Baguettes and épis de blé are both made from a simple dough, but épis de blé are shaped to resemble sheaves of wheat. A great baguette relies on good baker's flour (not to be confused with baker's mix or Italian bread flour, which is finer), while a long fermentation of the dough imparts flavour. Baking at a high temperature renders a nice crust, but it's essential to place ice cubes in the oven so the steam slows the process. Place the bread higher in the oven and keep the door closed while baking for the best result.
Note This recipe makes 3 x 30cm loaves. Look for a strong wheat baker's flour, sold in 5kg bags at select supermarkets. It's not to be confused with bread mix, which contains additives.