Popular Dish from Francophone Country

By: D'Asia Hill

The baguette came about in 1788 and 1789, when a mass starvation period took place around France. There was a shortage of bread everywhere. The rich had good quality bread but the poor had poor quality bread and an insufficient amount of it. So, once calm was restored, the constituent assembly authorized bakers to make only one kind of bread, the french baguette. After Napoleon seized power, he was determined not to make the same mistakes made by his predecessors. His government issued decrees that established standards for French bread, specifying ingredients and baking methods. These Napoleonic decrees also elevated the status of professional bakers; establishing quality control for flour milling, mixing, and dough kneading; and ended the speculation in grains by farmers and commodity brokers. Later, governments added to the Napoleonic decrees, specifying ways to knead and aerate the dough and establishing shape and size criteria for any loaf designated an authentic French baguette.


  • 1 1/2cups (12 ounces) tap water, heated to 115° F
  • 1teaspoon (1/8 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3 1/4cups (14 2/3 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3teaspoons (3/8 ounces) Diamond Crystal kosher salt (note: if using a fine-grained salt like table salt, fine sea salt or other brands of kosher salt, you will need to use a smaller volume)
  • Canola oil, for greasing bowl
  • 1/2 cup ice cubes

The first steam oven was brought in the early nineteenth century to Paris by the Austrian officer August Zang, who also introduced Viennabread (pain viennois) and the croissant, and whom some French sources thus credit with originating the baguette.

Je ne mange jamais des pancakes