The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Peasant bakers in France

JeremyCherfas's picture

Peasant bakers in France

I went to a really interesting bread-making course about 10 days ago, and have simply not had time to write it up yet. One thing I did want to share though, was a film we were shown. It is called Les blés d'or, and was made by ADDOCS, a French film-making organization.

The film is about peasant bakers (and the word peasant is used as a badge of pride, with no pejorative undertones) who have rescued several old varieties of wheat and who bake in the traditional manner. The commentary is all in French (although the DVD for sale has other languages, including Italian but not English (yet)). I found it fascinating, especially the sequence that shows the mixing of the dough.

The recipe is very simple: 33 kg of flour, 22 litres (i.e. 22 kg) of water and half a bucket (maybe 5 litres?) of starter. And the entire mass is mixed by hand. It is absolutely glorious to watch, and if you've never seen a baker stretch and fold 55 kg -- more than his own body weight, I'm sure -- of dough, you have a real treat in store.

You can watch the video streaming in reasonable quality from the ADDOCS site. It is the second film down in the list on the right. I hope you enjoy it.

In view of an earlier post I was thrilled to see a loaf made from Touzelle what flash up on screen, albeit very briefly.



SylviaH's picture

Thanks, Jeremy!  I enjoyed watching the film, especially the dough and firing!



shansen10's picture

Thank you for sharing this film.  it was beautiful to watch bread being made this way - almost a religious experience.

misterrios's picture

Is it also German? I can't find the info on the website!

ehanner's picture

Thank you for sharing this link. There are many good nuggets of wisdom to be found watching him handling the dough. Thanks,


Reuben Morningchilde's picture
Reuben Morningchilde

Thanks so much for this link! It was a real eye-opener, and many times I felt transported back to my childhood when my parents dragged me on holidays 'a la ferme' and the farmer was baking bread. Thanks so much.

weavershouse's picture

Thanks for the link. That big mound of dough was a living thing. Thanks.

JeremyCherfas's picture

I'm glad that you all enjoyed the film.

@misterrios, I'm sorry, I don't know whether the film has German subtitles. Try emailing the company. I got a very speedy reply to my enquiry.

cranbo's picture

amazing film! i don't read/speak any French, it was remarkable to see someone working with dough that way, with no fancy tools and producing a remarkable product.

thanks for sharing!

vincenttalleu's picture

Amazing film, thank you very much for sharing it!

I can't believe people can actually to this for a living this is really great, this guy mixing the dough grows his own wheat and bakes 150Kg of bread everyweek.

Total respect for him! Let's hope more and more people will start doing such an amazing thing!


Thanks again for sharing the video.

one.iota's picture

I really would love to read a transcript or obtain English subtitles. 


Does anyone know if any transcript exists, or would any kind French-speaking soul do us a great favour and provide a translation?

JeremyCherfas's picture

but it is very much a "when I have spare time, i.e. almost never" kind of project. So I'd welcome any help.


Pioneer Foodie's picture
Pioneer Foodie

It was free online last year, and now you have to pay to view it.

JeremyCherfas's picture

That does seem a pity. Not least because for me the link to Voir en ligne doesn't work at all.


cranbo's picture

Another great video featuring Nicolas Supliot (who is shown in the Les Bles d'Or video) kneading dough in a big trough can be found here:

Pioneer Foodie's picture
Pioneer Foodie

All of those great videos about peasant baker Nicolas Supliot are now either removed or pay-per-view only. Grrr...

xd's picture


Can anyone translate generally what the baker is saying when he finally gets the dough together in the trough and is patting the top.