|Warm loaves in the oven|
|Creating a bread "key"|
|Letting the dough rise|
We spent an exciting afternoon last week over at the yet-to-open bakery (the official date is May 2) learning from the masters - Maxime Holder, Président Directeur Général, Groupe PAUL (President & CEO, Groupe PAUL) and David Dequeker, Chef Boulanger et Patissier, Groupe PAUL (Chief Baker & Pastry Chef for Groupe PAUL).
|Paul uses a high concentration of water in their dough|
David taught us the basic process of making the dough and shaping it into traditional loaves and rounded shapes. Let us tell you - it's HARD. No wonder David had such fantastic arm muscles - it takes work to turn your sticky ball of flour and water into a smooth, puffy dough perfect for baking. Maxime assured us that the key to great bread is a combination of ingredients, mixing, and rising time, which all come together to create perfectly crisp crusts with an airy inside full of irregular "holes." He said that he can tell when a baker cuts corners - the interior of the bread is a dead giveaway. We also learned how to "mark" our bread, partly a stylistic addition and also to differentiate the different types of bread as well as to let the steam escape during baking.
|David (left) and Maxime (right), talk about the process|
We explored the bakery (which has an ample cafe space) while our bread baked in massive high-tech ovens. When the bread came out of the oven, perfectly browned and oh-so-deliciously warm, we couldn't wait to get home and sample. Let us tell you - this will be a dangerously good addition to DC.
|Deacon author McLean scoring her bread|
Sample for yourself, starting May 2. A Georgetown outpost is scheduled to open in August.*All images courtesy of Paul Bakery