Probably one of the most identifiable types of artisan bread, the baguette is a traditional French food staple. Made from simple dough of starter, yeast, flour and water, baguettes are characteristically long and slender loaves with slits across the top to ensure that the gases form and distribute properly during the baking process.
Look for a loaf with a caramel-colored, crisp, crackly and firm crust with a rich, yeasty and toasty aroma and a cream-colored interior that is studded with irregular air holes.
Keep leftover bread in gallon-size zip-top freezer bags at room temperature for up to two days. This way, the crumb stays fresh longer; the crust will soften, but it will quickly crisp up again if toasted or heated in a warm oven. To freeze bread, wrap it in foil and put it in zip-top bags. It will keep for up to a month.