Order now

256 pages / 220 x 310 mm / Also available with a separate summary in English (32 pages) or in Japanese (32 pages) / 39€

CREDITS
Press contact

Agence Albert, Jean & Pedro
Cecilia Michaud

Email: cecilia@albertjeanetpedro.com

Phone: +33 6 63 01 86 87

ISBN: 978-2-9557428-0-8

EAN: 9782955742808

  • BREAD, FROM THE TERRAIN TO THE TABLE 
  • - HOME | FR | JP
 
SUMMARY
Fascinated by bread from childhood, an idiosyncratic baker (self-taught, a single shop, no pastries, closed on weekends...), I wanted this book to resemble me, to be different, to shed light on crafts that are unfairly little-known and neglected. I opened my bakery Du Pain et des Idées in 2002. Fourteen years later, I want to share my passion with Le Pain, de la Terre à la Table (Bread, from the terrain to the table). Available with a separate 32 pages summary in English.
 

du pain et des idées - christophe vasseur

« So that passions do not thwart, act as if life will only last for a week »

BLAISE PASCAL
Thoughts (1670)

A field of ancient wheat

CONTENTS

Preface
  5
Foreword
 13
Part I - The work of the farmer and nature
 14

Roland Feuillas, his quest for the absolute

 35

Biodiversity in peril

 45
Part II - The work of the miller
 50

The Bourgeois Mills – One hundred and twenty years of flour milling

 61

Inebriated parenthesis - Portrait of Erik Rosdahl

 74
Part III - The artisan baker
 90

My playground – Bakery Du Pain et des Idées

116

Tourier, an (almost) extinguished craft

140
Part IV - Food's up ! Recipes and good addresses
168

Clément Bruno – Portrait of a great-hearted Chef

173

Making homemade bread and tasty variations

179

Using baker’s dough

203

Judiciously recycling dry bread

213

Making simple and tasty tartines

223

Choosing good bread

233
Christophe Vasseur - Portrait
Christophe Vasseur

MY JOURNEY

A native of Haute-Savoie and newly graduated from a business school, I worked for nearly 10 years in a professional environment that did not bear any resemblance to me at all. Tired of the suits and ties that I encountered every day, I decided to abandon this career to pursue my childhood dream: that of becoming an artisan baker. My professional transition would be long and fraught with difficulties up until the turning point in February 2002 when, after two weeks of training at INBP* Rouen, three weeks working with a Parisian baker, and having passed my diploma as an independent candidate,

I finally opened my own bakery Du Pain et des Idées in the tenth arrondissement of Paris. Driven by my passion and listening solely to my instincts, I opened a place that is unique and timeless. During the first four years, I needed to work like a madman to learn the craft and obtain recognition for my work. Then, my originality was acclaimed by the first journalists, French to start with, foreigners later. They were followed by chefs from the most prestigious restaurants. Today, my shop is known all over the world for making bread that devotees describe as exceptional.

Bread with cocoa and dried fruits
EXTRACT FROM PART I - THE WORK OF THE FARMER AND NATURE

THE EARTH IS GENEROUS

That which we give to the earth, it returns a hundredfold. When sown, a single grain of wheat gives birth to five ears on average, and an ear contains around 40 grains. Each of these grains can in turn produce five ears of wheat, and so on. Today, few seeds are fertile and authorized to be replanted without cost or penalty. Farmers have forgotten their thousand-year old know-how, the art of creating, testing and exchanging new varieties. Plowing damages the soil, compresses it and leaves it vulnerable to the elements. Fossil fuels are running out. Cultures no longer know how to adapt to their environment and to climate change. In just a few decades, the land has lost its equilibrium. It has emptied itself of life to be filled with fertilizers, herbicides and other lethal chemicals.


Respecting the living means letting life express itself, having ears of wheat that are more or less bearded, thicker or thinner, ranging from gold to red, green or blue-black. It also means considering man’s place as being part of the ecosystem, and not its driver.

Curve of ancient wheat stalk
EXTRACT FROM PART I - THE WORK OF THE FARMER AND NATURE

THE BEAUTY OF LIFE COMES FROM CHAOS

The order of nature is disorder. No tidy fields, nor wheat standing to attention in uniform. The magic of nature casts its spell through its differences and via biodiversity. I myself have experimented with chaos in my life, I even chose it. To become a baker, I cast myself adrift from my bearings, from all my comforts, forcing myself to seek my limits, to "have guts", to do that which I thought I was incapable of doing, leaving no other choice but to reinvent myself to discover my new vocation and set in motion a powerful creative process.

Photo : The stalk of ancient wheat bears the imprint of millennia.
Roland Feuillas
EXTRACT FROM PART I - THE WORK OF THE FARMER AND NATURE

ROLAND FEUILLAS, HIS QUEST FOR THE ABSOLUTE

By turns farmer, miller and baker, Roland Feuillas is seen as a knight in the service of authentic bread: healthy bread that awakens our ancestral memory and arouses emotions.


Behind his shining armor lies a deeply humanistic man, tormented by the production-driven excesses of our society. Roland is not fighting against windmills but with them. He has adopted a purist approach, 100% natural.


I discovered him in an article that we had in common. I was seeking his flours. I found a colleague with whom I could discuss techniques and visions of taste.

Triticum-Wheat
EXTRACT FROM PART I - THE WORK OF THE FARMER AND NATURE

BIODIVERSITY IN PERIL

In 1892, more than one thousand varieties of wheat were named and described. Today, two-thirds of them have been lost. Only 330 varieties are listed in the official catalog of species and varieties. 52% of farmers sow only one or two varieties of soft wheat on their farms.
A paddlewheel
EXTRACT FROM PART II - THE WORK OF THE MILLER

BY STEVE L. KAPLAN, ACADEMIC AND HISTORIAN OF THE WHEAT-FLOUR-BREAD TRADE

« It’s time for milling [...] let it introduce itself, let it tell its story.
Its history is rich and dense; it is not limited, far from it, to famous cases or scandals. Its history is profoundly mixed, as much with France’s political and social history as with its economic development » ...
An old bag of flour
EXTRACT FROM PART II - THE WORK OF THE MILLER

MILLER, YOUR AMALGAMATION IS TOO MUCH

Out of 100,000 mills in operation in 1800, there were no more than 30,000 in 1900, 9000 in 1950 and 435 in 2013. They have quit the daily life of the French, and even their imagination. Water mills and windmills may pose on postcards, but most are no longer working. The milling companies have amalgamated. 5% of them provide 80% of the ground wheat in France. Between them, they grind around 4.41 million tons of wheat per year. Result: the wheat crops from different counties and regions are mixed and the taste of the flour is increasingly uniform.

Extract from Marcel Pagnol's famous film The baker's Wife
EXTRACT FROM PART III - THE ARTISAN BAKER

THE LOVE OF LEAVEN

Bread is not just water, flour, salt and a bit of ferment. What makes the bread rise, makes it alive and gives it its unique taste, is the love that we put into it, the part of oneself that one devotes to it. When still small, I understood our magical relationship with food, our ability to transform next to nothing, to delight our palates and uplift our souls. I must have been eight years old when I saw Marcel Pagnol’s famous film The baker’s Wife for the first time. Since then, the speech of Raimu, alias Aimable, after his wife had run away with a young shepherd, has remained anchored in my memory: "I don’t want to make bread any more, for my leaven has gone". Faced with the villagers, who have gathered together to find his wife and their bread, he promises: "If you bring me back my Aurelie, I will make you bread like you've never seen before (...) and in this bread there will be love and friendship".

I am not Raimu, but every day I do my best, so that the love that is at work makes itself felt in my bread and Viennoiseries. By dint of chemicals and additives, the bread industry tries to make us forget this essential and invisible ingredient. Don’t let them get away with it. The memories and emotions that eating well can bring are too precious.

Sakiko, one of my Japonese baker
EXTRACT FROM PART III - THE ARTISAN BAKER

THE GRACE OF BAKING

The baker's talent lies in working with the flame. Instinct, the human hand and the refractory mass needed for baking mean that an identical copy cannot be made at home or in a factory. The passion for baking bread well, for dosing the temperature depending on the weather and the flour, is essential. The passage in the oven can be critical or conversely it can sublimate everything: the shape, the taste, the caramelization and the elasticity of the bread.

Mastery over the baking process is never won in advance, especially since I refuse any sort of bread-making improver. One has to accept that the bread may be different from one day to another and even from one batch to another. Like the wood-fired ovens of former times, I use the “falling oven” technique which consists of lowering the thermostat during baking. Le Pain des AmisTM (Bread of friends) which has baked slowly for 1 hour on natural stone and in a non-linear way will thereby reveal hints of chestnut and maple syrup.

Sectional view of my Pain des AmisTM (Bread of friends)
EXTRACT FROM PART III - THE ARTISAN BAKER

THE CRUST OR NOTHING !

Bread’s sensual bark gives it charisma, chewiness and most of its taste (three quarters comes from the crust, in my opinion). It awakens the senses in the morning when one breaks it. Amber, spicy, robust and caramelized, the crust is the French coat of arms, and is also the opportunity for the baker to express his art and to apply his signature.

Because of our weakness for barely baked white bread, we forget the strength of bread, its French specificity and the craftsman’s ace in the hole. We allow industrial bread to gain ground for it is difficult to differentiate oneself under these conditions. 42.7% of the bread-making market now belongs to supermarkets and industrial bakeries. It’s up to artisan bakers to educate customers, make them taste and stimulate their desire. It's up to bakers to brandish the banner of uncompromising, well-baked bread.

Croissant dough
EXTRACT FROM PART III - THE ARTISAN BAKER

TOURIER, AN (ALMOST) EXTINGUISHED CRAFT

Faithful to the historic spirit of the bakery, I make only bread, viennoiseries and a few seasonal fruit tarts. There are no pastries, no fast food and no confectionary at Du Pain et des Idées! The work of preparing the dough for puff pastry, brioches and croissants, is indispensable and inseparable from the bakery. Yet, this skill is disappearing in France, endangered by the invasion of industrial frozen viennoiseries.

 
EXTRACT PART IV - FOOD'S UP! RECIPES AND GOOD ADDRESSES

HOMEMADE BREAD
— BASIC RECIPE —

Let me make it clear right away - even with a competition oven, you will not be able to reproduce in your home the bread that your baker makes. The best results for baking and Maillard caramelization are obtained with the natural and well-insulated refractory mass of a professional baker’s oven.


The raw materials used, your way of kneading, the tools and your sensitivity will make your bread unique. Bread that is personal and different, with a soft inner part (known as the crumb) similar to that of a sandwich loaf. Once the main principles of homemade bread have been mastered, give free rein to your inspiration and take full ownership.

 
RECIPE TO DISCOVER IN THE BOOK

For making a 1.5kg loaf, a fine beast !

1 kilo of wheat flour, ideally bio type 65 ( "T65" is marked on the packet ).
600-750 grams of lukewarm milk ( the best way not to goof up your homemade bread is to use milk instead of water, either whole or semi-skimmed ).
Precisely 18 grams of salt.
8 grams, no more no less, of fresh baker's yeast, which you can obtain from your baker or find next to the butter in the fresh food section of certain organic shops and supermarkets,
Flour for the work surface

Order the book
 
RECIPE TO DISCOVER IN THE BOOK

MILK BREAD

This poor person’s brioche is prepared in the same way as homemade bread to which we add a little sugar and butter. It’s a great way to initiate children in their first contact with dough and the pleasure of homemade food.
Order the book
 
RECIPE TO DISCOVER IN THE BOOK

TRADITIONAL PIZZA

I love preparing pizza for the family and friends. It’s a simple dish and convivial to share around a table. I cut it into slices for everyone to help themselves and eat with their fingers.
Order the book
 
RECIPE TO DISCOVER IN THE BOOK

CRISPBREAD ICE CREAM

Invented at Roseval ( Paris 20th quarter ), the contrast of textures between ice cream and crusty bread is a delight. I've contributed my own touch by adding warm olive oil and Java pepper.
Order the book
 
AVAILABLE ONLINE WITH A SEPARATE 32 PAGES SUMMARY IN ENGLISH
Order Now
le pain de la terre à la table - commander