Also Known As
French stick, Baguette
A French bread, as the name goes, has humble origins in France. It is made from white flour and usually a sourdough starter is used to prepare it. However, its not necessary that French breads are made with sourdough starters. Because of this starter, French breads usually have a interior full of bubbles. French breads are shaped in many styles like baguette, torpedo, batard etc. However, in France, the baguette form is standard, and bakers may prepare this type several times a day so that people have access to fresh bread for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late-night snack. An interesting fact is that French breads can't be prepared using preservatives under law and thus, baking them is a daily occurrence.
Ordinary French white bread comes in various other shapes and sizes- from the flute (twice the size of a baguette), couronne (shape of a ring), batard (half length normal loaf), ficelle (long and thin loaf) etc.
How to select
Ensure that the crust is crisp and thin. A good French bread can be distinguished easily when you 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.
· Traditionally in France, slices of French bread is spread with jam and served along with coffee or hot chocolate.
· They are commonly used cut from a longer loaf to make sandwiches. Sandwiches can be open sandwiches with butter and garlic spread and toppings of your own.
· Serve them sliced with an assortment of cheeses, pâté (pastes) etc.
· Slit French breads and use as a base for pizzas etc.
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. However, left over can be stored in paper bags/ foil and consumed the next day. Refrigerating the bread is not recommended and if you want to store for a longer period, wrap in foil and deep freeze.