Difference Between French Bread And Baguette

Mmm... whole wheat sourdough baguettes

Say “Bonjour” to French bread and its older, longer, and crustier cousin, the French Baguette! While both have the same history, heritage, and country of origin, there are both subtle and distinct differences between these traditional breads.

This article will explore the origins and varieties of French bread and French Baguettes, their similarities, differences, and their various uses, as well as its unique preparation techniques and health benefits. So, roll up your sleeves and prepare to explore the wonderful world of French breads!

What is French Bread?

The French bread that most people are familiar with is the soft, white, mildly sweet and crusty loaf traditionally baked in blocks or batons. This type of bread is found in almost all parts of the world and is generally filled with proteins and starches as well as other flavorful ingredients such as sesame seeds and poppy seeds.
French bread, known in France as “pain de mie”, has a rich history and heritage spanning back nearly 400 years. In the 1600s, King Louis XIII of France created the “boulangerie”, or bakery, as a means of creating bread for his court. Breads from the boulangerie were created with yeast, flour, and often eggs – creating a softer, sweeter, and longer-lasting bread than ever before.

French bread has a soft, light texture and a mild, pleasant taste. It has a slightly crispy crust, and is usually slightly sweet due to the addition of eggs and sugar to the dough. The texture of the bread will vary depending on the recipe and baking techniques used.

The variety of French breads widely available include breads made with whole wheat flour, white breads, and even “Pain Meunier”, a French bread made with rye flour. There are also a variety of French breads with added ingredients such as cheese, olives, and herbs.

What is Baguette?

While French bread is generally found in blocks or batons, the French Baguette (also known as “baguette de Paris”) is the longer and thinner version of French bread.

Unlike the longstanding history of French bread, the baguette’s origin is a bit more obscure. It is believed to have originated in the 19th century when bakers began to create breads with a longer and thinner shape, which allowed the bread to bake more quickly.

The baguette is also known for its slightly hard and crunchy crust, and its light, chewy interior. It has a slightly nutty flavor, due to the addition of wheat germ to the dough.

Similar to French bread, baguettes can also come in a variety of shapes and sizes, such as the classic “tresse”, or braided baguette, and the “genre épais”, or thick, and long baguette. Baguettes can also be filled with a variety of ingredients and flavors such as cheese, olives, and herbs.

Similarities between French Bread and Baguette

Though there are many differences between French bread and the baguette, they do share some similarities as well.

Both French bread and baguette are traditionally found in the classic rectangular shape, though they can also be found in other shapes such as rounds and braids.

Due to their similarities in ingredients, both French bread and baguettes contain the same dietary values, such as proteins, calcium, starches, and fats.

Differences between French Bread and Baguette

While both are doughy and delicious, the distinct differences between French bread and baguette become apparent when looking at their ingredients, texture, and shelf life.

Though both French bread and baguette are made with flour, water, salt, and yeast, French bread often also contains eggs, sugar, and other ingredients, while baguettes contain wheat germ which is responsible for its nutty flavor.

French bread usually has a more dense and chewy texture, while baguette is more crunchy and hard.

Due to the lack of preservatives, both French bread and baguettes have a relatively short shelf life of about 2-3 days.

Preparation of French Bread and Baguette

The preparation of French bread and baguettes is a very important step in the process.

The most important technique used in the preparation of French bread and baguettes is kneading. Kneading is the process of using pressure and stretching the dough to incorporate air and create a smooth, elastic texture.

French bread and baguettes can be served in a variety of ways and make a great accompaniment to many meals.

The most popular way to serve French bread is as part of a French-style meal, such as a French onion soup or steak tartare, but it can also be used in sandwiches and as a side dish. Baguettes can be served as a snack with butter, cheese, or jam, or used to make a classic French sandwich, such as a croque monsieur.

Due to its popularity, French bread and its many regional variations can be found in many different countries.

In France, French bread is often served with the traditional “pain de campagne”, which is a type of rustic country bread. Baguettes are typically served with a sweet butter, such as “beurre d’Isigny”.

In Italy, French bread is often served with the traditional “panini”, which is a type of Italian-style sandwich. Baguettes are often filled with Italian ingredients such as prosciutto, salami, and cheese.

In the United States, French bread is often served with the classic “garlic bread”, while baguettes are often served as part of a sandwich, or as part of a French-style breakfast.

Common Usages of French Bread and Baguette

French bread and baguettes are often used as part of a variety of popular dishes, such as crostini, French toast, paninis, and sandwiches.

French bread and baguettes can also be used for a variety of culinary dishes, such as souffles, French onion soup, and grilled cheese. They can also be used as the base for a variety of French-style desserts, such as bread pudding and trifle.

Nutritional Value of French Bread and Baguette

Though not typically thought of as a healthy food, French bread and baguettes do contain some nutrients and dietary values.

French Bread

French bread contains minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, as well as vitamins B1, B2, and B3. It also contains proteins and carbohydrates, which provide energy and are good for the body.


Baguettes contain less fat and fewer carbohydrates than French bread, but they are still a good source of fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals.


So, there you have it – a comprehensive exploration of the wonderful world of French breads! From the origins and varieties of French bread and French Baguettes, to the preparation techniques and health benefits – the possibilities for delicious bread recipes and inventive uses of these traditional breads are endless.

So go ahead and try making your own French bread, or pick up some fresh French baguettes – either way, you won’t be disappointed!

Christian R

Hello, my name is Christian and I'm the owner of Academiedupain.com (Academy Of Bread). If you can't tell by the name this site it is all about bread, bread making, dough, and anything and everything else bread related.If you love bread then you are in the right place!This site is dedicated to one thing... helping you make and bake the best bread ever! Whether you are baking bread for the first time or just have some general questions about bread or dough I will try to answer them on this site.

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