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Banh Mih Bread or Baguette

mrsdebdav Jan 9, 2010 05:53 AM

Does anyone know of a source, preferably in Westchester, which sells the rice/flour bread used to make Banh Mih? It's a very specific texture, and it's wonderful.

  1. c
    cubanat Jan 9, 2010 08:33 AM

    It's not just a petite french baguette? no idea but I will be on the lookout next time I'm downtown.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cubanat
      mrsdebdav Jan 9, 2010 09:37 AM

      Hi cubanat,
      It's a rice flour baguette, which is why it is so light and crispy. I found some recipes for it, which I may try, but I would love to be able to just buy some close to home. Thanks!

    2. menton1 Jan 9, 2010 01:58 PM

      The Banh Mi I've had at Vietnamese restaurants is a crispy french baguette, made with regular wheat flour.

      1 Reply
      1. re: menton1
        mrsdebdav Jan 9, 2010 02:50 PM

        Hi menton1,
        Thanks for your post. I've had the terrific experience of eating banh mi which was clearly made with bread that was lighter, crispier and quite different than typical baguettes. It's that subtle yet quite distinctive difference I'm after. Hope you soon have the same banh mi experience!

      2. menton1 Jan 11, 2010 06:48 AM

        I actually asked the proprietor of Saigon R, a Vietnamese restaurant that I frequent, about this. She said that the word "Banh Mi" actually means BAGUETTE in Vietnamese! These sandwiches sprung up as a result of the French occupation of IndoChina back in the early part of the last century. It's a blend of the 2 cultures, taking the classic French baguette and filling it with local foods.

        So basically, if you had a Banh Mi not made with a classic French baguette, it is a "non-traditional" sandwich.

        1 Reply
        1. re: menton1
          mrsdebdav Jan 11, 2010 11:02 AM

          Hi mention1. Yes, I know these sandwiches cross the two cultures. I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing the Asian influence resulted in using rice flour in the bread.
          All the recipes I've come across for Vietnamese baguettes utilize rice flour in addition to wheat.

        2. adamclyde Jan 12, 2010 04:35 PM

          Nope, nowhere in Westchester. NYC is your closest bet. There's a complete and absolute dearth here of any legitimate vietnamese - and certainly not a place that sells banh mi sandwiches or makes vietnamese baguettes.

          Wish there were a different answer to your question though.

          3 Replies
          1. re: adamclyde
            mrsdebdav Jan 12, 2010 04:44 PM

            Hi Adam and thanks!

            I actually tried my hand at making the bread on Sunday, with somewhat less than stellar results, but I'll keep on trying. Perhaps some additional kneading, longer second rise, and using my pizza stone will help.

            Since I'm veg, I would not be able to avail myself of most banh mi, even should they wash up on Westchester's shores. I did, however, have a fabulous veg banh mi sandwich in Atlanta, which was the inspiration for my endeavor. I was really taken with the light, crispy bread, which was unlike anything I had ever had before.

            I know there are places in NYC which sell veg banh mi, and I hope to sample some in the near future.

            1. re: mrsdebdav
              adamclyde Jan 12, 2010 04:50 PM

              depending on how strict your vegetarian ways go, you can get vegetarian banh mi at any place - just ask for it without meat. My wife always does that. Some places use fish sauce, so that might not work for you... but just an idea...

              1. re: adamclyde
                mrsdebdav Jan 12, 2010 04:53 PM

                No can do, but thanks. Coincidentally, I have been on the hunt for veg fish sauce for years (bottled, not home-made). It's the yeti of veg food.

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