Our hats are of to Chef Mindy Segal of Hot Chocolate for alerting us to the release of this book, published by Du Pain et des Idées, which Segal calls “the absolute best bakery in Paris.”
Christophe Vasseur left behind a business-school career first to train as a baker then open his own establishment on the premises of a 19th-century bakery in the 10th arrondissement. Within a few years the bakery was winning acclaim for breads and pastries, with a focus on sourdough and slow ferments (seven hours for baguettes rather than the typical hour-and-a-half).
Vasseur’s handsome first book begins with passionate chapters on the work of farmers and millers before arriving at a manifesto of sorts for artisan bakers: “The watchword: take whatever time is necessary…One has to accept that the bread may be different from one day to another and even one batch to another.” Throughout the book, wonderful photographs by Benoît Linero underscore the emphasis on human beings performing the work of making, shaping, and enjoying the breads and pastries. One feels one is absorbing the ethos of Vasseur’s shop and the people who supply him. There are only fourteen recipes here but the inspiration is unbounded.
Color photographs throughout. Hardcover. In French with an English-language supplement translating all important text and the recipes.