Light Whole Wheat Baguette: Artisan Bread in 5

Breads, Yeast Breads | 43 comments

One of the things I’ve learned in the past few years since beginning this blog is how much I enjoy making Breads. Baguettes have been on my list to make for quite sometime, but after reading about the time-consuming and extremely fussy (at least in my opinion) method for making a baguette, I was a bit put off.

Yet I still wanted freshly baked baguette at home. So much that I found myself sitting by the fireplace reading about baguettes this past Saturday night. Such an exciting life I lead…

recipe for whole wheat baguette

As I read through the 2 full pages at 10-12 point font of instruction in my copy of The New Best Recipe: All-New Edition (plus the 3 pages of introduction) I kept trying to convince myself that it was doable. Despite the length of time from start to finish in the recipe, I knew that this one should at least be worth the effort. Cook’s Illustrated has never let me down with a recipe.

In the back of my mind I kept thinking: 20-24 hours for a loaf of bread? No Way! Who has time for that? And that’s when I remembered the copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day I had purchased a little over a year ago, still sitting unused in my cookbook cabinet.

Five minutes a day? Was it too good to be true? (Which is why the book sat unused for so long) Definitely not. This baguette had hardly any prep time and start to finish took a fraction of the time in a traditional recipe.

baguette with ricotta and jam

Additionally, the recipe provided me with enough starter dough to make 3 more loaves whenever I wanted. All I have to do is take a one pound hunk of dough out, prep it to bake, let it rest for 20ish minutes and pop it in the oven.

Will I still make my other Yeast Bread recipes? Sure. I still love those recipes. Logan and Madeline enjoy helping me with the kneading process. But now, freshly baked bread – any kind I want and even on busy days – is a daily reality.

See how this dough does as a Pizza Crust over here: Black Bean Mexican Pizza

Light Whole Wheat Baguette

This "master recipe" can be used for many different types of loaves, pizza crusts, and more.

adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
makes four 1 lb. loaves

Print Save Recipe


The Master Recipe: Boule

3 cups 110 degree F water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 1/2 cups freshly ground hard white wheat flour
4 cups all-purpose flour


To prepare the dough:
Combine the water, yeast, and salt in a large 5-quart bowl or resealable, lidded (but not airtight) plastic food container. The yeast does not need to proof as in traditional recipes.

Mix the whole what and all-purpose flour together in a medium bowl, then add it to the large bowl containing the water. Stir the flour into the water mixture using a wooden spoon. You don't need to knead the bread, but if stirring becomes too hard you can reach your wet hands into the bowl and press the mixture together.

Cover the container with a lid (not airtight). Let the dough rise at room temperature for 2-5 hours - until it begins to collapse or flatten on top.

After this, you can take a portion of the dough to make a loaf at anytime - OR refrigerate the covered container 3 hours or overnight before shaping a loaf.

To shape the loaf:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place a baking stone on the middle rack and an empty broiler tray on a lower shelf.

Sprinkle the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour, then cut off a 1 lb. piece for use and return the remaining dough to the refrigerator. A kitchen scale is helpful, or you can estimate by removing a piece about the size of a grapefruit.

Dust the piece with flour and shape it into a ball. Once it is cohesive, you can stretch and elongate the dough to form a cylinder approximately 2 inches in diameter. Dust a pizza peel (or sheet of parchment if you don't have one) with whole wheat flour. Place the loaf on the dusted surface and let rest for 20 minutes.

After resting, paint water over the surface of the loaf with a pastry brush. Then, using a serrated bread knife make longitudinal, diagonal slashes across the top of the loaf.

Slide the loaf onto the hot stone. Add 1 cup of hot water to the broiler tray and immediately shut the oven door. Bake for 25 minutes, or until deep brown and firm to the touch. Cool before eating.

For breakfast, a slice of baguette is delicious topped with ricotta and jam.

I am not mentioning Cook’s Illustrated with any intentional slander to their good name. I was simply illustrating that, in some instances a non-traditional approach is simpler. I reference my Cook’s Illustrated cookbooks often and love many of their recipes.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Stephanie - January 10, 2011 @ 1:03 pm

    I LOVE “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”! It’s one of my favorite baking books and the recipes in there are so simple and pretty foolproof. This looks delicious!


  • 2
    Blog is the New Black - January 10, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

    I’ve only made bread once and I adored it. Now, this ingredient list is too easy! I can’t not make it. Looks awesome!


  • 3
    Amy | She Wears Many Hats - January 10, 2011 @ 1:09 pm

    This is so pretty and ethereal. Not to mention yummy!


  • 4
    Wenderly - January 10, 2011 @ 1:23 pm

    I’ve never made my own baguette, let alone wheat!! Now, I do believe that I must!


  • 5
    gigi - January 10, 2011 @ 1:40 pm

    did you ground your own wheat into flour as noted in the recipe? or did you use just substitue whole wheat flour you can buy in the market? i’m not really a bread baker, but i’d love to try this. my son LOVES whole wheat baguettes. any help you can give is really appreciated :)



    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — January 10th, 2011 @ 1:46 PM

      I ground my own whole wheat as noted in the recipe. I own a Nutrimill Grain Mill that I use to grind grains into fresh flours. I posted about some tips for using yeast, however some will not apply to this recipe since it doesn’t use the traditional method.

  • 6
    Tracy - January 10, 2011 @ 1:44 pm

    I just love Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day! I love being able to pull out a hunk of dough for pizza dough, bread bowls, you name it. I’ve never made baguettes though – I’m definitely going to give them a try!


  • 7
    Tricia @ {every}nothing wonderful - January 10, 2011 @ 1:45 pm

    I started with all yeast breads – still love them but I’ve incorporated the 5 mins a day book/recipes in as well…and my copy sat, unused, staring at me for a year as well. There are applications for all sorts of recipes, and the 5 min ones certainly have their place in my kitchen now!


  • 8
    Zoe Francois - January 10, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    Your baguette is gorgeous! How wonderful that you are grinding your own wheat. Enjoy!

    Cheers, Zoë


  • 9
    Lynn - January 10, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

    I have both their books and have loved them! It is so nice to have a dough ready and waiting in the fridge when you need it.


  • 10
    Jamie | My Baking Addiction - January 10, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    I have been meaning to purchase this book for ages. Your baguette looks like perfection.


  • 11
    Heather (Heather's Dish) - January 10, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

    fabulous! i love that you can just portion it out as needed. that makes all the difference in the world!


  • 12
    Aimee @ Simple Bites - January 10, 2011 @ 5:21 pm

    I read cookbooks on Saturday nights, too, Katie!
    This is reminding me that it’s been far to long since I’ve baked bread. Thanks for the inspiration!


  • 13
    Lisa@Smart Food & Fit - January 10, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    I’ll have to buy that cook book. This looks so easy to make and looks heavenly. I will also have to invest in a mill to make fresh flour.

    I started a gentle detox this week featured in Whole Living magazine. I think next week I’ll make this for dinner.


  • 14
    Happy When Not Hungry - January 11, 2011 @ 6:56 am

    I am definitely trying this recipe! One of the main reasons I’ve never tried baking baguettes is because they are too time consuming. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing :-)


  • 15
    Jessica - January 11, 2011 @ 7:06 am

    I’ve been been baking breads as well and have enjoyed in particular Jim Lahey’s method. Baguette is definitely on my list but boy am I intimidated by the shape and somehow making it work…


  • 16
    Michelle (What's Cooking with Kids) - January 11, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    I am a big fan of this book – it’s the only way that I have ever been able to make bread that didn’t turn into a brick :-)


  • 17
    Some Lucky Dog - January 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    I absolutely love “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”! We haven’t purchased bread since I made my first loaf. I recently bought “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and am looking forward to trying some of those recipes, too!


  • 18
    La Roquette - January 12, 2011 @ 8:26 am

    Gorgeous photography, looks incredible :)

    La Roquette


  • 19
    Katie - January 12, 2011 @ 4:36 pm


    Do you think it will work with store bought wheat? I do not have a wheat grinder. As always, I love your photos!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — January 12th, 2011 @ 5:13 PM

      I honestly don’t know. I’ve never tried it that way before. I would head to the website for Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day and maybe there will be some answers there.

    • Keri replied: — June 3rd, 2011 @ 11:21 AM

      Katie and Katie…..:)

      I made this twice with King Arthur light whole white wheat and it was fantastic. I am dubfounded as to how really easy it is. It is now my go to bread. My family is in love with it as well. I do have one question…..can I freeze it? I apologize if I missed it in the article.

  • 20
    Karla - January 13, 2011 @ 6:26 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made it yesterday and it was so simple and turned out beautifully! It also gave me a chance to work with white whole wheat flour for the first time. I think that this book is now on my “to-get” list.


  • 21
    Amy - January 13, 2011 @ 7:39 am

    How long does the rest of the dough (for the other 3 loaves) last? Do you need to use it within the week? A couple of days? How does this affect the rise/crumb?

    Thanks much!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — January 13th, 2011 @ 9:30 AM

      According to the book the dough lasts between 1-2 weeks. I haven’t gotten that far out yet, but as far as I can tell there is no negative affect. The book says that the flavor develops as the dough ages.

  • 22
    Miriam - January 23, 2011 @ 6:32 pm

    Would this recipe work with a) only whole wheat flour, b) no baking stone?


    • Alison replied: — February 12th, 2011 @ 10:33 AM

      I used an enameled cast iron skillet and it worked beautifully. (Too small for baguettes but great for a boule.) I’ve also heard you can use unglazed terra cotta tiles from Home Depot – I’m going to try that soon.

  • 23
    Amber - January 25, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

    I love your site, Katie. Way to go!!! I just made this and it’s sitting on my kitchen counter. I love how easy it was to put together. Can you tell me the reason for baking on a hot pan? I’d never heard of that before. Thanks!


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — January 25th, 2011 @ 1:37 PM

      Hi Amber – the stone helps the bread get that crusty/crisp crust. Does that make sense?

  • 24
    Miriam - January 25, 2011 @ 5:13 pm

    Thank you so much!


  • 25
    Everyday Art - January 31, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    I just tried your recipe and it turned out marvelous–thanks for sharing. I actually kept the dough in the refrigerator for 3 days before cooking it; it worked perfectly and had a great, mildly-sourdough flavor. This one is going in the recipe box for sure!
    Long time fan,


  • 26
    Natalie - February 28, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    Is granulated yeast the same as active dry? Or instant?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 28th, 2011 @ 9:53 AM

      It is active dry.

  • 27
    Laura Y. - March 19, 2011 @ 11:26 am

    Absolutely love this recipe — thanks so much for sharing! I’m making my second loaf from my third batch of dough today. I always use King Arthur brand wheat flour, and it turns out fine. Also, the longest I’ve had the dough last in the fridge is about a week and a half — I had one loaf left out of the first batch and it had gone over at the two week mark. Incidentally, I also go ahead and separate it into four portions and throw them into quart-size ziplocs before refrigerating — seems to work fine. Finally, I’ve been making loaves stuffed with cheese: just flatten the dough into a long rectangle, sprinkle some shredded cheese (I use cheddar, but that’s because it’s my fave — use what you like, obviously), then form the loaf around the cheese. Try not to slice all the way down to the cheese when you make your slits or it *will* leak. Great for a quick snack!


  • 28
    Michelle @ Michelle's tiny kitchen - July 15, 2011 @ 6:27 am

    I am so grateful for this recipe! I hope that you don’t mind, I linked to your site in a blog post after trying this recipe this week. Please let me know if there’s something you’d like me to change. This recipe has changed my perspective on bread. I bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I love it.


  • 29
    Asiya - September 01, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    Just came across your blog. I was searching for a baguette recipe and stumbled upon your blog. Absolutely love it! Am now following you and looking forward to trying this recipe!


  • 30
    Asiya - September 02, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    I made this today and it turned out great. I had one question….could i freeze the dough and when I want to use defrost in the fridge over night?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — September 3rd, 2011 @ 1:31 PM

      I have not tried freezing this particular dough recipe yet, but I have frozen other recipes and it has worked well. I usually freeze ziploc bag in individual portions rather than a large batch. Then thaw on the counter until it comes to room temperature. Good luck! :)

  • 31
    Becky - January 29, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

    I made this recipe and as with other whole wheat recipes, it turned out dense and the yeast seemed to not activate, as there were not very many wholes in the dough. Any thoughts or suggestions?


    • Katie Goodman

      Katie replied: — February 1st, 2012 @ 11:24 AM

      Honestly, with yeast recipes it is hard for me to know what could have gone wrong to help you troubleshoot because there are a lot of variables. Was the yeast old? Was too much flour used (each cup measured will contain a different amount so it is best to use ounces or once you’re comfortable work by feel), not enough flour used? Rise time wasn’t long enough (times given are estimate, best way to tell is if the dough has doubled in bulk). Oven temperature off? High or low elevation? With yeast recipes, just try try again until you get the right feel for things.

  • 32
    Shirah - February 13, 2012 @ 2:28 pm

    I made this baguette a few days ago and have a defrosted loaf ready to go in the oven tonight. Great great recipe!! yum. It turned out absolutely perfect. I am going to try it next time with all white whole wheat flour and see how it goes.


  • 33
    Amber - August 06, 2012 @ 4:35 am

    Fabulous recipe! Just started making baguette the traditional way (2 day process, still fun) but I wanted a wheat variety. Comes out perfect. I kept it in the fridge for almost a week and it was still wonderful when baked. Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try it for pizza dough for Mexican Pizza.


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