Difference Between French Bread And Vienna Bread

Vienna Bread - Scored

Good bread is one of life’s simplest pleasures, and nothing is quite as rewarding as biting into a perfectly crusty and flavorful loaf. Whether you appreciate the mild flavor of a French baguette or prefer the heartier flavor of a Vienna-style pumpernickel, there are two distinct varieties of breads that have a long and storied history.

This article will investigate the differences between French bread and Vienna bread in terms of size and shape, browning, texture of the crumb, ingredients, the preparation process, health benefits, and common uses.

French bread, or what is commonly called the “baguette” in France, is a slender, elongated crusty loaf of bread. The Vienna bread, sometimes also known as Pumpernickel, is an old-world, coarsely-ground dark bread that is German in origin.

French bread, or the French baguette, was created in 19th century France. Before the baguette, French bread was round, long and soft.

The invention of the baguette revolutionized French bread baking, and it remains the most popular form of bread in France today.

The Vienna bread, on the other hand, is a traditional German bread. Vienna bread-making has been practiced in Germany since the 1600s and is still popular today. The bread is a form of sourdough bread, and the exact origins of the recipe are still unknown.

Differences in Appearances and Texture

When it comes to size and shape, baguettes and Vienna breads differ greatly. French breads can range from a few inches long to over three feet long and are long and thin.

Vienna breads are shorter and thicker than baguettes, round, and range from 9-16 inches.

The browning between French and Vienna breads is also quite different. Baguettes tend to be a light golden brown in color, while Vienna breads are a much darker, almost russet brown.

The dark color of Vienna bread is due to the coarsely-ground flour used in the dough.

The texture of the crumb also varies between French and Vienna breads. The crumb of a French baguette is light and airy, and the texture is delicate and tender.

Vienna bread has a much denser crumb than the baguette, due to the large amounts of coarsely-ground flour used in the dough. Its texture is chewy and rustic.

Differences in Ingredients

The types of flour used in French and Vienna breads can vary greatly. French bread is typically made with white flour, which gives the loaf its lightness and airiness.

Vienna bread, on the other hand, is made with a combination of flours, including rye, wheat, spelt, and barley. The combination of flours gives Vienna bread its dark color and dense texture.

The types and amounts of yeast used in French and Vienna breads also differ. Baguettes are made with fresh compressed yeast, while Vienna bread is made with sourdough, which is a combination of yeast, flour, and water that is left to ferment over an extended period of time.

The type and amount of additives used can also be different between French and Vienna bread. Baguettes are typically brushed with water during their baking process to make their crusts crispy and golden.

Vienna bread, on the other hand, is often made with additional ingredients such as nuts, dried fruits, and seeds for added flavor and texture.

Preparation Process Differences

The preparation process for French and Vienna breads also varies. Baguettes are made with a very simple mixture of flour, yeast, and water.

The dough is then shaped into long, thin loaves before being placed in the oven to bake. Vienna bread, however, is made with a much longer and more complicated process. The dough is left to ferment for an extended period of time, which helps to give the bread its distinctive flavor and texture.

The fermentation time for French and Vienna breads also differs. Baguettes are typically fermented for about 2 hours, which is enough time for the dough to rise and develop its airy texture.

Vienna breads, on the other hand, require much longer fermentation times, often up to 12 hours or more. This extended fermentation process helps to give Vienna bread its distinctive flavor and denser texture.

Health Benefits of French Bread vs Vienna Bread

When it comes to macronutrients, both French and Vienna breads are good sources of carbohydrates. French baguettes contain approximately 17 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of bread, while Vienna breads contain an average of 21 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of bread.

Both French and Vienna breads are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Baguettes are high in B vitamins, such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, which are important for energy production.

Vienna breads are high in minerals, such as iron, calcium, and magnesium, which are important for bone health. Both types of bread are also high in antioxidants, which can help to reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative damage.

Popular Uses for Each Type of Bread

French bread is popularly used in a variety of French dishes, such as French toast, Croque-Monsieur, and French Onion Soup. The light and airy texture of the baguette helps to make these dishes creamy and indulgent.

Vienna bread is a popular choice for dishes in other countries around Europe, such as German cabbage rolls, Austrian kaiser rolls, and Swedish smorgastarta. The dense and chewy texture of the Vienna bread helps to make these dishes hearty and satisfying.

Origins of Both Types of Bread

The baguette originated in 19th century France and quickly became one of the most popular types of bread in the country. The long and thin shape of the baguette allows for the airy and light texture that has become the hallmark of French bread.

Vienna-style bread is much older than the French baguette and is believed to have originated in Germany in the 1600s. The recipe for Vienna bread is still largely the same today and is a popular choice for bread in Austria and Germany.

The Sourdough Revolution

Sourdough is a type of bread made using a fermented dough starter. The starter is made using a combination of water, flour, and naturally occurring yeast and bacteria, and it is left to ferment over an extended period of time.

The fermentation process gives sourdough bread its characteristic tangy and sour flavor.

Sourdough bread is becoming increasingly popular due to its unique flavor, and it can be found in both French and Vienna breads. Sourdough French bread, or “Pain au Levain,” has a complex flavor that combines the traditional French crust with a tangy and sour flavor.

Vienna breads are also often made with sourdough, which helps to give the bread its distinctive dark color and chewy texture.

Nutrition Compared to White Sandwich Bread

When compared to white sandwich bread, both French and Vienna breads are healthier options. French bread is a good source of carbohydrates, B vitamins, and antioxidants, while Vienna bread is a good source of carbohydrates, minerals, and antioxidants.

Both types of bread are also lower in fat and calories than sandwich bread.


French bread and Vienna bread are two distinct types of bread that have been enjoyed for centuries. The most notable differences between the two are in size and shape, browning, crumb texture, ingredients, preparation process, and health benefits.

French bread is made with white flour and is light and airy in texture, while Vienna bread is made with coarsely-ground flours and has a dense and chewy texture.

Ultimately, the choice between French bread and Vienna bread comes down to personal preference. French bread is ideal for light and airy dishes, while Vienna bread is best for hearty and savory dishes.

Both types of bread offer nutritional benefits, so it is up to the individual to decide which type of bread they prefer.

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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