Upper Crust: Homemade Bread the French Way – Marie-Laure Fréchet, Photography by Valérie Lhomme

Description: The quintessential staple of French cuisine is the humble baguette, but the country’s bread baking tradition―along with variations assimilated from other world cultures―offers a vast repertoire. With an introduction to the history of French bread, guidelines to help the home baker select the right ingredients―grain and flour varieties, water, salt, and starter―this book details the step-by-step techniques and fundamentals of bread making: from feeding the starter, kneading and preparing the dough, and baking, to more than 100 recipes. 

Eighteen expert bakers, pastry makers, or chefs share the sweet and savory recipes that have forged the French bakery’s enviable reputation―from round pain de campagne or olive and oregano bread to regional breads like fougasse or the Basque talos. A new generation of chefs have developed original creations such as black baguette with sesame, Matcha tea rolled bread, buckwheat and seaweed galets, and honey, fig, and hazelnut rye. A chapter devoted to traditional breads from all around the world, such as pita, focaccia, bagels, Georgian khachapuri, and Norwegian polar bread are reinterpreted in the French style. Recipes include pains surprise, croque-monsieur, onion soup with cheese croutons, and desserts such as pain perdu and kouign-amann. For each recipe, pictograms indicate the level of difficulty, time required, type of starter, and whether a recipe is gluten-free.



This is an absolutely stunning book! It delivers on every level, the amount of detail is exceptional, the photography is outstanding and the recipes featured are absolutely delicious.

The comprehensive content includes the following:

Introduction – which answers the question – Why make your own bread?
Bread Basics
Classic Breads
Breads of France
Savoury Breads
Sweet Snack & Breakfast Breads
A World of Bread
Using Your Loaf
Using Doughs
Using Leftover Bread
Bread-Based Desserts

The level of detail in this beautiful book is exceptional, the Bread Basics and Techniques sections are packed full of helpful information, with page after page of advice, and fascinating information about the history of bread making, glossary of bread making terms even a section on French expressions involving bread. The Techniques section describes the key stages of making bread, from how to get started, the equipment to use, fermentation, kneading, scoring, and how to get the most beautiful decorative finishes. These sections also have illustrations and step-by-step photographs 

In the Recipes section, different chefs share their recipes for the most delicious and mouth watering breads from the classic Baguettes, Ciabattas, Fougasse, Pain de Campagne, to more unusual breads such as Petites Baguettes Chocolate Beurre Salé (Mini Chocolate and Salted Butter Baguettes) to delicious sweet treats such as Pain Perdu Gourmand (Decadent French Toast) or Bread and Butter Pudding.

If you love bread you will adore this book, very much designed for the home baker, it is also an education, explaining the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of creating beautiful bread.
If you have ever been tempted to make your own bread, this book is a wonderful introduction. We absolutely loved it! Highly Recommended!

Upper Crust: Homemade Bread the French Way – Marie-Laure Fréchet, Photography by Valérie Lhomme  is published by Flammarion