So what makes it so special then? As far as I can gather from these excellent instructions, it's how you handle the dough, and how you cook it.
Handling: when forming the baguettes, fold the dough lengthwise and pinch the edges together several times to form a
Cooking: turn the oven up as high as it will go and put a shallow pan of water in the bottom to create steam. This should be taken out roughly half way through cooking to allow a crunchy crust to form.
This morning, partly because I'd forgotten to make dough before I went to bed last night, and partly prompted by Mrs Green's recent post on the same subject, I decided to make a couple of baguettes.
This was my second or third attempt at making them, and they came out very well, if I do say so myself! I forgot to take the water out of the oven (that is, I remembered, but ten minutes too late, by which time the bread was cooked) so the crusts are a little soft, but the bread is as delicious as it looks - yummy!