What to look for in a baguette

 French baguette

The baguette is a long thin, crusty loaf, the name of which is derived
from ‘baguette magique’, the French for magic wand. A good
baguette should have a crisp, golden brown crust that will break if you
push it inwards. The interior crumb (or ‘mie’ in French) should
be a creamy colour with large, irregular, air holes.

The diagonal slashes in the crust provide an escape route for the carbon
dioxide given off during the fermentation process as the bread bakes.
They should be evenly spaced and slightly darker at the edges. The baguette
should smell of toasted wheat with a moist and chewy texture and a nutty,
buttery flavour.

In comparison a mass produced loaf will be a paler, straw colour. The
‘mie’ will be pure white with tiny, regular air holes and
the loaf will be tasteless and dry.

Other Types of French Bread

Boule A round loaf sold in various sizes.
Ficelle A very thin version of the baguette. Ficelle means string in French.
Fougasse A flat rectangular bread often filled with bacon, onion or herbs.
Pain à l’ancienne Bread made using traditional methods
Pain complet Bread made from whole wheat flour
Pain de campagne A big rustic loaf with a thick crust.(campagne means country)
Pain de mie Sliced, packaged white bread; this is a soft sweet loaf mainly
used for sandwiches.
Pain au chocolate Bread filled with chocolate chips
Pain aux noix Bread filled with nuts.
Pain aux raisins A light bread filled with raisins. A breakfast treat.
Pain bio A bread with at least 95% organic ingredients
Pain de siegle Loaf with two thirds rye flour, one third wheat flour.
Pain viennois A baguette shape but softer and sweeter.
Pain d’épices Spiced or gingerbread
Pain grillé Toasted bread
Pain Peasant bread
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