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In France, Bucolic Bakers Cook Up Real Country Bread

Believe it or not, good bread can sometimes be hard to find in the French countryside. Some farmers are rising to the occasion, swapping their work gloves for baker’s mitts and offering customers some genuine country cooking.

French bakers are known for their bread making skills
French bakers are known for their bread making skills
Olivier Razemon

CAYRIECH/LOMBERS – The countryside is aglow after July's heavy rain. Farmers have just completed the harvest, and the promising golden wheat ears will soon be turned into flour – and then into crunchy bread. Only the bread isn't likely to be made – or even available – just here. In many of France's rural areas, wheat fields abound. But it is not uncommon for residents to drive 25 kilometers or more to buy decent bread.

The exception to the rule are the baguettes and round breads produced by farmer-bakers, who number about 500 nationwide and use a portion of their own wheat supply to bake and sell directly to customers. Regulations allow the farmer-bakers – most of whom got their start in the early 1990s – to use about 30 tons of flour per year. As everything is organic these days, most of them abide by organic farming rules and refuse to use synthetic products in their crops.

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A man walks on a tank left behind by Russian troops, on display in Kyiv’s Mykhailivska Square.

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

[*Swedish]

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