AskDefine | Define baguette

Dictionary Definition

baguette n : narrow French stick loaf [syn: baguet]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Baguette



French for stick


  1. a narrow, relatively long rectangular shape
  2. a gem cut in such a shape
  3. a variety of bread that is long and narrow in shape


a narrow, relatively long rectangular shape
a gem cut in such a shape
a variety of bread that is long and narrow in shape
  • Finnish: patonki
  • German: Baguette
  • Japanese: バゲット
  • Vietnamese: banh mì



  • lang=fr|/ba.ɡɛt/
  • SAMPA: /ba.gEt/


baguette /ba.ɡɛt/ /ba.ɡɛt/
  1. A baguette, French stick (the bread)
    J'achète une baguette tous les jours.
    I buy a baguette every day.
  2. chopstick
    Les japonais mangent avec des baguettes.
    The Japanese eat with chopsticks.
  3. drumstick
    Ringo est un maître des baguettes.
    Ringo is a drumstick master.
  4. wand
    Gwenda a agité sa baguette magique.
    Gwenda waved her magic wand.

Extensive Definition

A baguette () is a variety of bread distinguishable by its much greater length than width, and noted for its very crispy crust. The standard girth size of a baguette is approx 5 or 6 cm, but can be up to a meter in length. It typically weighs 250 grammes (8.8 oz). It is also known in English as a French stick or a French loaf.


The baguette is a descendant of the bread developed in Vienna in the mid-19th century when steam ovens were first brought into use, helping to make possible the crisp crust and the white crumb pitted with holes that still distinguish the modern baguette. Long loaves had been made for some time but in October 1920 a law prevented bakers from working before 4am, making it impossible to make the traditional, often round loaf in time for customers' breakfasts. The slender baguette solved the problem because it could be prepared and baked much more rapidly.
Baguettes are closely connected to France and especially to Paris, though they are made around the world. In France, not all long loaves are baguettes — for example, a short loaf is a bâtard, a standard thicker stick is a flûte (also known in the United States as a parisienne), and a thinner loaf is a ficelle. (French breads are also made in forms such as a miche, which is a large pan loaf, and a boule, which is a round loaf similar to some peasant breads.)
Baguettes, either relatively short single-serving size or cut from a longer loaf, are very often used for sandwiches (usually of the submarine sandwich type, but also panini); sandwich-sized loaves are sometimes known as demi-baguettes, tiers, or sometimes "Rudi rolls". Baguettes are often sliced and served with pâté or cheeses. As part of the traditional continental breakfast in France, slices of baguette are spread with jam and dunked in bowls of coffee or hot chocolate. In the United States, baguettes are sometimes split in half to make French bread pizza.

Manufacture and styles

French food laws define bread as a product containing only the following four ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and common salt; the addition of any other ingredient to the basic recipe requires the baker to use a different name for the final product. As a result, the traditional baguette is made from a very lean dough, made from a moderately soft flour. While a typical baguette is made with a direct addition of baker's yeast, it is not unusual for artisan-style loaves to be made with a poolish or other bread pre-ferment to increase flavor complexity, as well as the addition of whole wheat flour and other grains such as rye. French bread is required by law to avoid preservatives, and as a result baguettes quite frequently stale within a day of being baked.
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 on a flour-impregnated towel, and baked either directly on the hearth of an oven or in special perforated pans designed to hold the shape of the baguette while allowing heat through the perforations.
Outside France, baguettes are also made with other doughs; for example, the Vietnamese bánh mì uses a high proportion of rice flour, while many United States bakeries make whole wheat, multigrain, and sourdough baguettes alongside traditional French-style loaves. In addition, even classical French-style recipes vary from place to place, with some recipes adding small amounts of milk, butter, sugar, or malt extract depending on the desired flavor and properties in the final loaf.

Further reading

  • Child, Julia. From Julia Child's Kitchen. New York: Knopf, 1970.
  • Child, Julia and Simone Beck. Mastering the Art of French Cooking, vol. 2. New York: Knopf, 1970.
  • Rambali, Paul. Boulangerie. New York: Macmillan, 1994, ISBN 0026008653.
  • Reinhard, Peter. Crust and Crumb. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 1998, ISBN 1580088023.
baguette in Afrikaans: Baguette
baguette in Catalan: Baguet
baguette in Chuvash: Багет
baguette in Czech: Bageta
baguette in German: Baguette
baguette in Spanish: Baguette
baguette in Esperanto: Bastonpano
baguette in French: Baguette (pain)
baguette in Korean: 프랑스 빵
baguette in Italian: Baguette
baguette in Hebrew: בגט
baguette in Dutch: Stokbrood
baguette in Japanese: フランスパン
baguette in Norwegian: Baguette
baguette in Polish: Bagietka (pieczywo)
baguette in Russian: Французский багет
baguette in Simple English: Baguette
baguette in Finnish: Patonki
baguette in Swedish: Baguette
baguette in Vietnamese: Bánh mì Pháp
baguette in Turkish: Baget
baguette in Chinese: 法国面包
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