A staple in many cultures, nothing is more fundamental than bread. Traces have even been found in archaeological sites dating back 30,000 years B.C.E. After a hiatus of several decades, bread – real bread that tastes and smells good – is, happily for our taste buds, back in favour thanks to the efforts of dedicated artisanal bakers.
TV programs, fine grocery stores, and a growing army of foodies have not only democratized gastronomy, but also awakened in everyone a desire for tasty, traditional, and quality products. The revival of artisanal bakeries follows in this vein, and there is probably no better ambassador than René Sicard, owner of Boulangerie de Froment et de Sève (photos 1, 3, 7 and 8). For several years, this gourmet has studied the basics of bread making, and thus was born an unrelenting passion. After a stay in France that allowed him to perfect his knowledge, this bread lover opened his own business in 1995. With 50 employees, he contributes to the vibrant nature of the neighbourhood, but also to the rise in popularity of breads as varied as they are delicious.
In terms of small, friendly bakeries, Mamie Clafoutis is a leader (photos 4, 5 and 9). The recent addition of two locations in the Montréal region is testament to the growing craze for its pastries – including the famous clafoutis – but also for seasonal gourmet breads, delicious loaves and focaccia, all credited to extraordinary baker Joseph Sabatier.
For lovers of baguettes, thick loaves, and pretzels, L’Amour du Pain in Boucherville is a one-stop shop offering breads so tasty the bakery won an award in 2012. Take note: L’Amour du Pain (photos 2 and 6) is currently in twenty outlets, including the famous Fromagerie Hamel at the Jean Talon Market, and the Cozy Café in Saint-Sauveur.
Continue this gourmet sensory experience on our website at mixtemagazine. ca. You’ll find the basic method for artisanal bread making used by the pros, as well as an extensive bakery address book.
Photos: Yves Lefebvres and L’amour du pain
THE STEP-BY-STEP BAKER’S METHOD TO A DELICIOUS BAGUETTE
Step 1: Knead
Combine in a large bowl or in a mixer: flour, water, salt, and yeast. Knead vigorously into a large ball of dough.
Step 2: Ferment
Remove the dough from the mixer. Leave it in a large bowl to sit. Due to the yeast, it will begin to rise. This is called fermentation.
Step 3: Divide
Divide the large ball of dough into smaller balls of approximately equal weight. Following division each small(er) ball is called a dough piece.
Step 4: Let sit
This is called the rest before shaping.
Step 5: Shape
Take a piece of dough and with both hands on the ball extend it to form a baguette. This is called shaping.
Step 6: Second fermentation
Uncooked baguettes are placed on cloth (called a dusted towel). Allow it to sit until the baguettes rise again. This is the second fermentation.
Step 7: Cook
With a razor blade, make regular cuts into the uncooked baguette. Place in oven.
Our bakery address book for fine crusts and crumbs.
Bakery, pastry shop, and cafe, Boulangerie de Froment et de Sève is an absolute must see for its incredible selection of homemade breads, cooked in the hearth, made from organic untreated and unbleached flours. Don’t miss what many say is the best baguette in the city.
Boulangerie de Froment et de Sève
2355, rue Beaubien Est, Montréal
If you go to the Jean-Talon Market, take a time-out. This bakery couldn’t be more welcoming, charming you with its choice of tasty and delicious breads. You’ll not only discover the history of Joe, but also one of the best olive focaccia.
Joe la Croûte
7024, avenue Casgrain
Available in twenty outlets, including the famous Fromagerie Hamel at Jean Talon Market, and the Cozy Café in Saint-Sauveur, L’amour du Pain breads are flavourful and totally delicious. The crispy crust of its baguettes, the moist crumb of the chia seed loaves, and pretzels are creating more and more converts.
L’amour du Pain
393, rue Samuel-de Champlain, Boucherville
Some swear by the baguettes of Mamie Clafoutis, made by extraordinary baker Joseph Sabatier. His gourmet talents are also evident in the apricot and hazelnut breads, exquisite olive focaccia, and unequalled bread pudding that trumps Sunday morning toast.
1291, avenue Van Horne
3660, rue Saint-Denis
105, chemin de la Pointe-Nord
Since its founding in 1992, Première Moisson has experienced rapid growth with an impressive variety of traditional style breads (like their popular cheese bread … yum!). Healthy products made with fresh and natural ingredients, including amazing Quebec flour, is the recipe to their success. 24 locations in Quebec, mainly in the greater metropolitan area. For addresses, click on the web address below. premieremoisson.com
17, avenue Fairmount Est
Les Co’Pains d’Abord
1965, avenue du Mont-Royal Est
La Bête à pain
114, rue Fleury Ouest
Le pain dans les voiles
250, rue Saint-Georges, Mont-Saint-Hilaire
364, rue Saint-Charles Ouest, Longueuil