Money Mindful Meals: Easy French Baguette

I recently moved into a fantastic new apartment. It’s a brownstone on a tree-lined Chicago side street with large bay windows and gorgeous mahogany wood. And the cherry on top–it has a big kitchen!

While I love my new place, I had to make some sacrifices when moving. Among sleep, money, and my sanity, I also lost all of the contents of my fridge.

Thanks to wonderful friends and family the fridge at my new place was quickly populated with delicious cupcakes and chocolate.

These treats made up one meal a day, but for the remaining two I had to venture out to restaurants and fast food joints. Don’t get me wrong, I love trying new restaurants and indulging in the occasional Egg McMuffin, but after a week straight of eating out, I had to call it quits.

When I finally got around to stocking my fridge I decided to fill it with healthy, fresh foods. I wanted to avoid heavily-processed bread, frozen pizzas, and tomatoes injected with chemicals and instead fill my fridge with: kale and onions from the farmers market, raw hummus, and homemade pita. However, eating less processed and frozen food meant that I had to make more basic items myself.

This week I made one of my favorite staple foods: bread. This bread recipe is easy to make, doesn’t require a bread machine and only contains four ingredients–flour, yeast, salt, and eggs. It produces a hearty and versatile baguette that can be used for sandwiches, as a side to whole grain pasta or sliced and topped with cheese and fig preserves.

(Or you can eat it warm and crispy from the oven as a midnight snack, like my roommate and I did last night.)

Alex Milling is a recent graduate of Northwestern University and loves dry red wines.


Easy French Baguette
Adapted from
Serves 4

Total Cost: $1.70
Cost Per Serving: $.43


1 cup water (in stock)
2 1/2 cups bread flour ($1.00)
1 tablespoon white sugar (in stock)
1 teaspoon salt (in stock)
1 egg yolk (in stock)
1 tablespoon water (in stock)

Combine 1 cup warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside until mixture foams, about 20 minutes.

In large bowl add flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Knead until all water is absorbed, about 7-10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.

Lightly flour parchment paper. Place dough on parchment paper and punch down. Roll into a 16 x 12 inch rectangle and then cut in half to create two 8×12-inch rectangles. Roll up dough tightly, beginning at the 12-inch side. Roll gently back and forth to close end. Place baguettes 3 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Make slashes across the baguettes every 2 inches. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, roughly 30-40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450˚ F. Mix egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over baguettes.

Place bowl of water in the oven for crispier crust. Place bread in the oven. After 15 minutes remove the water. Bake an additional 5 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown.

Recipe Index Keywords:

Categories: Baking, Blog, Budget, Featured, and Recipes.
Cooking Method: In the Oven.
Mealtime: Dinner and Lunch.
I Don't Have Any: Money.
I'm Cooking For...: Easy Dinner and Myself.
Type of Food: Sandwiches and Sides.
I Don't Eat: Dairy and Meat.

Originally posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2012

3 Responses to “Money Mindful Meals: Easy French Baguette”

  1. Emily

    July 15th, 2012

    But how much yeast? Did I miss that somewhere? I have had disastrous bread-making attempts from using too much or too little.

  2. Alex

    July 17th, 2012

    Emily, thanks for pointing that out! It should be 1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast.

  3. Monsura

    February 4th, 2013

    Bread flour? Will all purpose flour suffice?

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