Sunday, September 17, 2006

Bread-baking Time

The weather in Aveyron has turned grim and damp, so all over the département, villagers are firing up their old stone bread ovens to bake a few weeks' supply of pain de campagne.

Did you believe me? Actually, the truth is not quite as romantic. Aveyron does boast many stone bread ovens, or fours à pain, some "communal"-- belonging to a whole village or hamlet. Others, like this one in an old farmhouse, belong to individual properties. Most French people don't bake in these ovens anymore, but some are still in use.

I am personally looking forward to baking some bread this fall and winter with a much more modern contraption: la machine à pain:

Difficult to find in France ten years ago, bread machines are now sold in many hypermarchés and specialty shops. I wonder if the French know that the concept originated outside their borders?

(First photo courtesy of Thierry Jouanneteau)


Piperita said...

My in laws has a bread oven in the garden of their home! Really similar to the one in your picture!!!

Alison said...

Ha ha ha...I bet they wouldn't admit it if they did. :)

Samantha said...

I got a bread machine two years ago, and LOVE it. Nothing beats waking up to the smell of fresh homemade bread in the morning, especially on rainy days when you don't feeling like going to la boulangerie!

wcs said...

Here in the our little part of France, we're lucky enough to have a boulangerie that delivers bread to the house five times a week.

Also, a parisian friend of ours who lives in California has a bread machine and he loves it. Since the machine was made by a japanese company, he calls the bread his "pain japonais."

lavender said...

Just bought a bread machine. Bit apprehensive to try it out. I'm not a baking tipe of person. - Reading the comments inspires me!

Mercotte said...

I've got 3 of them and I'm really happy with ! Specially if you live far from town ! but breads have always the same shape!
have a look here to find nice recipes