The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

French Dining Staple Is Losing Its Place at the Table

Wild-Yeast's picture

French Dining Staple Is Losing Its Place at the Table

An interesting piece in the New York Times - European Edition:

Handmade slowly fermented "tradition" baguette versus industrial grade "classic" baguettes and "Got Bread?" ad campaign...,  


dabrownman's picture
“The secret to making a good tradition is time, time, time. Fermentation is very, very slow. The aromas, the sugar have to emerge. It takes a good three and a half, four hours from start to finish.”

To show the difference, he sliced a tradition and then a classic baguette in half and lengthwise as if to make a sandwich.       

“Look at all the uneven cavities, the beautiful golden brown crust,” he said of the tradition. “Smell the aroma, sweet and spicy. Every one is made by hand. It’s magnificent!”

Oddly, a really good baguette takes 36 hours in my book not 3 and a half, not 4 hours.  I will put txfarmes baguettes up against any in the world - especially a 4 hour one :-)

France isn't the only place where bread consumption is ways down  It is happening all over the world  I know whole families that never ever buy bread of any kind thinking it horrible, carbohydrate laden, gluten loaded, evilness of the worst kind  Heck, even Bill O'Rieily has a huge TV campaign ongoing against not eating all bread and wheat foods of any kind - so it can and will  only get worse.  His is simple, stop eating bread and you will lose weight - period.

grind's picture

Bread is the new red scare.  There's always something.


That was an enjoyable article.  I think good bread is now a North American thing.  Maybe the French will catch up.

varda's picture

and Asian, based on a lot of what I see on TFL.

Mebake's picture

@ DA, I've never been more fit since i started baking and consuming my own home made bread. If i don't make bread, what do i do!

Nice article, saddening though.


holds99's picture

I wonder if overall consumption of bread is falling in France or is it just the baguette?  The ovens at Poilâne are cranking out the loaves at a good clip: "Today, Poilâne sells 200,000 loaves of their formidable sourdough miche in 2500 locations."

As for Bill O'Reilly, he's not my"go to" guy for bread advice.

FrugalBaker's picture

Might have been written during the peak of summer and therefore, a shorter fermentation time was quoted. As for as I one in my family complained of having too much of bread. Instead it is never enough,especially baguette. Though, the columnist pointed out a few things which not only happen in France but on a global scale. Teenagers are getting up late,skipping breakfast and such. There's also an emerging group of health conscious people who sees gluten as pure evil even if they are perfectly healthy. The bread tradition has been around for ages now and I believe it will continue to strive no matter what.  

Thanks for sharing,wild yeast :)