Before arriving in Paris I thought that the whole walking-down-the-street-with-a-baguette-under-one-arm, was a Parisian stereotype- like striped shirts and berets.  Well, this is one stereotype that is 100% accurate.  The Parisians love their bread.  My sister sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal recently that said that 98% of French people eat bread every day.

This week I had the  pleasure of learning how to make French bread.

Rue de l’Abbe Gregoire at 6am

On Thursday my alarm went off around 5:45am and I headed to school for my first lesson in boulangerie.  (There’s something very satisfying about walking through the quiet streets of Paris, going to learn to make something that dates back to prehistoric times.)

In France there are many grades of flour.  Each percentage refers to how much of the grain is used.  What we commonly use in the US (all-purpose flour) is 55%.  Needless to say, the kitchen was covered in a fine film of flour once we started making the dough.

Guilherme skating on flour

So we learned to knead, roll, and mix and we wound up making two different kinds of dough: traditional and classic.

Amit proudly holding one of our creations

After rolling them out, letting them rise, and slicing the tops they went into the oven…

Et voila!

That night I walked home with a baguette under one arm, suddenly feeling very French.