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Jan 9, 2010 05:53 AM

Banh Mih Bread or Baguette

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.

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  1. 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

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

      1 Reply
      1. re: menton1

        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. 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

          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. 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

            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

              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

                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.