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Making a Pain d'Epi from Baguette Dough

By Cook's Illustrated Published November 2014

As an alternative to the classic long, skinny shape of traditional baguette recipes, you may want to try an epi, or pain d’epi, a technique to produce a loaf that resembles a stalk of wheat.

Our recipe for Authentic Baguettes at Home (see related content) walks you through the shaping and scoring technique that produces the classic long, skinny loaves, but there’s another option. An epi, or pain d’epi, uses a technique to produce a loaf that resembles a stalk of wheat. Instead of being scored, the loaf is cut into angled, attached lobes. The dough preparation and baking process are exactly the same.

1. After baguette has been stretched to 15-inch length, cut into loaf at 45-degree angle, about 3 inches from end of loaf, nearly but not all the way through loaf.

2. Arrange cut section at 30-degree angle in either direction.

3. Repeat every 3 inches, pulling sections out toward alternating sides to create wheat stalk shape.