What is a baguette?
Part of our Frequently Asked Culinary Questions. Click to see more answers to your questions.
A short guide to French and Italian breads
The baguette is one of the most iconic French breads. It’s characterized by its long, thin shape and a golden-brown crust that’s crispy and crackly. The inside is tender and chewy with a delicate flavor. Baguettes are versatile, used for sandwiches, as a side with meals, or simply enjoyed with butter.
The baguette holds a special place among bread varieties, making it a favorite worldwide. It’s celebrated for its simplicity yet perfection in texture and flavor. Made with basic ingredients—flour, water, yeast, and salt—its excellence lies in the mastery of baking technique.
A fresh baguette is often enjoyed at breakfast with jams or butter, used to sandwich meats and cheeses for lunch, or served as a staple accompaniment to dinner. Its neutral yet distinct flavor profile makes it a versatile choice, capable of complementing a wide array of dishes
More French Breads
Bâtard: A bit shorter and thicker than the baguette, the bâtard has a similar flavor and texture. It’s another popular choice for sandwiches or serving alongside hearty dishes.
Boule: This round, rustic bread has a thick, crispy crust and soft, airy interior. It’s typically made from the same dough as baguettes but shaped into a round loaf.
Fougasse: A flatbread often enhanced with ingredients like olives, herbs, or cheese. It’s known for its unique slashed or ‘leaf-like’ shape and is often served as an appetizer or snack.
Ciabatta: Italian for “slipper,” ciabatta is characterized by its flat, oval shape and porous, chewy interior. It’s commonly used for sandwiches or served with olive oil.
Focaccia: A flat, oven-baked bread, similar in texture to pizza dough. Focaccia is often topped with olive oil, salt, herbs, and other ingredients, making it a flavorful option for appetizers or snacks.
Pane Toscano: This Tuscan bread is known for its lack of salt, resulting in a bland flavor that makes it a perfect companion to the region’s rich, savory dishes.
Grissini: Also known as breadsticks, grissini are thin, crisp, and often accompanied by meals or served as appetizers with prosciutto or other charcuterie.
The world of bread
Each unique variety tells a story of its origin, ingredients, and traditional preparation methods. The French baguette and its Italian counterparts, like ciabatta and focaccia, offer an exploration of textures and flavors, from the simplicity of a crispy, golden crust to the complexity of ingredients infused into the dough.