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BPA 130 Artisan Bread and Viennoiserie

Mayumi Owens


Baguettes are long thin loaves of bread popular in France, and other
French-speaking countries. Baguettes are common in Europe.
Usually, they are made of white bread. Baguettes have hard crust on the outside
but soft white bread on the inside.

A baguette has a diameter of about 5 or 6 cm (2or 2 1/3 in) and usual
length of about 65 cm (26 in). It can be up 1m (39 in) long. Weighs about 250
grams (8.75 oz). In France, a baguette must 250 grams. It is common to dip the
bread into olive oil or put butter on it when it is eaten.

The “baguette” word, derived from the Italian bacchetta, simply means
“wand” of “baton”, as in baguette magique (magic wand), baguettes chinoise
(chopsticks), or baguette de direction (conductor’s baton). Outside France, the
baguette is also called a ‘French stick’. The baguette is a symbol of France.

French traditions say bread may only contain the following four things.
Flour, water, yeast, and salt. Anything containing more than those things must
not be called bread.

Baguettes are generally made as partially free-form loaves, with the loaf
formed with a series of folding and rolling motions, raised in cloth-lined baskets
or in rows or flour-impregnated towel, called “couche”, and baked either directly
on the hearth of a deck oven or in special perforated pans.

The baguette is thought as to have come from France, but it actually came
from Vienna. In the middle of the nineteenth century, steam ovens had just been
brought into use. This allowed loaves to be made with a crispy crust and the white
center, similar to today’s baguette.

Later, in 1920, a low was passed that did not let bakers work before 4 am.
This is impossible to make a larger loaf in time for their customer’s breakfast. But
the longer, thinner baguette helped solve this problem because it could be
prepared and baked much faster. However, since the French had been making
long thin loaves for a long time, what exactly was invented in 1920. It seems to be
just the use of the word “baguette” for those thin loaves.


Outside France, baguettes are also made with other dough.
For example: Vietnamese banh mi uses a high proportion of rice flour. Northan
American bakeries make whole wheat, multigrain, and sourdough.



• Wikipedia “Baguette”
• Food Timeline: History of bread. Lynne Olver 1999
• “French Bread and French Baguette- food from France”.