In France, after World War II, breads made with what was available during wartime, such as whole-grain dark rye and buckwheat, fell out of favor replaced by white breads.  The preference for baguettes and other lighter styles, replace the country rustic style breads.  As in all things French, the government intervened, and enacted strict controls on the amount of flour, which resulted in an unstated policy of the “whiter the flour, the higher the price.”  The trade elevated to a craft and a science.  If you want to make a perfect French loaf, get the book Tartine No. 3, which features some 336 pages, all on mostly French breads, of all styles.  If you are like the French, just visit your local baker and the be prepared argue to the death about your baker making a better baguette or French loaf than all the others in town.

We are lucky to have Dream Pastries which makes it not worth trying to bake a baguette at home.   They also make a great rustic loaf.  Pick one up if you are in the neighborhood, together with some of their pastries which are to die for.