I’ve never been one for new year’s resolutions, and I would certainly never agree to one that involved less carbs. But more carbs, in the form of homemade bread? I could totally get on board with a resolution like that. For me, there are few things in the kitchen that I enjoy more than the act and reward of baking yeast breads. This is especially true during these cold winter months when baking bread fills the kitchen with warmth and amazing smells. It occurred to me that I have made three yeast breads so far this year, and that seems like a pretty good start to what could be an excellent habit. I’ve always been a frequent baker but I love the idea of bread baking being a routine part of my week, every week. Baguettes are an absolute staple in our house and I keep at least a few in the freezer at all times. With my continual efforts to do more and more baking with whole grains, it was definitely time to find a good wheat baguette recipe.

This version is precisely what I was hoping for. It has the same look and texture of the classic baguettes that I love, with a crisp and slightly chewy outer crust and a nice tender interior. It is a champ at soaking up delicious pan sauces, it makes excellent toast smeared with good butter and a sprinkle of coarse salt, and I’m dying to try it in baked French toast. So many reasons to bake it. What are you waiting for?

  • Yield 3 baguettes


For the pre-ferment:

  • 1 cup (4 oz.) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (4 oz.) cool water, plus more as needed
  • Pinch of instant yeast

For the dough: 

  • All of the pre-ferment
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. (7 oz.) cool water
  • ¼ cup (2 oz.) orange juice
  • 1¼ (5 oz.) whole wheat flour
  • 2¼ cups (9½ oz.) unbleached bread flour
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. instant yeast
  • 1 large egg white mixed with 1 tbsp. water, for egg wash
  • Water, for spraying


  • 01

    To make the preferment, combine the whole wheat flour, water, and yeast in a small bowl. If the mixture is overly dry and loose flour cannot be incorporated, add more water a teaspoon or two at a time just until all dry ingredients are incorporated and no loose flour remains. Cover and let rest overnight at room temperature.

  • 02

    To make the dough, combine the preferment in a bowl with the water, orange juice, wheat flour, bread flour, salt and yeast. Knead either with a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or by hand, until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 5-7 minutes.) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise 3-4 hours, gently deflating and turning once per hour.

  • 03

    Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough equally into three pieces and form each into a rough oval. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

  • 04

    Working with one piece at a time, fold the dough in half lengthwise and seal the edges with the heel of your hand. Flatten, then repeat the fold and seal motions. With the seam side down on the work surface, gently roll the dough into a log about 16 inches long. Place the logs on the lined baking sheet spacing them at least a few inches apart. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes. Drape gently with well greased plastic wrap, making sure it does not anchor to the edges of the pan, and refrigerate overnight.

  • 05

    Before baking, let the loaves rest covered at room temperature for 90 minutes before baking. Place a baking stone on the middle shelf in the oven, if using, and preheat the oven to 425˚ F.

  • 06

    Just before baking, remove the plastic wrap. Slash the loaves diagonally with a sharp knife. Brush lightly with the egg wash. Spray the loaves lightly with water. Place the baking sheet on the baking stone. Let bake 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400˚F. Bake 10 minutes more, or until the loaves are golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the baguette registers 190˚ F. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

  • 07


    • If you work during the week and are relegated to weekend baking, start the pre-ferment on Friday night. You will make the dough and shape the loaves on Saturday, let rest overnight, and then bake on Sunday.
    • The orange juice in the dough helps temper the whole wheat flavor – you won’t taste any of the orange in the finished product.