The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Age of French Bread

Old Baker's picture
Old Baker

Age of French Bread

I'm curious about how old baguettes are when bought at a bakery in France.  A number of years ago, a friend and I were driving around Brittany and Normandy, taking the back roads and staying in small towns.  Often we observed the locals doing their morning shopping for groceries.  I remember one classic image of a woman riding her bicycle with a couple of baguettes in the handlebar basket.  Now that I'm doing some baking, the question came up: how long were those loaves out of the oven?  Were they baked early that morning or the night before?

The reason for my question is that I have been appointed as the "official" baker of bread for my wife's weekly staff meetings at work.  She takes three loaves for the others to share during the meetings.  Because she goes in very early on meeting days (0630), I bake the night before, usually finishing the bake around 10 pm.  So the loaves are about 12 hours old when they are consumed.

Would this be considered stale bread?  Should I get up at 0500 and bake on those mornings?


dabrownman's picture

French baguettes are baked fresh every day and eaten over the next 24 hours till the next batch is baked.  Day old they make great bread crumbs and croutons.