Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Dec 22, 2013 04:35 AM

The awesome bread saga continues with a place in Alesia

People complain about the lowering of norms for bread products (and they're not wrong), but I find that there is more and more awesome bread in Paris. The latest addition is replacing an Air France shop on av. du Général Leclerc, at the corner of rue Bezout.

It seems to be called Pain et Gourmandises, but without relation to the bakery with the same name in the 12th, I gather. In any case, you want to go for the (did I mention they're awesome) bread, in the greatest tradition of liquid sourdough, very long raising times and very fresh flours.

The tourte de Meule is one of those 4kg bread like I thought only Landemaine still did, done with T110 flour, it's lightly dark, with a thick and tasteful crust, limited sourness... it's textbook. But the spelt (épeautre ) I find even more remarkable, also a very big bread that they cut you a piece of, and its is so light the specific of taste is very apparent, but none of that "dusty" feeling you often have. I'd pronounce it best épeautre I know, maybe on par with Croquet's in Lille.

Their croissants and other viennoiseries are not, imo, as good as they think. At least they're definitely not my style. I like them airy and flaky with a somewhat creamy core. Those are all over consistent, you can probably eat them with limited crumb (which impossible with neighbors such as Bosson or Duchesne). Probably better to rely on the guy next block, Saibron, for those.

But I tasted a flan that was pretty much perfect, would go back just for it. The puff pastry in it had a little bit of weel cooked bread crust to it, very nice touch.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It is on the list as the tourte de Meule at Landemaine Charonne is stellar so will be great to compare

    1. Thanks for the tip.I love spelt bread, and have not seen it very often in Paris, and never as you have found it as a large miche, custom cut.
      I use organic spelt flour for my sourdough and pate fermentee or poolish breads, and also for making fresh pasta. I love the nutty taste and aroma of this ancient grain. And, unlike wheat, its distant cousin, it is not hybridized or genetically modified. This, and the fact that it has a lower and more fragile gluten content, makes it a good choice for those trying to avoid regular wheat products.

      French milled wheat flour with its low protein content and quality refining is superb for baguettes, but I would love to find more spelt bread in Paris.

      1 Reply
      1. re: francaise

        It's getting there: just in my neck of the woods, I find very decent spelt bread from Les Pains d'Alexis, from Bosson, from Kayser, from La Fabrique aux Gourmandises, from Pichard... but so far indeed this is the only big loaf offer.

      2. This new Pain & Gourmandises is the nearest boulangerie to me and I was hoping it would give D Saibron a run for its money. The bread may be good but there's a problem with the older woman behind the counter who really doesn't know the meaning of the word accueil. Didn't like their croissants, not flaky at all. Will give the flan a try when someone else is serving.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Arago

          She might be the sister of the older woman at Landemaine Voltaire. l stopped going to that location because of her.

          1. re: Arago

            I told you about the croissants.

            As for the breads, also be warned that they are very low in salt, which I find no problem for the tourte or the spelt but kinda of striking for the buckwheat.

            It's as different from Saibron as can be, as Saibron is all about the taste of wheat and white flour and this one is about sourdough and complex aromas and textures.

            1. re: souphie

              BTW Souphie, your blog link does not work. Is there a new web address?

          2. Great news as we're staying on Rue Remy Dumoncel come May!

            1. Tried the épeautre bread yesterday. While I agree that it is incredibly light, I felt it was too light for me (I like a bit of density in my bread).
              However I agree that the taste is nothing like other épeautre breads I tried, very clean, to the point that you "almost" don't feel it is made with épeautre, which depending on one's taste can either be a good or a bad thing.

              Didn't try the patisseries, but they had a good appearance.