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Paris Bakery Tour

In the Montmartre area of Paris, March of 2018, we had lessons and a tour of the Le Grenier bakery and pastry shop. We signed up online through Viator. Olga was our superb tour guide!

It was a very cozy space with friendly bakers. We learned the bakers day began at 3 am and ended at 1 pm. The dough is made the day before and includes sourdough, yeast, flour, salt and water. There are over 3000 bakeries/boulangeries in Paris, but only 300 make their own bread and pastry from scratch on site! To check if your bakery makes their own, look for mixing machines in the back of the shop and workers baking!

A baguette should have many different sizes of holes inside and also a very crispy crust like you see here:

I will show you some of the steps involved. Most bakers keep their recipes a secret, so I do not have that to share.

Here is a video of the dough made the morning before. It is full of bubbles and is being poured into a square machine that cuts the dough into baguette size portions:

The next step is spreading this dough with flour and closing the lid. This cuts the dough into baguette size pieces:

Now the pieces of dough are placed in the Panimatic which rolls the dough into the long thin shape:


The baguettes are placed by hand into rolled cradles of heavy cloth for resting:

The baguettes are placed on baking sheets which roll in and out of the ovens:

The baguettes are rolled into the ovens, baked and then rolled out to cool:

Baguettes are placed in the tall basket for customers to purchase at the counter:

Here are some quick pics of the pastry kitchen!

Using a scale to add ingredients for French custard:

Only the best pure butter is used:

Candied fruit is drying on racks waiting to be used to decorate the pastries:


Nina in the Kitchen outside the Paris bakery

What’s to Eat in Paris

What’s to Eat in Paris

Parisians have a true love and enjoyment of food which they take seriously. You can see it on their faces as they walk down the street biting into a slice of flan or sitting close together literally rubbing elbows at cafes for lunch. 

Rosa Jackson from Edible-Paris designed a fantastic walking tour itinerary for us which led to the most intriguing eateries. Cheese, chocolate, charcuterie and truffles, open air markets and boulangeries. We loved every minute of it! Then she recommended cafes and restaurants for us too! This was a very efficient and helpful travel tool. Worth every penny! We started at this pastry shop/ boulangerie, Le Moulin de la Vierge, pictured above.

The Petit Gaygry was so soft it needed a wood box to keep its shape. The blue cheese also was soft enough to need a wax like coating. The ash covered goat cheese was more aged and harder. All were heavenly. They were purchased at the official best cheese shop in Paris, Quatrehomme on 62 rue de Sevres.

The French style of espresso with just a drop of steamed milk, cafe noisette.

This a new way to eat salmon for me! Diced and tossed with olive oil, lots of coarsely chopped fennel fronds, shallots and then formed into a mold. Mine was quickly seared on each side and raw in the middle. Most Parisians eat it raw or tartare. We ate this in the St Germaine quarter near our apartment at Cafe de l’ Empire.

Hugo &Victor is a high end artistic chocolate shop in the 6th arrondissement. Get it? Book, Victor Hugo?

Many unusual apples at the open air market, Marche Saxe-Breteuill, among everything else from fresh fish to Middle Eastern prepared food.

This flan is very firm, not too sweet, and can be eaten right out of your hand walking down the street. We found this at the legendary bakery Poilane.

At Christian Constants Cafe Constant I enjoyed the roasted scallops. Barely cooked and flavorful.

Il Flotante is a classic French dessert I loved at Cafe Constant. Meringue floating in sweet cream sauce.

Three days in Paris is not enough! I will return for a long stay next time.