My mother once worked in a French boulangerie, much to the delight of my chocolate croissant loving siblings and I. On a daily basis she faced baskets of baguettes, the inevitable dusting of flour on her clothes, and the company of the burly fowl-mouthed Frenchman who baked. In turn, our childhood was rich with French breads and pastries that were always the envy of all our classmates. Those cautious calorie counters will say you can have too much of a good thing, but I don’t think we ever got sick of having the boulangerie delivery service!
Those days are long gone but the simple ham and cheese croissant for lunch or pain au raisin for afternoon tea will always be close to my heart, and stomach if I can help it. I’d love to relive this perk of my childhood and have it on my doorstep but the reality is the nearest Sainsbury’s is two minutes away while the nearest artisan bakery is twenty. While convenience wins out a lot of the time, I do like the thought of spending quality time and ingredients and making my own bread, especially considering how much of it we eat. But therein lies my problem. I am not a bread baker, I don’t even know that much about bread. I make biscuits, I make cakes but I can only seem to make bread rocks, not rolls.