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French Bread vs. Baguette: What Makes Them Different?

French Bread vs Baguette

French Bread vs. Baguette: What Makes Them Different?

French bread vs. baguette: If it looks the same, then what is the difference? The easiest way to tell the difference between French bread and a baguette is that a baguette will have a thicker, crispy crust, and French bread will be a much softer loaf.

But, before we get too far into their differences, it's important to know that baguette is just a style of French bread, but not all French bread is baguette. French bread can come in many different styles of bread, including brioche, croissant, ficelle, and more. To make this comparison easy, when referring to French bread, we will refer to the type of loaf you would find in your local grocery store labeled “French Bread.”

Whole grain bread put on kitchen wood plate with a chef holding gold knife for cut. Fresh bread on table close-up. Fresh bread on the kitchen table The healthy eating and traditional bakery concept
Baguettes are one of the most popular styles of French bread. Each year, bread makers from around the world collectively produce about 6 billion baguettes!

©Master1305/Shutterstock.com

French Bread vs. Baguette: Texture

The texture between French bread and a baguette is massively different. A baguette is easily told apart from French bread due to its crispy crust. Baguettes are often so crispy that many people can experience rawness on the roof of their mouth after eating a baguette. Although French bread can also have a crispy crust, it does not compare to a baguette.

Although a baguette is very crispy on the outside, it does have a nice chewy inside. Many people love baguettes because of the mixture of texture it offers. French bread, on the other hand, does have a softer inside than a baguette and is known to be more lightweight.

French organic baguettes bread in authentic bakery setting
Baguettes are a great option if you're looking to make bruschetta, garlic bread, or even homemade croutons! Croutons are a great option for the bread that is a few days old and slightly dried out.

©Philippe Ramakers/Shutterstock.com

French Bread vs. Baguette: Shape and Size

A baguette is usually a smaller loaf of bread, known to be long and skinny. French bread is known to be a larger loaf of bread, wider and shorter than a baguette. So, if you're buying a larger loaf of bread to make sandwiches, you likely have a loaf of French bread and not a baguette. You can make sandwiches with a baguette, but the most common use of a baguette is for dipping in sauces and oils or eating with different cheeses, meats, or jams.

You can find baguettes that range from 15-30 inches in length! The length of the baguettes will be determined by the pan used to proof the dough before baking.

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French Bread vs. Baguette: Preparation

To achieve the shape and texture that a baguette has, it does require some special preparation. To make a baguette, it requires a proofing pan and a cloth. Using a cloth while proofing the baguette dough absorbs extra moisture to keep the surface dry. It also helps to keep the dough in the special shape of the pan, making it the long and thin loaf we know as a baguette.

French bread does not require either of these items, so it is known to be an easier bread to bake. Not using a cloth while preparing this bread will keep the moisture in the dough. This results in a bread with a softer crust, fluffier inside, and a wider shape.

French Bread vs Baguette Nutritional Facts
Nutritionally, French bread and baguettes are almost identical. When deciding which one you would like, you can choose based on size, texture, and what fits your recipe best.

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French Bread vs. Baguette: Nutritional Value

Because French bread and baguettes are prepared with similar ingredients, you will not find much difference in their nutritional value. Sometimes, extra fat can be added to French bread, such as olive oil, adding additional calories. Baguettes are known not to have any additional fats, so if it has fat, it is not a baguette!

French breads are very traditional, and adding additional ingredients would make it more closely related to Vienna bread. You can often find bread labeled as French bread because they are made by Viennese bakers who settled in France.

French-Dip-1
A baguette is the best option for a sandwich that needs a nice crunch. For some, baguettes are too hard to use in a sandwich and can hurt their mouth. In this case, French bread would be the best option.

©Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock.com

Our Favorite Recipes

Whether you prefer the crispiness of a baguette or the fluffiness of a French bread, here are some of our favorite recipes to try with either!

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French bread, baguette in slices

Chile Jack French Bread


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  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Yield: Serves 10 1x

Ingredients

Scale

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies or jalapenos
1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 loaf French bread


Instructions

1. Combine butter, onion, peppers, cheese, mayonnaise, and garlic powder.

2. Slice bread 1/4 inch thick, spread with butter mixture.

3. Broil until cheese bubbles.

Comparison of French Bread vs. Baguettes

Not all bread is created equal, including French bread and baguettes. While they may be similar, there are quite a few differences. Here's how they differ:

  • French bread is a great option for sandwiches. While baguettes are still sometimes used for sandwiches, it's typically used for dipping in oils or eaten with cheese.
  • Baguettes are incredibly crispy, whereas French bread has a softer texture.
  • These two types of bread are distinguishable by their size. Baguettes are long and skinny, while French bread is wide and short.
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