I’m not sure if this is a kind thing to do or not. As my bakery is classed as an Essential Service (of course!) and therefore open from 8am until 4pm every day during lockdown, I thought we could reminisce about the bakery breads and pastries you had, or will have, during your Parisian breakfast.
Normally your Day 1 Parisian breakfast order is all my favourites from the Maison Landemaine bakery. One must try baguette so my first day choice is always baguette aux céreales (multigrain baguette). I buy a croissant au beurre for each guest but not one for me. I’ve come to love the Viennoise aux noix (walnut bread). I love walnut whips and even then I don’t eat the walnuts but this bread is so moist because of the oil from the walnuts, and sweet – I hadn’t realised how sweet they were! The pièce de résistance is the Chausson aux pommes (Apple turnover) literally apple slipper in French which is pureed fresh, eating apples in pastry so light and with so little sugar that I call it ‘practically diet food’ and everyone agrees.
What happens on Day 2? Well that depends on how picky, complicated, hungry … you were on Day 1. There are always 5 delights in Grandma’s silver tureen but almost never the same, except perhaps for croissants.
Did you eat both croissants? If not we might reduce to just one or, if you shared one yesterday and we’re in luck, there may be 2 mini croissants in the big basket of ‘mini-everythings’. They’re crispier than a normal croissant but as rare as gold dust.
You may be wolfing down an Almond croissant from our ‘Monday bakery’ otherwise on the occasions the Landemaine bakery makes them I’ll always take one, they’re so delicious.
Making almond croissants used to be the method for using up left-over day-old croissants by slitting them and adding almond paste, sprinkling almonds on the top and re-baking, but how often does our bakery not sell out?
We will journey through the different baguettes; Traditional baguette or Country baguette but not Baguette Blanche because you get enough opportunity to eat that everywhere else in Paris.
Instead of the walnut bread we can swap to Pain Sportif (Sporty bread), full of fruits and pistachios or we can skip through the brioches; the plain Brioche à tête, chocolate and praline but never the sugar one.
My favourite is the chocolate brioche which is unusual because I’m not a great chocolate fan and I get tense when it’s dropped into the paper bag with the rest of your goodies because sometimes it’s so warm the chocolate melts and sticks to the bag 🙁
I think up shapes for the brioche à tête, often chickens, UFOs and snowmen but always yummy eaten unadulterated as they’re yellow for a reason! I’ve probably encouraged you to take a brioche loaf home, I get about 10 slices from it as it’s so fluffy so ask the bakery to send it through the slicing machine (if it’s not too fresh and warm) then you will be eating ‘cloud’ for days!
Apple chausson becomes a squiggly, moist but flaky Pain aux Raisins, the Kouglof is a scientific experiment in how much liquid butter and sugar can be retained in the sponge solution or a multi-layered pain au chocolat on steroids, the famous Drops that I have to cut into 4 to stem arguments.
I have 2 totally favourite breads I always try to showcase if we’ve enough days to try everything, they’re the Pain Forestier (whole fig and hazlenut bread) and the gluten-free chestnut flour bread with, if we’re lucky, whole chestnuts inside. I can get a chuck of the fig bread to slice but I have to buy the whole chestnut loaf so you need to warn me if you want to try it.
It’s 70 paces to the door of Maison Landemaine from our now, sadly, grey and not red door and, despite the best planning in the World, I can be faced with this – gaps! So luck also plays its part 🙂
That’s why I try and make sure I set off 15 minutes before breakfast if you’ve chosen to eat before 8.30am, leaving as much time as possible for things being ready (if the local hotels haven’t swooped in like vultures and whisked them away at opening time). Otherwise it’s 8.30 latest, the cut-off time to avoid the massive queue out the door for the rest of the day!
Did you pop your shoes on and make this trip with me any or each morning? Will you make a date to walk with me or are you happy enough to have a surprise Parisian breakfast each morning?
Here are a couple of options to ponder :
In the meantime, tell me which were your favourites or if there are any you would love to test taste as soon as possible!
See you on the balcony soon!