You only need yeast (whether dry yeast, instant yeast or fresh yeast), flour and water to bake French bread. Of course, a dough scraper will help, and salt will help make it taste better. But there are some key steps to baking bread and French baguette in particular. So we will happily show you how to bake bread the Parisian way, to be baked in a home oven. Some things are specific, such as the signature slashes, but you can just reapply the general principles to make other bread-like dinner rolls. And we will also make bread with butter and eggs – Brioche, and bread with Olive oil in the style of Ciabatta. At the end of the class, you will be able to taste you freshly baked loaves of fresh bread with French butter, decadent cheese, jam, wine and our very special Pain Perdu recipe aka French Toast. You can then leave with bags of your creations – and after this cooking class, you will feel even more connected to any Artisan bread you will see in French bakeries as you walk around Paris. Once a baker, always a baker!
STEP 1: To make bread we will start with four ingredients: flour, water, salt and yeast. From that you can do a lot of things; add a little butter or a little oil and you can do even more. But first things first, time to measure all we need.
STEP 2: You will need to mix your doughs first. Understanding what you are looking for when you do so is important. And this will be the opportunity to learn first tips and tricks, do’s and don’t’s.
STEP 3: You will then need to proof your dough to let it rise, and then deflate it before shaping the bread. This can be one or several steps; each with their own technique.
STEP 4: Once the dough is rested, it is time to give shape to the bread you are making. Each shape will mean mastering a different technique. For baguette tension is critical; for brioche we will roll…
STEP 5: After resting the dough, time to proof and also ‘sign’ your bread - our instructor will guide you. An aesthetically important moment, but also critical to the successful baking of your bread in the oven.
STEP 6: And then it is time to bake – temperature, time and … humidity will all have an impact on the final results.
STEP 7: Time to taste your breads; each bread can be tasted with something different: delicious French cheese, jam or even cooking bread as a Pain Perdu. All great ways to enjoy your work!
STEP 8: You will leave with a bag full of your creations to share – or not – with your friends or enjoy as for a picnic later in the day. Bon appétit!
We took the baguette and French breads class with Florence and it was FANTASTIC!!! Florence was an incredible teacher, who was very patient and smart with a great sense of humor. This class far exceeded our expectations and I can’t wait to come back for another class. Not only did we enjoy our home made breads together over coffee and juice, we got to take the extra breads home with us. Sign up and enjoy!
Laurie Plaut, Oct., 2019
My mother and I attended the bread-making class hosted by Florence. It was an experience we'll never forget! Florence was funny, patient and a great teacher. We learned a lot, and we had so much fun making our own brioche, baguettes and ciabatta, which we enjoyed with butter, cheese and jam at the end of class (with plenty to take home!). We also promptly received the recipes via email, which was a great touch. I'm planning on attending more classes with Le Foodist on subsequent trips to Paris because it's clear the teachers love what they do, and it's such a unique experience.
Ellen G., March 2019
My daughter and I took a bread baking class with Florence, and it was so much fun. Florence was patient and fun, and explained it all so well. Definitely would recommend it to everyone!
Lisette Carmichael, June 2019
The French baguette, actually probably better known as the Parisian baguette has beome a true symbol of French popular gastronomy. A true icon of French life even - look around and you will see the Parisians strolling back home with their baguettes under their arm. But if you are French why would you learn how to do this? You can buy a baguette at any corner of Paris for about one Euro a piece. But in our Baguette Class in Paris you will learn how do this from scratch. It is somewhat technical, but also full of tips and tricks. But when you leave, it will have not secret left for you. From the original mix to the famous "scarification" through adding water to your oven through baking, you will see and do it all.
This class is like all our other baking or cooking classes: totally hands-on. So you get to practice from beginning to end - and to taste at the end. But not only will you learn how to make Baguette, but you will also learn to make two more types of bread: the French Croque Monsieur bread. The basis for the classic French bistrot appetizer. And in your Baguette class in Paris you will also learn how to make your own Brioche. Probably the most indulgent bread you will find in France - if not the lightest ...
While you will learn the techniques to create - and get to taste - three classic types of French breads, you will also learn some of the stories on the origin of the baguette. Just beware it is still being quite hotly debated. What is for sure though is that the Baguette is absolutely part of today Parisian's life. A classic you will be able to take back home with you.
Discovering culture through Food is what we want to do when we travel. So we have developed all our experiences with that simple idea in mind: ensure that you learn both about the topic at hand, but also about French culture in the process. So in our food tours, we will talk about the history of various aspects of French food, in our cooking class about how certain dishes became so important in our culture. During our wine tastings, we will explore the regional differences in French culture. And, a regional residential holiday is an opportunity to deep dive French food culture to its core and foundation: the regional gastronomies, and the concept of terroir. Follow the links to explore further.