When America’s leading baking magazine, Bake from Scratch, asks you to contribute a story on how bread baking has changed in Paris in recent years, you not only jump at the chance, you jump ensuring you have an appetite for the nibbling you’ll do while researching!
If you read the food and dining chapter in my book The New Paris, you’ve had a solid introduction into the symbolic role of bread on Parisian tables, at home and in restaurants, and how a handful of bakers worked to make hearty loaves made from sourdough and ancient grains a real companion to any meal, not merely a side affair. In Beyond the Baguette, published in Bake from Scratch Magazine’s French issue (March / April 2019), I take it a bit further and look at a wide range of bakers who weren’t about to let the tradition and art of bread making become a cultural footnote due to mediocrity and mass production and have pioneered a spirited bread revival.
In case you need more enticing, the issue also features kitchen tours and interviews with David Lebovitz and Dorie Greenspan, incredible cake recipes from my dear friend Frank Barron (also known as Cake Boy Paris!), that were inspired by specific French patisseries, a trip to Beaune to meet two of my favorite women in Burgundy — The Cook’s Atelier — and so much more. Plus, all of the stories I mentioned above were photographed by my talented friend Joann Pai, whom you will see more of on my site very soon since she photographed my second book!
In case you don’t have access to the magazine near you in the United States (I’ve been told it’s readily available at Whole Foods markets and Barnes & Noble but you can also order it online), you can download a digital version — you’ll want the recipes inside, no matter what form they come in! Bonne lecture and happy baking this spring.