We are spoiled rotten when it comes to bread around here. I can afford to refuse to eat anyone’s baguette but the Cheeseboard’s (all crust!), insist on Acme’s whole wheat loaf for sandwiches (s0 sweet, so dense), and prefer Semifreddi’s Challah to any other.
Some members of my family have a thing about La Farine’s morning buns even though there are several stiff competitors for Best Morning Bun.
So perhaps it’s not surprising that I forgot all about La Bedaine when it came to buying bread, even though the owner/baker had been nice enough to conduct a puff pastry class I attended. (Read about it here.)
I shouldn’t have. It turns out that this tiny bakery provides something you can’t get at any of those other places — loaves baked by an actual Frenchman who understands the Gallic way of shopkeeping (smiling at strangers means you are simple to the French — vive the cultural difference). And La Bedaine’s bread tastes like I remember bread tasting in France, with a variety of textures and flavors, redolent of the oven, even days later.
Many people patronize La Bedaine exclusively for their sandwiches or their elegant sous-vide entrées that can be reheated in moments in your home or the pastries (bien sur) but I’m hooked on their pain au levain — an entirely different experience than anyone else’s.
I’m also pretty excited about the La Bedaine baguette, even though unlike the Cheeseboard’s crust-only confection, this bread has an inside as well.
New Year, new tastes, right?