Mary Eidsness has gone to the heart of French culture with a project on the
baker's highest art -- French bread. She has interviewed Madame Siardeau
of the Boulangerie des Banettes. This boulangerie is typical of the
typical French bakery which is, unfortunately, now in the minority even here.
Work starts in the Banettes bakery at 6:00 am as the first loaves are put in
the oven. At 7:00 the store opens and the anxious public arrives.
It's hard to explain how important this fresh daily bread is if you don't know
it for yourself. In any case, I know exactly why so few French people
eat cornflakes in the morning... Mary also explains that the kneading of
the bread starts the day before and that the dough has to rest for at least 14
hours before being made into loaves. In many bakeries today, this part
is done in a centralized "factory" and the dough delivered to the bakery
already conditioned. That's the main difference between the "craftsman"
baker and the "industrial" baker. It's a fact that in France the market
value of your home can depend on the reputation of the local baker.