Does anyone know why the baguettes in France are so light and not filling?

Finlandia

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Does anyone know why the baguettes in France are so light and not filling while the ones we have here are very dense or does anyone have a recipe for one that is light

Thanks
 

huskerdu

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Does anyone know why the baguettes in France are so light and not filling while the ones we have here are very dense or does anyone have a recipe for one that is light

Thanks
If you mean the rolls sold in supermarkets, they are mass produced using cheap ingredients and aren't close to a proper baguette.

You have a chance of a good baguette in a proper bakery. I mean one that breaks your teeth, is really light inside and is stale about. 4 hours after you buy it.
I think Paul Hollywood's recipe is good, but the recipe is very simple . It's just flour, yeast and water.
I haven't mastered making them but a long slow prove and a REALLY hot oven make a difference.
 

newtothis

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Does anyone know why the baguettes in France are so light and not filling while the ones we have here are very dense or does anyone have a recipe for one that is light

Thanks
Check out http://www.sustainweb.org/realbread/ - includes some recipes too. As well as the ingredients, it's the way it's made that makes a difference. The "freshly-baked" baguettes you get in supermarkets here are generally just finished off in-store: it's made on an industrial scale, using ingredients and processes optimised for cost. As well as the quality of the ingredients and the addition of all sorts of additives the big thing that differentiates industrially produced bread is time. It takes at most a few minutes of effort to make bread and is easily done at home. To make "real" bread though, you need time (several hours) to prove the dough: that's the main reason for you noticing the difference between the French and most bread you get here. Industrially produced bread makers do all they can to minimise this time for cost reasons.
 

Leo

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See here for more on the industrial processes and tricks used to speed up the process, and prolong the shelf life of the finished product.
 

Buddyboy

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And the French and Spanish have some great ways of using the stale, i.e. yesterdays, bread.

I've had it in France dipped in a bowl of coffee the following morning
and I've had it in Spain with olive oil, tomato puree and salt for breakfast (tostada).

And I agree with the op, French baguettes are amazing (with butter mixed with garlic and anchovies).

Missing last weeks holiday already. :(

Yum.
 

Finlandia

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Thanks everyone for the replies they definitely give me food for thought and something to work from
 

Gervan

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I've always believed the French flour is different. Has anyone tried bringing flour back, then making baguettes here? I'd love to know if my theory is true.
 

Leo

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I've always believed the French flour is different. Has anyone tried bringing flour back, then making baguettes here? I'd love to know if my theory is true.
The options here might be worth a try so, they have one they say is a typical French flour for producing baguettes.
 

dub_nerd

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See here for more on the industrial processes and tricks used to speed up the process, and prolong the shelf life of the finished product.
That article certainly didn't match the headline ... there was nothing "shocking" about it that I could see. Although it made dark insinuations about the safety of food additives, it didn't provide a single substantiated fact. Instead it sounded like "Britain's leading organic baker" taking a potshot at the competition. Among a number of puzzling statements was this, referring to enzymes: "Their status as processing aids is based on the assumption that they are 'used up' in the production process and are therefore not really present in the final product. This is a deception that allows the food industry to manipulate what we eat without telling us." Anyone who took secondary school biology, or indeed anyone who looks up a definition of enzymes will find that: "Chemically, enzymes are like any catalyst and are not consumed in chemical reactions". It all struck me as an extension of the longstanding British paranoia about "Frankenfoods".


Nevertheless, thanks for the link. Always interesting to see what is being bandied around about foodstuffs.
 

Leo

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That article certainly didn't match the headline ... there was nothing "shocking" about it that I could see.
Yeah, they didn't factor in that yeast itself contains enzymes that actually do the work by feeding on the sugar and releasing carbon dioxide as a by-product. I'm guessing the pressure from the food industry not to include enzymes on the label is part due to perception and fear of the unknown, or that many such enzymes come from animal sources.
 

newtothis

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That article certainly didn't match the headline ... there was nothing "shocking" about it that I could see. Although it made dark insinuations about the safety of food additives, it didn't provide a single substantiated fact. Instead it sounded like "Britain's leading organic baker" taking a potshot at the competition. Among a number of puzzling statements was this, referring to enzymes: "Their status as processing aids is based on the assumption that they are 'used up' in the production process and are therefore not really present in the final product. This is a deception that allows the food industry to manipulate what we eat without telling us." Anyone who took secondary school biology, or indeed anyone who looks up a definition of enzymes will find that: "Chemically, enzymes are like any catalyst and are not consumed in chemical reactions". It all struck me as an extension of the longstanding British paranoia about "Frankenfoods".


Nevertheless, thanks for the link. Always interesting to see what is being bandied around about foodstuffs.
I think the shocking thing they're referring to is the surprise (and yes "shock" probably is too strong a word) most people get when they are told what's actually in what they assume to be a fairly simple product. I'd agree completely that there's a lot of overstated nonsense about the health dangers on one side and health benefits on the other of different types of food: very little seems to be based on scientific research (i.e. conclusions drawn from tested evidence).

However, what is undeniable is the difference between a typical modern sliced pan and bread made with traditional ingredients in a traditional way ("real bread"): they literally are like chalk and cheese. I prefer the real variety for the taste and texture. I wouldn't believe some of the wilder health claims about its benefits or the dangers of the more modern variety. However, I would tend to assume that something that's been prepared and consumed for literally thousands of years, often as they key component of people's diet, has little to prove in terms of health benefits/dangers whereas highly processed foods do have question marks over them just by virtue of having a much shorter track record.
 

odyssey06

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We have the concept of free range eggs, grass fed beef... would be nice if bread could be labelled along those lines to say made in the traditional manner without use of enzymes etc etc...
 

dub_nerd

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Bread's thousands of years of track record is no particular credit to it. The massive advantage of bread was that it was a palatable and digestible form of grass seed that could be planted and harvested in place. Agriculture allowed civilisation (i.e. city-dwelling) to replace the nomadic lifestyle of hunter gatherers, with a consequent greater predictability -- but not necessarily quality -- of food supply.

Agriculture on its own didn't herald an improvement in diet, as attested by archaeological evidence that the first farmers were more poorly nourished than their nomadic forebears, and suffered chronic joint and back injuries from countless hours of grinding grain to make it edible. You could survive on a diet of bread, oil, salt, and some greens, but that didn't make it healthy. As grain became more finely milled and flour more refined, the nutrient content of bread decreased.

I'm amazed at how short our memory is of famine in Europe. We've almost forgotten about diseases of malnutrition like scurvy, rickets, anaemia and so on. Some of those were common mere decades ago. Vitamin additives in bread were a major part of the effort to combat malnutrition.

Our modern bread is by and large a healthy food, and nutritionally superior to the traditional product. The myth that traditional or "organic" techniques are somehow vastly better than the demonised Chorleywood Bread Process is just the usual nonsense peddled by people with more money than sense, or those who want to extract some cash from them. Have a look at some myth-busting here:

https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritioninthenews/previous-facts-behind-the-headlines/bread.html
 

newtothis

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Our modern bread is by and large a healthy food, and nutritionally superior to the traditional product.
As I said, I'd be disinclined to believe much of what proponents of anyone making health claims, whether from traditionalists or processed food producers, and life's too short to go looking for scientific studies on every possible foodstuff. I'd see the argument for traditionally made bread as one of taste and texture: there's a massive difference between the two.
 
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