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Today's Tips

For people who love to eat bread more than rice, here is a simple recipe and tips on how to make French bread. French bread is a delectable addition Read More.
Today's Tips
The Baguette

For people who love to eat bread more than rice, here is a simple recipe and tips on how to make French bread. French bread is a delectable addition to a meal. The thick crust and the soft inside make for a truly authentic French bread. There are many kinds of French bread depending on their size and shape. Read on to find out!


The French word baguette means little stick. A baguette is longer than it is wider. It can be a meter long and be only five to six centimeters wide. The shorter baguettes are called demi-baguettes. There are also long loaves which are thicker called flutes, while the thinner version of the flute is the ficelle.

Here is a simple recipe for the baguette which I got from Squidoo.



1 1/4 cup water (or a little more, depending on the type of bread machine you are using).
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp Red Star brand active dry yeast


Put all the ingredients in your bread pan. Select the dough setting. When the cycle ends, allow the dough to rise for one additional hour. At that time, punch down the dough and let it rise in the machine for yet another hour. Then remove the dough onto a floured kneading board. Shape it into a ball then flatten it using just your hands.

Line a wicker basket with a kitchen towel and flour the towel. Be sure to use a basket that's twice the size of your dough. Put the dough in the basket. Do not cover. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

When double in bulk, turn the dough upside down onto a greased baking sheet, or for best results, use an authentic baguette pan.

Take a sharp knife, and being careful not to flatten the loaf, make four slashes across the top, resembling a # sign.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Put a cup of boiling water in a small pan which you place on the bottom shelf. Put dough in oven and bake for twenty minutes.

Remove and cool on rack for at least sixty minutes before you slice it. To keep the crust crisp, avoid storing it in a plastic wrap.



Here are also several tips to remember when you make your homemade French bread.

Make sure to use the best ingredients. Wouldnt you want to get French bread right on the first try? Then dont scrimp on the ingredients. Consider the quality of your flour and yeast. Yeast, even if it has not reached the expiration date yet, can rise up and turn bad. So make sure that the yeast you are using is good.


Also take note of the salt you will be using. Kosher salt or other special salts may be better.


Be patient. You should allow plenty of time for the rising and baking of your French bread especially if it is your first time to try making your own. French bread should rise for a minimum of three times in order to attain those air bubbles which make it soft and chewy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside.


French cooking right at the comforts of your home? Its possible! French cooking need not be unnecessarily difficult (even if we get tongue-tied at all those French words!). Cest La Vie has scouted for tasty recipes that you can easily prepare in your own kitchen. Happy cooking and Bon Appetit!


French Onion Soup or Soupe l'Oignon Gratine


From "Saveur Cooks Authentic French" (Chronicle Books) By the editors of Saveur magazine

Serves 8 


  • 6 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds medium yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 baguette
  • 1 pound Gruyère cheese, shredded

Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, cover and cook stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 20 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, uncover, and add the sugar and season to taste with salt. Saut, stirring often until onions are very soft and a deep golden brown.

Reduce heat to medium, sprinkle in flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add about 2 cups of stock and stir to blend, then add remaining 6 cups f stock and the wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for about 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Meanwhile, slice the bread into at least 8 thick slices. Butter both sides of the bread with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, then toast until golden brown on both sides in the oven.

Place a slice of toast in each of 8 ovenproof bowls, then fill bowls with the onion soup. Spread a thick layer of cheese on top of soup. Set bowls in 2 baking pans, place in the oven and bake until cheese has browned.


White Chocolate Macadamia Creme Brulee



Serves 6

  • 6 tablespoons chopped and toasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).

Set 6 (4-ounce) ramekins in a deep baking dish. Put 1 tablespoon of the macadamia nuts into each of the ramekins.

In a saucepan, stir the cream and sugar over medium heat. When the mixture comes to a slow simmer, add the white chocolate and remove from the heat. Whisk until the chocolate has completely melted. Stir in the egg yolks, one at a time, continuing to whisk until combined. Stir in the vanilla extract. Divide the mixture evenly between the ramekins. Place the dish into the oven and then pour water into baking dish until ramekins are 3/4 submerged.

Bake in preheated oven until custard has set, about 45 minutes. Remove pan and turn oven to broil.


Sprinkle the brown sugar over each of the ramekins. Place pan under broiler until sugar has melted and caramelized, about 5 minutes.


Remove ramekins from water bath. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. I prefer to chill these in the fridge before serving however they are just as heavenly served warm.



Impress the waiter with how much you know about French food terms! Next time you decide to eat at a French restaurant, ordering will become a breeze.

Escargot (\,es-,kr-) a snail prepared for use as food
(Adventurous eater? Try our very own Escargot Provencale to start your meal!)

Quiche (\,ksh\) - an unsweetened custard pie usually having a savory filling (as spinach, mushrooms, or ham)
(Savor our variations of Quiche paired with mixed baby green salads!)