It's hard to imagine more humble ingredients than those that combine to make a lean bread dough, which can then be shaped into a baguette or many other classic shapes. It is really quite miraculous that the simple combination of flour, water, yeast, and salt are all the elements needed to make delicious homemade bread, as pictured above. Obviously, while the ingredients are very inexpensive and few, successful bread making requires understanding and applying proper techniques. If you learn the process and practice it, anyone can make artisan breads at home. I can attest that you will find this very rewarding.
It's been a while since I sang the praises of Rouxbe.com (online video based cooking school) but once again I find myself needing to give credit where credit is due. Rather than reinvent the wheel in a lengthy recipe, I feel the need to point you to a much betteer source for learning to make bread and dozens of other techniques which have helped take my cooking to a level even I never would have imagined. To preview the lesson to make a baguette, go to "Stages of Bread Making."
I consider my annual subscription to Rouxbe.com some of the best money I have spent to date. It gives my family unlimited access to professional culinary curriculum through high quality instructional videos. I really like the fact that they continue to add new content and techniques to the curriculum. Rouxbe was founded in 2005 by two professional chefs and was developed in partnership with Northwest Culinary Academy - an accredited culinary school. If you are interested in learning the core foundations of proper cooking technique -- the same ones employed by classically trained chefs including everything from knife skills, to making mother sauces, to how to make artisan breads, pasta, making chocolate, proper plating, as well as access to hundreds of amazing recipes -- then do yourself a favor and check them out.