A whole-grain baguette uses a mixture of whole-wheat flour, white flour, and whole grains to create a long, thin loaf of bread. While this is not a traditional baguette, it is a method of transforming a baguette into something healthier. The traditional baguette, which originated in France, does not include whole-wheat flour or any types of whole grains. Whole grains can be added to the baguette in their whole form or ground to form various types of flours.
A traditional French baguette is made from white flour, water, salt and yeast. It is a very simple bread formed into a long and thin loaf that resembles a wand, which is where the word baguette comes from. In France, people are very particular about their baguettes, though different forms have arisen over the years. There are now varieties, other than the whole-grain baguette, that include rye flour, flavorings, and herbs.
Whole-wheat flour is made from grinding the whole grain of the wheat berry. Since the entire wheat berry is crushed, nutrients are not removed before the wheat is made into flour. White flour is refined so that the endosperm is the only part that is still intact, which creates a good flour for dough but does not contain many nutrients. Wheat flour is usually combined with white flour to create a dough that rises well but is still healthy.
In some cases, grains are kept whole before being added to a whole-grain baguette. Whole grains include such items as oats, rice and barley. They can be added to the dough to give a whole-grain baguette texture or sprinkled on top before it is baked, though it is sometimes difficult to form the crusty texture that baguettes are known for when whole grains are added to the dough before baking. The whole grains can also be ground into flour and added to the dough to provide different flavors and consistencies than it would have without them.
Items can be classified as whole grain simply by having a small amount of whole grains in them, so it is necessary for an individual to read the labels and ask questions when shopping for a whole grain baguette. The first ingredient listed should be a whole-grain flour of some kind for the bread to actually be considered healthy and nutritious. Baking the bread at home eliminates this problem because the cook knows exactly what goes into the recipe.