 to 15 minutes and then beat again with the dough hook for a further 5 minutes. The dough will now feel tough and very thick.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set the dough (in the bowl) aside to proof in a warm place for about 40 to 45 minutes until almost doubled in size.
Knocking back the dough
- Once the first proof is complete, lightly oil a work surface and hands and tip the dough out.
- ‘Knock back’ by gently kneading between lightly oiled hands, until the dough has become a thick and ‘slightly shiny’ consistency.
Shaping, rising and baking the baguettes
- Split the dough into two equal-sized pieces and roll each into an even, smooth-surfaced ball.
- Take each dough ball in turn and roll using lightly oiled hands (on the oiled work surface) into a long baguette-shaped dough sausage, gently tapering each end.
- Sprinkle some fine brown rice flour (or buckwheat/sorghum flour) onto the work surface and carefully roll the dough-baguettes through the flour to coat (this is optional).
- Gently lift and transfer the dough baguettes to a baguette tray. Do NOT line with baking paper.
- Set aside to rise in a warm place (for 25 to 30 minutes) until increased in size by about two-thirds.
- Meanwhile, prepare the oven by placing a heat-proof dish at the bottom (for steam) and pre-heating to 220 C (425 F/Gas 7). Boil some water in the kettle.
- Once the dough has proofed for 25 to 30 minutes, lightly slash 3 to 4 diagonal lines, lengthways across the surface of each uncooked baguette and leave to proof for a further 5 to 10 minutes.
- At the same time, place 60 to 70 ml boiling water into the heat-proof dish at the base of the oven, so that it has a chance to become super-steamy before the bread goes in to bake.
- Place the bread in the oven (leaving the door open for as shorter time as possible) and bake for 20 minutes (at 220 C/425 F/Gas 7), with steam. Set a timer.
- After 20 minutes, remove the steam bowl from the base of the oven (if there is any remaining water) and turn the oven down to 190 C (375 F/Gas 5).
- Continue to bake for a further 25 to 30 minutes (fatter baguettes) or 20 to 25 minutes (skinny baguettes), until the baguettes are crusty on the outside and light and hollow-sounding when tapped. The internal temperature of the baguette should be about 100 C.
- Remove from the oven and transfer the baguettes to a wire rack to cool completely.
© 2019-2022 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Gluten Free French Baguette shared with
- Cook Blog Share Week 29 & 30 2022 with The Copper Table
- What’s For Dinner #377 with The Lazy Gastronome
- Full Plate Thursday #596 with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- Fiesta Friday #439 with Angie
- Sundays on Silverado #100 with The House on Silverado