Friday, 1 October 2010

Baker of Bersac

Gerald Courcelle 7am 1st October 2010


1st October 2010 - very, very important day!

6.38: Dark, fairly cold. Coffee. Outside, the light is on in the bakery but no smell of bread yet. Slightly anxious.

7am: The church bells ring the angelus and I can't wait anymore. Still dark, still not sure I smell bread.  The waning moon shines on the new gravel of main street Bersac. The light is on in the bakery. I try the door but it doesn’t open. Now what? I push the damned door hard remembering that it always sticks, a bell rings and now it smells of bread. I am so excited that I gush my excitement all over Gerald the Baker. We are so pleased, so delighted and he has four different kinds of bread, chocolatines, croissant and pain au raisin. He has baguettes, pains, miches and small rolls.  He has a beautifully clean, shining shop painted in warm colours. He is tired but visibly happy – he has been working like a dog for the past week. He will make a new kind of bread every two weeks and is still getting used to the new flour because he’s trying a new mill. He makes pizza!  The relief of having a nice baker with good bread. I buy a baguette bersacoise (made in the old style with unbleached flour) and a regular baguette, and two croissants to share with Maman. Then I go home but am too excited to eat, so I go back with my camera and meet the Blacksmith brother with his lady and their two black dogs. The dogs are calm but we are excited because we can now walk to get our bread in the morning. For me, it’s more of a hop, skip and a jump. I can’t wait till Sunday when he will have cakes – will Gerald rise to the coffee ├ęclair challenge?

The ordinary baguette: looks perfect, golden and crispy. The crumb is loose but not holey, no yeast smell – tastes just as it should.

Baguette bersacoise:  A smaller darker baguette, more rustic looking, unbleached flour and looser crumb with more holes for jam. Smells faintly of sourdough, chewy and crisp. Very well developed flavour - a proper bread.
Baguette bersacoise - our very own signature baguette!
Can you taste it yet??
Croissant:  Here we go. This is an excellent croissant! Oh hooray! It looks good, smells of good butter and tastes slightly sweet (as it should) but fills the mouth with flavour.

I await the verdict on chocolatine and pain au raisin from the Blacksmith and his lady.
Back to breakfast, then off to market.