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The quintessential staple of French cuisine is the humble baguette, but the country’s bread baking tradition-along with variations assimilated from other world cultures-offers a vast repertoire. With an introduction to the history of French bread, guidelines to help the home baker select the right ingredients-grain and flour varieties, water, salt, and starter-this book details the step-by-step techniques and fundamentals of bread making: from feeding the starter, kneading and preparing the dough, and baking, to more than 100 recipes.
Eighteen expert bakers, pastry makers, or chefs share the sweet and savory recipes that have forged the French bakery’s enviable reputation-from round pain de campagne or olive and oregano bread to regional breads like fougasse or the Basque talos. A new generation of chefs have developed original creations such as black baguette with sesame, Matcha tea rolled bread, buckwheat and seaweed galets, and honey, fig, and hazelnut rye. A chapter devoted to traditional breads from all around the world, such as pita, focaccia, bagels, Georgian khachapuri, and Norwegian polar bread are reinterpreted in the French style. Recipes include pains surprise, croque-monsieur, onion soup with cheese croutons, and desserts such as pain perdu and kouign-amann. For each recipe, pictograms indicate the level of difficulty, time required, type of starter, and whether a recipe is gluten-free.
About the Authors
Marie-Laure Fréchet regularly contributes to culinary magazines, founded a culinary festival, and is an avid home baker.
Valérie Lhomme is a food photographer who regularly works for magazines including Madame Figaro, Vogue, Travel in France, Saveurs, and Marie-Claire Idées.