I explained in a previous post the difference in France between a Baker (boulanger) and a Pastry Chef (Pâtissier), but I’ll touch on it again:
- The “boulanger” makes bread, croissants, chocolate bread (pain au chocolat), raisin bread (pain au raisin) and some basic pies
- The “pâtissier” ONLY makes elaborate cakes (sometimes candy and chocolates)
- These are two very different jobs. Different shops also.
- The boulanger works with “live dough”. The pâtissier with “dead dough”. Live dough evolves and grows, hense the name…
- The boulanger works with a very hot oven and keeps it at the same temperature all day long. He may have a separate oven for croissants…
- The pâtissier plays a lot with temperatures and several types of ovens
- Boulangers may sell pastries sometimes but they are never as good as the ones you’ll get at a pastry shop
In my town of Libourne, the best boulanger is Sylvain Marie. His shop is near the train station. He never uses frozen dough or ingredients, which makes him and his products really stand out in an industry where everyone wants to make a fast buck. He bakes small quantities of bread every half hour so his customers can purchase warm bread all day long… His bread truly is to die for and his incredible sense of humour is a great bonus when you visit his little shop.
The only thing I can’t share with you though text or pictures is obviously the incredible scent. You’ll just have to come spend a Foodie Day with me to get the full experience :0)