The typical vision that comes to mind when thinking of a baguette might be the long loaf sticking out of the basket on a bicycle being ridden through the French countryside or the streets of Paris, but baguettes have a place in America. Ethnic food trends and interest in gourmet and specialty foods in America make the retail bakery market a great place to take advantage of the classic baguette.
The baguette's dimensions make it a great bread for doing mini sandwiches. Because Americans on the whole want to eat healthier, mini sandwiches give retail bakeries and cafés a great way to offer indulgent sandwiches with rich, flavorful ingredients that can still be promoted as health-conscious due to their portion size.
For special occasions during the year such as holidays, promote baguette sandwich platters for parties and events. Market and upsell custom, made to order platters to give customers options when your standard cash and carry options don’t match their needs. Add desserts beverages in packages to increase per ticket dollars even more.
For any sandwich to work well, the key lies in matching the bread to the filling. A great filling to bread pairing will elevate a sandwich while a poor combination will make the sandwich fall below what it should be. This is the reason certain popular sandwiches get the same bread choice for their fillings no matter who makes them or where they are served.
The hard crust and chewy crumb of baguettes match up well with strong and substantial meats like salami, but avoid fillings that are too chewy. The bread itself is chewy enough; using fillings like steak will cause eaters to wear out their mouths. Meatballs fit great with baguettes. The crumb of a baguette soaks up the sauce and the pliable nature of the meatball makes for easy chewing. But sandwiches are just one option for baguette pairing.
To give your bakery café a real sense of high quality, offer baguette and cheese plates. Whether you serve these plates to individual diners in house, as platters to go or offer them made-to-order, a baguette and cheese combo plate makes a great premium price point to your menu. The number one cheese to pair with a baguette is brie. Spreading a slice of baguette with brie remains a staple of daily diets all over France, but other cheeses pair well with the French bread as well.
Blue cheeses, hard artisan cheeses and other French cheeses all go good on a sliced piece of baguette. However, your customers will let you know what will sell and what to eliminate from your menu.