A very special baker – Boulangerie Marie

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)

23 Comments Add yours

  1. purawika says:

    These photos make me so hungry and the bakery looks cozy ❤️

  2. distancewide says:

    A great post and again very very good pictures. I can’t forget the smell of fresh bread and croissants when we entered the bakery every morning.

  3. anniedm778 says:

    I wish I could bake bread like this. I’ve tried! No comparison. 🙂

  4. chef mimi says:

    Great post. I think he wanted to charge me to take a photo!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Ha ha!

  5. Angeline M says:

    Two of my favorite places…actually when I travel to a new place I love finding the bakery of the local town. France is wonderful to have the two types distinguished.

  6. This bread looks VERY good; like i taste

  7. You are so lucky to have a baker like that nearby. I enjoy that a lot when we are in France. Here my best bet is to bake myself.

  8. Linda Duffin says:

    How lovely, I can almost smell that bred from here. I’m pleased to hear the quality is on the rise again as I’ve been a bit disappointed with some of the bread and croissants I’ve had in France in recent years, not that it’s a problem unique to France. It’s so depressing when you arrive for breakfast at a good hotel and are given something that you could have bought in the supermarket (but wouldn’t). Vive le boulanger!

  9. Nadia says:

    Nothing like the smell wafting out of my local boulangerie.

  10. ladyredspecs says:

    Bread, wine cheese, life’s basics, although I won’t settle for basic, I want best. I know you have best at your fingertips, you tantalize me often enough with your photos

  11. Penne Cole says:

    Wow amazing pictures. You’re lucky to get a behind the scenes tour. I absolutely loved the boulangeries and patisseries during my year in France. That was probably what was behind the weight gain… but it was oh-so worth it!

  12. Raymond Rice says:

    more French recipes!!! LOL

  13. Oh Stéphane, you know I would love to be smelling that bread with you! My tomatoes are starting to ripen so I plan on making Paulette’s stuffed tomatoes quite soon. 🙂 xoxo

  14. Ooo, la, la! My kind of place. I can smell the aroma ever so faintly. 🙂


  15. wish the US has such things common. I’ve got to get back into baking, but the last few times my tries completely failed.

  16. Yesterday, as we drove to our local farm partners to pick up produce for processing today, we stopped at a tiny bakery in a tiny town that has about 25 wineries. I bought a croissant with hazelnut and poppyseed and it was so crispy and so delicate I am very glad it is on my weekly route but not any closer. I have no idea how it would compare with your boulangerie, but it sure is leaps and bounds better than the in-store baked goods most people think is good.

  17. I spent a few hours early one morning with our local baker in February last year, he was showing me how he makes bread, I was learning a little bit about the life in the boulangerie for the blog. It was one of the most enlightening mornings I have had for a very long time. It is a tiny boulangerie in our village, but likewise, nothing is frozen. He has a fabulous reputation and people come from miles around just for his baguettes.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      These guys are few and special. So glad you had this experience. The quality of bread in France has gone down since the 70s. I find it has gone back up over the past few years with the foodie wave…

  18. I miss going into the boulangerie and getting fresh bread. It was one of my favourite parts of visiting France. And Boulangerie Marie sounds like he knows his stuff! 🙂

  19. Sabine says:

    Wonderful. Not sure how I will survive if one day I shall leave France again… We love t go to a bakery that sells warm chocolate viennoise all day long – my son never runs faster than when I tell him we go there 😉

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