Baking Techniques, History, & Science
What’ll they think of next?
David Lebovitz wrote a post on his blog about this — or at least a similar machine — a few months ago. He was not impressed….
Par-baked loaves are never as good as fresh-from-the-bakery bread. Still it’s an interesting idea, no?
I’m sure it much better than any normal bread sold in UK.
I don’t know that there is a need for a bread vending-machine in French towns and cities, but rural France suffers from a definite decline in the number of boulangeries and I can imagine they would do quite well there.
In the back of beyond where I live, the village boulanger relies on delivered mass-produced bread, which I find to be so bland it tastes like what I imagine cardboard to taste like. Unfortunately, he benefits from a trapped market, as nobody is going to drive miles away to spend 1€ for a stick of bread…
I live a few miles from the village but there’s no way I am willing to drive out every day to get one of his breads, so I simply make my own. The Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes has proved to be a most suitable alternative and I have converted a few of my neighbours to it too! The bread is much nicer that anything the baker can offer and it works out cheaper too! Win-win
I am lucky to be able to buy flour in relatively small quantities from a small mill a few miles away, which supplies the traditional bakers who can still make a living because they are in towns rather than villages.
Funnily enough, the local supermarkets – and by local, I mean about 30 mn drive each way – this is the back of beyond after all 😉 – as I was saying, the local supermarkets do offer a fairly wide variety of very good breads, from the basic baguette to the sour-dough boule produced from locally-sourced flour.
Bread-makers are the other alternatives, and they have gained in popularity over the last few years, as people want to control what goes into their daily bread. The result is very different from a traditional French bread, but certainly not worse that some mass-produced sticks I have had the misfortune to eat.
Fascinating, Claudine! Americans imagine that there are more artisanal bakers in France than there are ordinary people. I appreciate you taking the time to write this!
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