For many, the smell of a freshly baked baguette is almost as good as eating it, but is it possible for a vegan to enjoy them? The answer is yes. At Least they should be.
Brands are making them using a different recipe to stay on the safe side, we have compiled a list of everything you need to know about baguettes from a vegan viewpoint.
With strict rules in France, a baguette cannot be additive heavy and must be made from a combination of flour, water, yeast, and salt. This makes them vegan, but a word of caution – some people are making baguettes that would render the French speechless.
Additives are often added to store-bought baguettes to make them last longer, so bakery-bought versions are always better.
Even though most types of bread are vegan, it is always best to take a diligent approach and read the ingredients before consuming. It is not common for milk butter to be used, but also not impossible.
Other ingredients to look out for include buttermilk, whey, and casein. Lecithin and mono and diglycerides can also be found in bread, and although they can be from animal-derived sources, they are not always.
How They’re Made
For something so delicious, the process is simple.
Once all the ingredients are mixed (remember it only requires flour, water, yeast, and salt), they should be left to sit for 10 minutes.
After that, the dough needs to be stretched and folded three times, every half an hour to activate the yeast. A warm room is best for this.
It should give off a sour milk-type smell and start to show signs of blisters to show it is ready to be refrigerated.
After 12 hours, it should have doubled in volume and can be left to stand for 1-2 hours. Shape it into a rectangle (or more than one if you have made a lot of it) and place it on a baking stone in a pre-heated oven set to 475 F.
Leave the baguettes to proof for 30 minutes before scoring them with a knife and baking for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 450 F and heat for another 15 before removing them from the oven.
Is There Egg In A Baguette?
No, there is not. Thankfully this is also not the type of ingredient that might creep into the recipe, so they are safe to consume without the worry that chickens have been mistreated. The way the egg farming industry works, mistreating egg-laying hens who are only bred for their reproductive systems then killed when their laying numbers decrease with age is unethical.
Are Sourdough Baguettes Vegan?
When made to the traditional recipe, sourdough baguettes are vegan. This is because the simple recipe consists of just flour, water, and salt. However, there are instances where eggs will be used by brushing them over the top of the loaf to add color.
The yeast and bacteria in flour combine when mixed in water. When left to grow, they do. It can easily be left to sit for a week, even longer and there is no need to add other ingredients that could make it non-vegan.
The dough itself can be used to make bread, bagels, and just about anything in between and will always be vegan as long as the traditional recipe is followed.
Is A White Baguette Vegan?
As long as the French method of making baguettes are followed, and the recipe is adhered to, then White Baguettes are vegan. They have a simple recipe that contains very few ingredients yet again. Even branded white baguettes are usually made vegan. For example, here is the ingredients list for COBS Bread version:
Wheat Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast, Sunflower Oil, Improver [Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Ascorbic Acid, Lipase, Amylase].
Because of this, you can assume that most recipes are vegan.
Are French Baguettes Vegan?
Yes. This is what we always associate with baguettes, a traditional French version. This means limited ingredients, low to no additives, and a mix of flour, water, yeast, and salt. Most bread made to an old-world recipe will be vegan. This is except milk bread. Some normal baguette recipes will advise using milk – just look at the Joy of Cooking recipe which is not vegan as a result. (Joy of Cooking page 605 – Irma Starkhoff Rombauer – Plume Book, 1997)
Are Panera Baguettes Vegan?
The popular bakery-cafe chain has a vegan menu, but are their baguettes part of it? Yes, the French baguette is. The main bread to avoid is honey wheat and white loaves as they include butter, milk, and even eggs into their recipe for these two. According to their website, the ingredients for their French baguette reads as follows:
Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Whole Wheat Flour, Contains less than 2% of Ascorbic Acid, Enzymes, Cultured Wheat Starch Blend (Cultured Wheat Starch, Wheat Flour, Citric Acid), Salt, Vinegar, Yeast.
There are also plenty of bagels to choose from, as well as sourdough that is vegan.
Are Lee’s Sandwiches Baguettes Vegan?
This is a recipe that is difficult to get hold of, but since it is known as Banh Mi bread, we can see what the traditional recipe is. A Vietnamese recipe is made sweeter than a traditional French baguette and this is because of the sugar content.
It follows a similar recipe, but all-purpose flour is typically used and it comes out crustier on the inside, but still fluffy within. As long as Lee’s Sandwiches follows the traditional recipe, it can be considered vegan, but it is best to ask.
Are Bake At Home Baguettes Vegan?
They are, most of the time. There might be more ingredients to look at, especially since preservatives could be found, but the recipe should remain simple. The same staple ingredients of flour, water, yeast, and salt should be used, but the baking method will be different to ensure they can be made to taste like they are fresh after they have been in the oven.
Whilst homemade recipes can be relied upon, store-bought baguettes remain an issue at times.
For the most part, you will have no problem finding a baguette to spread your favorite vegan topping in. Just don’t be afraid to ask.