Will it be croissant or "pain au chocolat today?

Patisserie de Paris
Patisserie or Boulangerie?
 I know that you're going to hollar at me for mixing up pastries with breads, right?? Les Patisseries (dessert makers ) have little to do with the savory boulangeries (bakers) in France. Nonetheless, you're looking at a lass who should have run one of them. I LOVE to make, bake, and eat these yummies! 
 Boulepumpkin 1
I've been "pining" to write about "le pain" (the word for bread in French ) ever since our last visit to Uzes where we regaled ourselves with a daily jaunt to the local boulangerie. The apartment I rented, graciously allowed me to smell the wafting odors of bagettes and croissants when I least expected it, as I walked right back this back street baker to the Place aux Herbes each day.
For any of you recently returned from our beloved home away from home, I'm sure you'll relate to these next visuals; approaching the boulangerie around 8AM and waiting in line behind 3 or 4 people as they select their daily bread. Meanwhile, our eyes roam longingly through the shop, stopping briefly at the tempting selections of tiny tartes, garnished with fresh pears, strawberries, even figs. Then as we approach the "vendeuse", that moment of indecision- exactly what is the name for the large round crusty tempting looking "pain" beckoning to us on the 3rd shelf up?  Or should we play it safe and get 2 baguettes to go? Is today "pain au chocolat" or "croissant morning? Oh- these choices! And what are the proper names for these different size, color, and shaped loaves??
Marvelous France! Marvelous culture! Delectible choices!
French bread   In addition to baguettes, France has a wonderful range of delicious breads to offer. Ordinary French white bread comes in several other shapes and sizes, from the couronne (bread in the shape of a ring), via the flute (twice the size of a baguette) to the batard (a half-length normal loaf) and the ficelle, a long and very thin loaf. Ficelles must be eaten fresh, as they are so thin that the inside dries out rather fast once they have been baked.
     Another traditional type of  bread is "country bread", pain de campagne, white bread made in a slightly different way to ordinary bread and often incorporating some whole wheat flour or some rye flour, so that it keeps longer; pain de campagne often has a thick crust, which helps the bread to keep.
      Apart from these bread, France's bakeries also sell a whole range  including wholemeal breads (pain complet or pain aux céréales), rye bread (pain de seigle), sourdough bread (pain au levain), and a sweet bread called brioche.  Bread resembling the classic English or American sliced white loaf is known as "pain de mie", and is usually available in supermarkets, though rarely on the fresh bread counter.
 Often breads in France are known by their shapes as well as composition:
Pain de campagne noisette et raisins (Rrustic loaf with hazelnuts and raisins)
Napoléon (crusty breakfast loaf)
Pavé de campagne (square country loaf)
Pain de campagne figues et noix (rustic loaf with figs and nuts)
Fougasse aux olives (round flat loaf with olives)
Jockey pavot & sesame (round wheat loaf with poppy and sesame seeds)
Pain campagne aux olives (country loaf with black olives)
Pistolet (light, longish, wider and crusty - actually from Belgium)
Seigle-Apricot pain (rye rolls with dried apricot)
La Baguette (ee all know that one)
La Ficelle (thinner than a baguette and about half it's weight)
La Flûte (halfway between the baguette an the ficelle)
Le Bâtard (oval, crunchy loaf)

 Bread from the bread counter of French supermarkets  is often quite tasty, and generally needs to be eaten as quickly  as baker's bread; but generally speaking supermarkets use industrial dough which has been deep-frozen before being baked on the premises. Bread counters selling this kind of bread are not allowed, by law, to call themselves "boulangeries".
ficelle pain de seigle
It may be noted that baking is one of my passions, especially home-baked bread, and we turn our noses up in disdain at what our local grocers offer for home consumption. Call me "snobbish" please- when it comes to bread, I am!
Read on...
GREAT article on bread in France- read on...
Contact Ginny Blackwell at:  info@frenchpropertyshares.com

Ginny Blackwell
French Property Shares
(001) 585 905-0849
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