Friday, February 7, 2014

Le Petite Mitron a Paris

Last spring I decided to do a bakery tour with Meeting the French. I have been very fortunate with all the tours I have taken in Paris and this one was no exception. Our bakery tour was a behind the scene tour of the bakery with the baker.
Our boulanger was adorable. The bakery belongs to him. He was as enthusiastic a baker as one could hope to meet. Arriving early each morning around 3 am to start baking the croissants and baguettes he was more than happy to share his secrets with us.
The boulanger explained the different types of baguettes to us. There are the traditionals or l'ancienne. These are the best. They are hand rolled and no two baguettes are the same. The crust is crispy and lightly browned. This is the baguette that we all dream of when we think of French baguettes. Or am I the only one who dreams of the food I will eat when I go to France? Another baguette that a limited number of bakers make is the Parisse. This baguette is called the Parisse after the baker whose last name is Paris. To sell the Parisse you must be approved by the board.
The little end on the baguette distinguishes this baguette as La Parisse. The boulanger explained to us how he makes his own yeast from apple peel. The process is really quite interesting. He also answered one of the greatest mysteries in my kitchen. Why is it that his baguettes taste so much better. The answer is quite simple. He is cooking with an industrial oven that has a humidifier inside. The bread needs to bake with lots of humidity. Alors!!!, I am never going to enjoy a delicious fresh baguette in my kitchen.
In addition to making baguettes we were also treated to a cooking class on croissants.
He made it all sound so easy. The class truly was a lot of fun. Our baker was very gregarious and the tour leader was adorable. Her English was perfect and she translated everything exactly as it was said. I did not need to listen to her, but when I did I found that she was translating everything as it was said. We were also shown how to make escargots. This is a pastry that can any type of filling that you desire, pistachios, cranberries, raisins or whatever you wish for. And of course, we were allowed to sample everything...the dough, the fillings and the baked goods. The tour was truly fantastic. It was fun and quite informative. Of course any tour that sends me home with a goodie bag is going to high points from me. This was a unique and wonderful experience. Should you find yourself in Paris I would suggest you tour a bakery. This is my contribution to Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads and Saturday Snapshot hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads.

26 comments:

Brona Joy said...

Wow that sounds so goooood!
I'm hoping to be in Paris again in 2018...this sounds look a must-do activity.
Thanks for the temptation :-)

Louise said...

We've done two Meet the French tours now- both were fabulous. We did a similar baguette/croissant tour back in 2010 and enjoyed it so much that last year we did a Gerard Mulot chocolate/macaron tour (I've blogged both of them). It's so fascinating, and their tours so well planned- such an intriguing insight into essential Paris.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

How fun! I am glad you answered the question about the little end on the baguettes, I was curious :)

Beth F said...

Oh how fun. I think I'm going to have to do something similar one of these days. My French isn't good enough to take a class without a translator, so I'm glad this tour had an excellent one.

jama said...

What a great experience -- that baker is definitely adorable. And look at how yellow that French butter is (I assume that's butter). I once took a croissant class and though I enjoyed seeing how they're made, I decided it was much easier just to buy them. :)

Lisa Johnson said...

What a great experience! Thank you so much for sharing. Wonderful! : )

rippleeffects said...

What an eye-opener! I'd love to go on a tour like that the next time I go to Paris. Did you arrange it yourself? or with a tour group?

Jackie Mc Guinness said...

I would love to do this tour!

Carole said...

Love French bread - it's the only time I eat a lot of bread - when in France - looking forward to my next French foray later in the year. Cheers

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Great behind-the-scenes peek into deliciousness. Thanks for sharing...and here's MY SATURDAY SNAPSHOT POST

Jeanie said...

This would be just the thing I would love to do (with Rick, too!) What a terrific experience. It goes on the list!

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

What a wonderful tour; thanks for taking us along.

Janel Gradowski said...

How fun! Those escargot rolls look delicious. I'm sure there are all kinds of varieties to choose from.

Vicki said...

How neat that you get to experience these kinds of things.

I'd love to do that one day!

Joy said...

What great photos! Such a terrific experience -- thanks for sharing it with us.

Joy's Book Blog

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

Humidity huh, that explains a thing or two! Thanks for sharing your tour!

Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

Kerry Ann @Vinobaby's Voice said...

Ooooh...heavenly. I don't know how French women stay so thin, because if I had that fresh French bread and croissants, I couldn't stay away! I can only imagine how divine it smelled :)

Vicki Boster said...

Oh how fun- this is SO you!! I can't imagine how wonderful it would be to visit "behind the scenes" at these French bakeries. Love all the photos:)
Vicki

angrygreycatreads.com said...

Cooking classes are so much fun and in France it must be twice as much :)

Susan Lindquist said...

Mmmmm! What a delicious tour! Humidity in the oven, you say? I put a pan of water on the bottom of the oven and spritz a water mist into the oven just as I put the baguettes in ....also start the oven VERY hot and turn it down immediately upon putting the loaves in on the pizza stone.

Paulita said...

What a lovely post. I enjoyed every minute of it, and, of course, I dream about the food I will eat when I return to France.

Rosita Vargas said...

Lindas fotos y buenas recetas ,amo Francia,saludos y abrazos.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

How exciting to get to see all of these things being made. What a fun & informative French adventure!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

What fun , I am sure they were just so tasty too .

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