Bakehouse Baguette Basics

a guide to choosing the best bread for your needs
A French baguette being used to make sandwiches with prosciutto, arugula, and brie on a marble surface

Imagine it’s one of those summer days to live for (not-too-hot, gentle breeze, golden sun rays painting the air) and you’re putting the finishing touches on the charcuterie board you’re serving at an aperitivo that evening when you realize you’ve forgotten the baguette. You make a quick run to the Bakeshop to grab one but you’re confronted with multiple types and you’re not sure on the baguette basics so you find yourself asking which one to get.

Or you’re trying to decide which baguette to crown the top of your French Onion Soup with; or wondering which baguette will provide the perfect crisp bite for your Báhn Mì; or contemplating which baguette will be best for the garlic bread you’re serving alongside Bolognese.

You get the point. There are multiple types of baguettes to choose from, and while they will all get the job done in the end, some really are better suited for certain applications than others. (Afterall, the term ‘baguette’ merely refers to the loaf’s shape and not the type.) Never fear though, we recently sat down with Hazim Tugun from our bread department and got the skinny on each type of these long, thin lovely loaves that we offer.

Farm baguette

Farm Baguette

  • Flavor: dark, toasty, caramelized flavor with a balanced sour and sweetness
  • Texture: crunchy crust, airy crumb with medium chew
  • Best uses: sliced for table bread or wonderful for soaking up any sauce left on your plate
  • Fresh out of the oven at: 5 pm

Rustic Italian City Baguette

  • Flavor: classic Italian bread; creamy, mildly sweet and buttery
  • Texture: thin crust with a tender crumb beneath
  • Best uses: sliced for table bread, sandwiches, charcuterie boards, garlic bread, or topped with Zingerman’s Creamery pimento cheese
  • Fresh out of the oven at: 12 pm

French Baguette

  • Flavor: buttery, sweet, and nutty
  • Texture: crispy, thin crust with a lovely mild crunch and a creamy open crumb
  • Best uses: sandwiches like báhn mì or jambon-beurre, dipping in good olive oil, or a charcuterie board’s best friend
  • Fresh out of the oven at: 9 am

Sourdough Baguette

  • Flavor: tangy, sweet, salty, and malty
  • Texture: thin, blistered crust with a perfect toothsome chew; moist and tangy crumb
  • Best uses: sliced for table bread, mini grilled cheese, finger sandwiches or other appetizers
  • Fresh out of the oven at: 2 pm

Po’ Boy Baguette

  • Flavor: mildly enriched, sweet and eggy
  • Texture: very thin crisp crust with a tighter soft crumb structure
  • Best uses: sub-style sandwiches, Po’ Boy sandwiches (of course!), or garlic bread
  • Fresh out of the oven at: 7 am
  • **Note: this one isn’t sold in the shop but can be ordered with 2 days notice

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Corynn Coscia is the marketing assistant manager and photographer at Zingerman’s Bakehouse. After spending her childhood reluctantly in front of the camera of her hobbyist-photographer father, she was eager to move behind it, prompting her to pursue a BA in Film & Video Studies at the University of Michigan. With degree in hand, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in the TV and music industries before discovering her passion for food photography while working in marketing with a plant-based chef. 2 dogs, 2 kids, and 13 years later, she’s back in Ann Arbor doing what she loves and somehow getting paid for it. She recently completed a photography fellowship with her mentor, New York Times food photographer Andrew Scrivani, and has since been shortlisted for a Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year award. Her photos can be seen throughout the Bakehouse on the walls, on the website and social media, and in the Bakehouse’s series of cookbooklets; she hopes they’re making you hungry!

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