baguette [ba-get] noun
The classic French bread. Usually about two feet long and, in France, very narrow, sometimes not more than 2 inches across. The dough is slashed diagonally on the surface right before baking to help create the baguette’s classic look and texture. The crust is crackly, crusty, chewy and a rich golden-brown color; the interior is light and open in texture, with a chew as well.
Some say you can only find a true baguette in France. While that might have been true years ago, the interest in truly fine bread baking during the ‘90s onward has brought worthy baguettes to other areas of the world. One difference, however, is that American versions are quite broad, side-to-side, sometimes up to 3 inches. French baguettes are much thinner and more elegant-looking. The French also have a shorter, squatter version called a bâtard and a longer, thinner version called ficelle. Baguette length can reach up to 3 feet, although if you are using a baguette pan, they will most likely be about 14 inches in length.