With a bakery on every other corner in even the tiniest villages in Belgium, what makes one stand out more than another? The answer is threefold: hand selected organic ingredients; skills built on tradition, passed from generation to generation and, most of all, the passion to create the perfect loaf of bread. All three of these are present at the Boulangerie Legrand in Namur.
Baker, Dominique Legrand, has been baking bread since he was 18, but the history of the Legrand Bakery runs much deeper. Six generations ago, in 1831, Dominique’s ancestors founded Boulangerie Legrand and little has changed since those days.
Dominique and his wife, Angela, had a mission when they took over the Boulangerie Legrand and moved it to its current location in Namur. Their goal was simply to create the finest breads from the best ingredients they could find. This is the reason people drive all the way from Brussels and even as far as Northern France, just to buy their breads.
Some of the grains come from as far away as Egypt and their natural fermentations take anywhere from 18 to 24 hours. These are live breads and we could taste the difference, as the flavours danced on our tongues. From deceptively simple baguettes to sweet brioches to rich loaves made of chestnut spelt, it was impossible to choose a favourite.
More Information: http://cheeseweb.eu/2013/08/boulangerie-legrand-namur-belgiums-bakery/
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The Baker - Generations of Baking
Flour, eggs, sugar, milk – the standard ingredients to making bread. So how can a baker stand out? You take years and generations to hone your craft, and you love baking bread more than anything in life, except for maybe your beautiful wife who brings this little rustic bakery to life.
When we walked into LeGrand bakery in Namur Belgium we received a warm welcome from Angela, the wife of the baker Dominique. This is a baking legacy which started in 1831 and has carried on through 6 generations. The bakery was cream colored and simple – it exuded warmth that wasn’t simply coming from the big baking oven in the back. There were racks and baskets of bread taking on various shapes and flavors. A scale covered in a fine dust of flour sat on the counter and a glass chandelier hung from the ceiling providing a shabby chic feel.
Angela led us towards the back of the bakery where we met Dominique. He smiled at us, shook our hands, and quietly went back to work forming perfect loaves of dough to go into the industrial oven. His hands worked like a sculpture gently forming the exact shapes through years of practice and instinct. There was one picture hanging on the wall – taken in 1940, it was of previous generations of bakers who stood around the first machine the bakery every purchased.
We tasted the delicious organic, artisanal bread warm from the oven. It tasted of crunchy, flavorful goodness with each bite.
More Info: http://www.ottsworld.com/blogs/belgium-food-travel/