Apart from the delicious taste, I suppose? Well, there is one tell-tale sign you may not know about: les alvéoles*. So what are these indicators of quality? Simply put, they are air cavities and can help you distinguish an artisanal bread from a mass-produced one. The air pockets are usually the result of a dough that has been treated with the respect it deserves, that is, with as little interference from le boulanger* as possible.
So what is is about theses trous* that makes for a special bread? Here below an explanation from the esteemed website, Pains et Tradition*:
"En effet, afin de créer des pains exceptionnels on essaye de manipuler la pâte le moins possible et on se contente de simplement découper au format voulu en laissant la fermentation naturelle produire son œuvre."
"In fact, in order to create exceptional breads, we try to touch the dough as little as possible and simply cut it into the shape we require and then let natural fermentation do its work."
Mais attendez*! There's more...
"Ainsi, certains pains peuvent présenter une superbe alvéole que l’on qualifie de trou mais qui, en réalité est un signe de grande tradition et de respect de la nature."
"Thus, certain breads have superb air cavities that may look like holes, but in fact are a sign of great tradition and a respect of nature."
So where to find the best baguettes in Brisbane? Please do let us know your favourite spot, but here are some of ours:
Christian Jaques, Kangaroo point (Christian flies his flour in from France. That is dedication.)
Danny's Bread, Teneriffe (worth a trip for the smell of the fresh bread alone)
Chouquette, New Farm (surely soon to be granted 'institution' status?)
*a good baguette | *air cavities | *the baker | *Breads and Tradition | *But wait! | *Happy eating!