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A brief history of What makes baguettes in the US different from those in France?:

  • The question was originally written in a more subjective and rant-like form, with the title "Why can't I get a good baguette in the US?"
  • I edited into a more objective form I hoped would be answerable, asking about differences. The OP commented with approval of the edit.
  • After comments that it was unclear if it meant mass-produced supermarket baguettes or those produced by "artisinal" bakeries (and suggesting closure!), I clarified the question to focus on serious bakeries, i.e. those one might expect would be trying to produce something like a French baguette, not just something baguette shaped. This has not been explicitly confirmed by the OP, but was strongly implied by both the question and the OP's subsequent comments about making an effort to find "good" baguettes.
  • rumtscho edited further, trying to make the question even more objective and discourage ranty answers.

In an attempt to discern whether the question is sufficiently clear and answerable, let's look at the answers so far, all of which were posted after the initial edit putting the question in relatively objective form and clearly asking about differences:

  • One now-mod-deleted answer described in detail the French style of baguette but not addressing differences (it was in fact posted twice in two forms).
  • One now-mod-deleted answer and one with some discussion of reasons why bakeries might choose to make what they do (but not what actually goes on in the baking).
  • One now-self-deleted answer was posted with some information but also some rant-like language.
  • Two existing answers make a genuine attempt to address the question, but focus on only one factor (one about steam, one about flour quality) so are unlikely complete.
  • One existing answer is fairly comprehensive.

No answers thus far have addressed differences between French baguettes and those found in serious US bakeries, the kind of bakeries that genuinely try to make high-quality bread, and might be expected to make something similar to what's found in France.

So: should we leave it open, with some continued vigilance from mods about removing non-answers? Can we edit it to be more clear somehow? Or is it irredeemably unclear or prone to opinionated answers, and we should just close it and possibly try to post a new, clearer question with less baggage?

  • I think you need to step back and put things in perspective. You made unfair criticisms on the one good answer in this thread, reading in things that simply weren't there. You then went on to pointlessly harass the poster about it. I don't why you did this, why this question and its answers bother you so much, but it's clear that the last thing the question needs in any more of your vigilance. – Ross Ridge Dec 17 '15 at 23:38
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    @RossRidge I have removed any statements about that answer beyond it being comprehensive. I had no intent of this question including anything controversial, and I apologize if my impression of the discrepancy between question and answer was inaccurate. – Cascabel Dec 17 '15 at 23:41
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    @RossRidge you don't have the reputation to see all deleted answers, but this question created a problem independently of the discussion you are referring to. Something in it just made people wax and wane on what type of baguette is "right" or "wrong", without even attempting to answer the question. I saw the discussion you mention, and while it is very subjective to decide whether the criticism was fair or not, I can assure you that the need for vigilance is not because of possible inaccuracies in Lars's answer. The problem here is to make sure it doesn't get any more (cont.) – rumtscho Dec 17 '15 at 23:47
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    (cont.) "you are right, I hate these baguettes too" or "here is a recipe for the bread I like" type of answers. Questioning a claim a user has made is independent of moderation actions, as moderation's goal is not to insure that an answer is correct. Jefromi was acting as a user in that discussion, not as a moderator. – rumtscho Dec 17 '15 at 23:49
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    @RossRidge I do also want to address the issue of harassment you raised. There's a difference between discussion and harassment, and a discussion does not become harassment simply because you believe one person is wrong. When I comment on someone's post, it's not me handing down authoritative word as a moderator - I'm not Always Right About Everything. Still, I do always strive to set a good example and stay very solidly on the side of constructive discussion, and every comment I wrote was with that in mind. – Cascabel Dec 17 '15 at 23:55
  • @rumtscho Fair enough, but given Jefromi's made-as-a-user comments and the timing of this post, I'm still skeptical of his motives here. Have you considering protecting the question? That seems to be the usual procedure for questions that receive non-answers of the type you mentioned. – Ross Ridge Dec 18 '15 at 0:08
  • @RossRidge The non-answers were all made by users with sufficient reputation to post on protected questions. – Cascabel Dec 18 '15 at 0:13
  • @RossRidge we had discussed bad answers and considered closing it even before Lars posted his answer, but decided to try an edit instead. This is why I think Jefromi's reaction wasn't prompted by his discussion with Lars. The most likely degree of relationship between the events is that with so many bad answers, we scrutinized all of them and so a detail which might have been overlooked at another time stood out more. I protected the question now, although it seems that people with reputation are not immune to posting non-answers when their inner French baguette fan speaks up :) – rumtscho Dec 18 '15 at 0:15
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Okay, seems it's fine to stay open:

  • the question itself is fine, it's just some of the people trying to answer who didn't all quite get it
  • things calmed down once it was off the network hot list
  • no one seems to care that much here, so it can't be that bad

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