For the few weeks I was on vacation last year, I had a morning routine; I’d bolt out of bed in the morning hoping I wasn’t too late, rush to the little boulangerie around the corner and buy a small loaf of pain aux cereales for breakfast.
It wasn’t the closest boulangerie and I’m sure theirs wasn’t the best pain aux cereales in Paris, but I loved the little shop because the woman was kind and engaging, and I got to practice my very limited French on her.
I also loved the novelty of the boulangerie being across the street from a Vanessa Bruno store, it felt very Parisian.
Still, the bread was very good, grainy and crusty on the outside; soft, pillowy with holes and perfectly seeded on the inside.
I’d have it with tea, sliced thick and slathered generously with butter and jam, or with my favourite discovery, speculoos butter.
Ask any Parisian and they’ll probably say Eric Kayser makes the best pain aux cereales in the city; David Leibovitz called it â€˜perhaps the best bread in the worldâ€™. I’ll definitely be testing that on my next visit.
In the mean time I’m making my own seeded breads at home!
I must warn you, my version of pain aux cereales isn’t authentic, not that I can say what is authentic.
I use my bread machine and my trusted bread recipe and throw in some seeds â€“ two tablespoons each of flax, quinoa, millet and sunflower seeds.
Try this recipe here for a close to authentic version, although I do love how my loaves turn out â€“ grainy and tasty, the nuttiness from the seeds is subtle and just perfect.
And for breakfast on Saturday mornings I’m transported back to that little apartment where everything tastes better and extraordinary, even the simplest meal of bread and tea.
Pain aux CÃ©rÃ©ales
(This recipe uses a bread machine)
- 2 tablespoons each of flaxseeds, millet, quinoa and sunflower seeds, mixed
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 1/4 cups graham flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Take about 2 tablespoons of seed mix and set aside for later
- Toast the rest of the seed mix over medium heat for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently
- Place the water, salt, sugar, oil, flour yeast, nutmeg and the toasted seeds in the baking pan of the bread machine, in the order suggested by the manufacturer
- Select the Dough cycle, and Start
- When the cycle ends, let the dough rest in the bread machine pan for up to an hour
- Then on a flour-covered surface, shape/form dough into rolls, loaves or baguettes (your choice)
- Arrange on lightly floured or parchment lined baking sheets
- Sprinkle with the remaining (untoasted) seed mix
- Cover, and let rise in a draft free place for approximately one hour
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until lightly browned and crusty