May 2, 2020

Vietnamese Baguettes

Bánh mì (or Vietnamese baguette sandwich) is one of my all-time favorite things in the world.  It's the perfect food if you ask me.  Crisp, crunchy, soft and airy baguettes filled with meat, pickled vegetables, fresh cucumber and herbs.  Heaven in a bite!  Almost a decade later and I still think about the most delicious bánh mì I ever ate from Bánh Mì Phượng in Hội An, Vietnam.  

The key to a really good bánh mì boils down to the bread.  Viet baguette is slightly different than the French variety.  Yes, it was introduced to the country by the French in the 19th century but there's definitely a Viet spin to it.  The Vietnamese kind is much lighter and airier than the traditional baguette.

When I saw Uyen Luu had posted a recipe for homemade Viet baguette on her Instagram and website I could not contain my excitement.  Hers looked totally legit so I had to give it a go.

It's always intimidating trying a new recipe, especially when you have such high expectations for it.  Turns out I didn't need to worry.  The recipe wasn't complicated but there were a few steps you had to follow.  What I found very helpful was the YouTube video that was included in Uyen's post that showed how the baguettes were made.  Forewarning though, the video is in Vietnamese, but even if you don't understand the language you can still watch the video for visual clues on how the recipe works.

I literally jumped up and down when I pulled the baked baguettes out of the oven.  They totally looked authentic, down to the beautiful split on the top.  Straight away I FaceTimed my mom to show her the results and she even said the baguettes looked really good.  [And she's a tough critic!] I promised her that once I was able to visit again I would make them with her.

I'm planning to fill the baguettes with char siu or Chinese bbq pork.  Stay tuned!


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