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Also Known As
French Bread, French Stick
The baguette is another interesting French bread. It is a longish loaf, with a standard diameter of approximately five centimetres. The length can go up to even a metre. A baguette can be easily distinguished from other breads because of its shape and the slits that are an integral part of the bread. The slits ensure proper expansion of gases, giving the bread a soft interior and thin crisp crust. It might be interesting to note that French law prevents the use of preservatives in baguettes, and hence baguette making is an everyday affair!
Sliced baguette refers to baguette that has been sliced from the entire loaf. Sliced baguette are easily available in market and can be sliced at home too from the long loaf. Sliced baguettes are available in the bakery section of most natural food and grocery stores. To make thin or thick slices from a long baguette loaf, place the bread on a clean dry flat surface and using a sharp bread knife, make thin or thick round slices as desired. Do note that the baguette should not be sliced when freshly baked and still warm, as it may result in crumbs and the shape can be hampered. Slice the baguette when completely cool. Small serving-sized baguettes or slices of a longer loaf can be used to make sandwiches like submarine or Panini. Sliced baguette are also often served with pâté or cheese.
How to select
• Ensure that the crust is crisp and thin.
• Rub your fingers through the crust; it will make a crisp sound, which is a test for freshness.
• For best results, purchase from a bakery you trust.
• In France, slices of baguette are spread with jam and served along with coffee or hot chocolate.
• Slices are cut from a longer baguette loaf and used to make sandwiches. The sandwiches can be open sandwiches with butter and garlic spread and toppings of your choice.
• You could also serve the sliced baguettes with an assortment of cheeses, pâté (pastes), etc.
• Slit the baguette and use as a base for pizzas and other such creations.
How to store
• Since it is prepared with only four ingredients i.e. flour, yeast, salt and water, it is best consumed the same day it is prepared.
• Leftover baguette can be stored in paper bags/ foil and consumed the next day.
• Refrigerating the bread is not recommended, but if you want to store for a longer period, wrap in foil and deep freeze.
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