These are so easy to make, and faster than rushing out to look for french loaves. This recipe is from Chef Tsiapas from Victoria Hotel, Sapa in Vietnam. I probably had the best baguettes in Vietnam, and he is so kind to share his recipe with me. As I dined in his restaurant, I overheard so many patrons complimenting him, I just had to go over and ask him to teach me.

He not only spent the whole morning teaching my children and I, he even gave us his recipes. What a treat. Enjoy!

Crusty French Loaf

Crusty French Loaf


1 cup (250g) water

2 1/2 cups (375g) flour (plain flour for small buns and use bread flour for loaves)

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

11/2 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp baking powder (optional)


  1. Just combine everything in a mixer and mix until the dough is no longer sticky, and passes the window pane test. (Took me 5 minutes - all bread flour to 10 minute - mixture of bread and plain flour). Chef Tsiapas's recipe says 15 minutes.
  2. Shape into 3 loaves.
  3. Slit each loaf at 1 inch intervals.
  4. Let raise in a warm oven at 40C until double.
  5. Spray with water and bake with steam if you want a very crusty top.
  6. Bake in a hot oven at 190C for 20 to 25 minutes.
  7. If you want a hard loaf, then slow bake at a low temperature, 160C for 40 minutes or so.
  8. That's it!

And this is how I shaped my french loaves.