A few weeks ago, at the fête de la cour, one of our neighbors directed us to check out a boulangerie about 5 minutes away. I finally got around to it last week, and my life will never be the same.
Du Pain et des Idées is, as the neighbor said, not too far from my apartment (although I pass at least 4 other bakeries on the way there). The charming storefront is situated at the end of a cute little street just off the Canal St. Martin.
It is owned and run by Christophe Vasseur, a former fashion salesman who, in his forties, decided to scrap it all and learn the art of baking bread. And I’m glad he did, because he makes some of the best bread in town. So far I’ve brought home the flute à l’ancienne, a long, thin bread (as the name implies), and the pain des amis, a large, flattish bread sold in hunks of 250 or 500 grams. Both are superior in flavor to just about any bread I’ve had so far in Paris. They have gorgeously crispy crusts that make me extremely happy to finally have a proper bread knife.
But neither of these is the reason I’ve been back three times in a week. No, my new obsession is this:
These little rolls are the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread. Just imagine, fist-sized, fresh baked bread with a host of sweet and savory fillings. I have taken to stopping by on the way home from work and grabbing one for a late lunch. So far my favorite is the tomato confit and feta one, but the still-warm spinach and goat cheese wasn’t half bad! There’s a honey-sesame one I’m dying to try, and there always seems to be something new. I could probably eat one every day and never get tired of them. My only question is: Why doesn’t every bakery in Paris… no, France… no, the WORLD, make these?