Monday, January 15, 2018

A new blog about Paris food history

Having researched the history of the food of Paris for over a year now, I find myself with a wealth of material that did not fit into my manuscript and so I have started a new blog to delve deeper into some of these subjects. It is called, logically enough, "Paris Food History":

If you'd like to drop by and take a look.

Lover of Paris food history might also like the Facebook page:

and the site:

Monday, January 1, 2018

FRENCH BREAD HISTORY: Eighteenth century bread

This is the eighth in a series of posts on the history of French bread. The preceding post was on seventeenth century bread. Further information on bread history can be found on Facebook in the Bread History Lounge. - If you want to MAKE medieval and Renaissance bread, click here.

The eighteenth century saw several shifts which, taken together, brought bread much closer to today’s than to what had come before. These included the use of a softer dough, a preference for long over round breads and, closely related, a taste for crust. Other changes were more subtle, or behind the scenes, if you will. Notably, economic milling, a more efficient processing of grain, arose and the middlings – gruau – went from being a waste product to providing the basis for a luxury flour.

This century was also the first great century of documentation, with near-manic efforts to put even the most banal facts down on paper. Ultimately, this resulted in Diderot’s Encyclopedia, which remains today one of the prime sources on numerous trades. Where in the past these had often been recorded incidentally, or at best for practitioners, now they were methodically studied and recorded in accounts made available to anyone with sufficient means and education. A number of such works preserved useful details on period bread-making. But two writers in particular gave it careful attention: Malouin and Parmentier. Malouin's work was by far the most detailed. But Parmentier, who was Malouin's effective successor, wrote several works whose importance has endured. Malouin in particular left such a highly detailed account of bread-baking that even specialists today would be hard put to absorb it completely. This means that any brief summary of eighteenth century bread-baking necessarily omits a wealth of material available in the period.

These two admirable and even endearing men did not always agree and their disagreements have an important place in bread history. But they shared not only a passionate interest in the problems around creating the best, most flavorful bread, but a very real concern for those who often had no bread at all.

Over the centuries, royal taxation had also made salt – a native French product – dauntingly expensive. As a result, by several accounts, French bakers now used it less. Though opposing evidence exists, the overall impression from period texts is that French bread was often viewed as bland because it was so often made with little or no salt.

Yet Malouin boasted of, as in previous centuries, the superiority of French bread:
One finds French bakers in all of Europe; and it is certain that in no other country in the world in general is bread made so well as in France. Baking, like all the other crafts, is more perfected there than anywhere else.
A number of famines occurred in this period. The aristocratic monopoly on hunting prevented most of the poor from hunting their own meat, which at any rate had become impractical for residents of growing cities, as had foraging or farming, and so bread became central to the diet of the poor. The central importance of bread meant that “famine” typically was synonymous with a shortage of grain. In a time of increased research and experimentation, one side-effect of these shortages was to push figures like Parmentier to seek out alternative products, such as potatoes, for making bread.

Controversies over key ingredients

Salt, water and yeast are all simple, even elemental products, yet in this early modern century the use of each of these in bread was more or less controversial.

Yeast had become established in French bread-baking in the previous century (though sourdough remained the more common leavening method). Often, per Malouin, yeast and sourdough were used together:
Fermentation is not a simple dissolution, it is not a simple extraction; it is a more intimate division and at the same time a combination, from which a new composition always results: it is why to make good bread, one must use a leavening which successively produces these effects which are neither too prompt nor too slow; it is according to this principle that the bakers of Paris are accustomed to tempering the vivacity of yeast by mixing in sour dough to make softish bread, and to animate sour dough with yeast to make half-soft bread.
But he also wrote: “Today we have returned to the old feeling against yeast, and it is agreed today that it is even better to do without it in making bread.” Parmentier shared the older scholar's reservations about the use of yeast, yet adopted a more resigned tone:
Although I am certain that yeast rarely makes good bread, and that it would be desirable that its use be banned in Baking, I nonetheless cannot refuse to dedicate an article to this artificial leavening....; because, well-founded as my reasons are (as admit several Bakers enlightened by experience), I do not flatter myself to be able to turn around spirits decided on this subject; but what matter, useful truths must always be presented; there comes a time when the clouds which cover them dissipate.
Mercifully for Parmentier, he did not live to see the increased, not reduced, use of yeast in French bread. And yet even some artisan bakers today share his distrust of yeast.

The role of water

Parmentier seems to have been particularly frustrated by the long-standing idea that the type of water mattered when making bread.
In vain has it been claimed that rain water is the best for making dough rise, because being lighter than that of the fountain that of river and fountain, it better worked its way into the bits of flour mixed with leavening, than hard and cold waters which had trouble warming, not being suited to bread, and that the variety of this food came from the diversity of waters used in it: this opinion is absolutely unfounded, we must see how ridiculous and abusive it is.
He then goes on at some length to describe the ways in which people would blame water for problems in baking without considering all the other elements in making it and reports his own experiments with the same flour in areas with different water. But the idea that the quality of the water affects the quality of the bread has never entirely disappeared.


Malouin complained about the reluctance of period bakers to use salt:
It is by economy that most bakers abstain from putting salt in the dough; and it is a false economy, because not only does the salt give the bread a better quality which makes up for the expense of salt; which is small, when it is used properly; but also because because salt making more water come into the dough, also makes more air come in, and so increases the quantity of bread.
According to Le Grand d’Aussy, the royal tax on salt (the gabelle) had made its use less popular in bread:
Before the gabelle had made salt as expensive as it is today, the general custom in France was to salt bread. … This is the custom of almost all the nations of Europe; and this is why when foreigners come to Paris, they at first find our bread insipid, even if in actuality it is better that that made where they come from.
(Note the stubborn French chauvinism at the end.) This may have been less of a problem for luxury breads, whose buyers did not consider cost. But it seems that ordinary French bread in this time was made with little or no salt.

Other grains

Le Grand d’Aussy points out that other grains, such as barley, had been used by the ancients and questions why French bakers had come to use their talents mainly on wheat. In regard to barley, he writes:
How has it happened that this grain, so known for its restorative qualities, that this grain which inspired from Hippocrates an entire book of praise, that this grain finally from which the Greeks drew not only their best porridges, but further these fine and nourishing drinks which they called tisanes, is only intended among us for the fattening of poultry, for making beer, and sometimes gruel? By what lack of skill have we come to make of it a bread that only the most unfortunate of peasants dare to eat, and when, after the famous winter of 1709, the people found themselves reduced to it, it was called famine bread...
But the century’s famines made some neglected grains, if not popular, necessary. In 1709, Madame de Maintenon had oat bread made for the poor and said that if oats were properly made, they could yield a very good bread. A great deal of rice was brought in from abroad in the same year; it was used again in 1768.

In the eighteenth century, a shift occurred which would have profound implications for luxury breads. Millers had long discarded the middlings, or fed them to animals. In French, these have the same name as gruel: gruau. As a result, one has to be very careful in reading French texts to consider the exact date of the usage. Even for part of the eighteenth century, gruau, when it did not mean “gruel”, referred to what was considered an inferior by-product of milling. Almost overnight however it came to refer to the finest type of flour. Here is one account (which however, like many such tales, should be regarded with caution):
During the shortage of 1709, a miller of Senlis, named Pigeaut, very profitably exploited a process known in his family. Towards 1725, a certain Marin went to set up a mill in Nangis, began to gather the fat bran which bakers did not know how to use, and to sell a flour which soon gained a reputation. This is not surprising: the reground gruau [middlings], yielded precisely what we call bread of gruau, the most nutritious and the most succulent of all, when it is sincere and well-worked. The fortune made by Marin awoke his competitors. For a quarter of a century, skilled people, calling themselves bran merchants, spread out around Paris: they bought the remains of bakers' sifting to profit from it, and as Messieurs of the Parlement began to recognize that the grutum is not a dangerous poison, the police closed their eyes to the violations which the new trade involved.
(Bord, Histoire du blé en France)

Economic milling

The recuperation of middlings for a new and superior flour helped make possible what become known as “economic milling”.

In 1760, many millers in the Paris region began to use this technique. The details are unlikely to interest anyone who is not actually studying the history of milling itself, but the gist of the method was to clean and sift the grains and flour as the milling occurred. Here is how Bouquet sums up the operations in economic milling:
The first is to clean and sift the wheat before it falls into the mill’s hopper: the second, to mill it so that it cannot heat, nor contract any odor or other bad quality, nor yield too much waste or evaporation: the third, to bolt while the millstones work, to separate the different qualities of flours and middlings: the fourth, to remill the different middlings, to get a new flour from them.
The most important result was that one got far more flour from a given amount of wheat, which Bouquet insisted would help eliminate shortages. While more than milling was necessary for that, this new method did improve the yield overall and became the standard one. The older method, with more separate steps, became known as “rustic milling” and continued to be used in the countryside for a long time.

Types of dough

For centuries, bakers had used what the French called “hard [or firm] dough” (pâte ferme). But by the eighteenth century, they had begun to use what was called “bastard dough” (pâte bâtarde), which was softer than pâte ferme but not as soft as the softest (pâte mollet).

Malouin gives an overview of these types of dough:
There are three sorts of dough in regard to consistency, that is, soft dough, hard dough, and bastard dough. Soft or sweet dough is that in whose composition the most water is used. Hard dough to the contrary is that in which the least is used. Bastard dough is neither hard nor soft, it has aspects of the soft and the hard: more water and less flour is need to make bastard dough than to make hard dough, as more water and less flour is needed make soft dough than to make bastard dough.
There is also brié dough which is the hardest of all, and on which one climbs, that is, it is kneaded with the feet.
Malouin said that far less breads were made with hard dough in his time and that most bread was made from partially soft (bastard) or soft dough. One incidental effect of this change was that it became harder to follow the requirement that one stamp bread with one's assigned mark. It was also true that larger breads were more likely to be made with hard dough, whereas softer dough was required to make the smaller loaves.

Types of bread

The bread of Gonesse had replaced the bread of Chailli as the best by the seventeenth century; but by the late eighteenth century, the bread of that name was made nearer to Paris; Le Grand wrote: “Today very little [bread from Gonesse] comes to Paris. That sold under this name is made in the suburbs of Saint-Denis and Saint-Martin”.

The old distinctions of color still applied. The three basic sorts of breads were still made, with the middle quality, once pain bourgeois, now called pain de ménage (household bread) and the worst simply called pain bis (dark bread). Malouin references these as, for white bread, the former bread of Chailli (the siligineus of the Romans); for dark-light, the old coquillé bread (secundarius); for coarse bread, pain bourgeois (acerious) and finally dark bread, once fetis or brode bread (furfuaceus). “One can even distinguish different sorts of bread by their various forms: there is round bread, long bread, horned bread, bread in bourrelet, bowed bread (called hemicycleus, he says, by the Latins).”
Formerly more round breads were made than long breads: today, it is the reverse, because the crust is preferred; in households where there are a lot of people, more three pound loaves are even taken than six: thus one can eat it fresh.
In regard to the whiteness of bread, the usage, at least in Paris, is to make dark breads of twelve, eight and six pounds, and always round: white-dark breads of twelve, of eight, of six and of five, and also all round.
The word miche has had a varied history in French and most often refers to the most common large loaf in a given time and/or region. Malouin defines it in his time as a small bread of one to two pounds.

Le Grand says that most of the fancy rolls in varied shapes from the seventeenth century – pain de Gentilly, pain à la Montauron, etc. – had fallen away “because others have succeeded them, and in Paris everything is fashion” but went on to say that butter, milk, salt and yeast were all still used in finer breads (though such breads were banned during famines such as that of 1709). In general these sorts of bread weighed from a quarter to half a pound. Malouin describes pain à la Reine, pain à la Segovie, pain caffé and pain cornu as examples of such breads in the eighteenth century; he also shows artichoke bread (with square “leaves”) in his images. As in the seventeenth century, these rolls were not subject to price regulation, and so bakers could set the price they chose.

Breads were also known by how they were used: coffee bread, soup bread, pottage bread (today literally also "soup bread", but then different). Pain de mie – crumb bread – was then used to produce crumbs for breading meats, for instance (today the term applies to white breads in the American style). Table breads were essentially rolls, included as part of the table setting.

Meanwhile, the most important change in standard breads was related to a change in taste.

Love of crust and long breads

Le Grand traces the growing love of crust (which had once been grated off in the best houses) to the increased use of softer dough. Malouin further traces the appearance of longer breads to the same development:
One can note that in general in the time when hard dough was preferred, or beaten bread, whose crumb is compact, less crumb was given to it by making it round or risen in a ball. Whereas when bread was made of soft dough, it was flattened to have more crust. And finally today softish bread is made long or "in bourlet", to give it the most crust possible, in increasing its surface.
And later:
It was at the end of the last century, that long bread began to be made to have more crust; before, the taste was to eat bread with the crumb, as today it is to eat it for the crust. Today more soft bread is eaten than hard bread; the crumb of bread from hard dough, of beaten bread, is hard, and it has much more flavor than the crumb of soft bread today, which leads to its crust being sought and the crumb being left.
Parmentier adds further notes on the same theme:
The round shape is equally abandoned, it is not currently used in Paris except for bread in hard dough and dark-light bread; the long form has been adopted, because it is more convenient to the oven, the bread bakes better and takes on more crust; but this shape has been abused in lengthening it into a flute, so that it is only crust rather than bread; these changes in shape and volume seem to be determined by the consistency of soft dough which succeeds infinitely better at a less considerable weight and in the long shape.
Parmentier may be the first here to use the term “flute” for the long loaves which became standard in this era. While the term “baguette” would not be used for similar breads until the twentieth century, the shift from round to long breads was already made in the eighteenth century; the term “flute” would be used loosely all through the nineteenth century even as more specific terms were used for the major long breads.

Split breads

Among long breads, another shape now emerged. Parmentier:
It is with [bastard dough] that one makes the large long loaves of four pounds, whose use is so common today in Paris and which are known by the name of loaf à grigne and split [fendu] bread, the one being put on couche and being prepared in stretching the dough and in bringing together the two sides, in the middle of which is thrown flour, lightly, to avoid their joining, one sets this dough on the side and on the upper part of the fold, which is what forms these toothed openings which are prolonged until the crumb; a similar method is used for split bread.
The split in the fendu would later be made, not by joining the two sides, but by pressing the baker’s elbow down the middle of the dough. In the nineteenth century, this was to become one of the most common types of loaf.

Bakery personnel

In earlier centuries, the main workers mentioned in bakeries were the baker him (or more rarely her) self and his or her “boys”. By the eighteenth century, the staff was more complex. Malouin outlines the positions in a bakery, notably one with a long and enduring history, and a virtually untranslatable name:
The geindre is the master-worker who watches over everything in the bakehouse; he delivers the flour, he pours the water and he measures it. The geindre determines the quantity and the sort of bread to be made, and he warns the other workers what they have to do. It is the geindre who judges the preparation of the leavenings and the dough; he divides it out and he weighs it. It is the geindre who heats the oven; then he puts the bread in the oven, and after he takes it out.
Formerly, it was the geindre who kneaded, and then he was not in charge of the work of others; it was even through this function he had formerly of kneading that he was named geindre, from the word gemere, geindre or plaindre [moan or complain]. The Master-Bakers like to hear their kneader moan when he works the dough. When they don't hear him while he is kneading, they are in the habit of saying: this guy isn't moaning; you can't hear him any more than a crackling in the kneading trough. When to the contrary they praise him as a good worker, they say that he raises the dough well, and he moans well.
Malouin goes on to explain that things had changed now that the Master-Bakers no longer watched over the work themselves. He gives an unusually detailed look at the process in an eighteenth century bakery:
The aide starts at the kneading trough while the geindre puts the bread in the oven. A short half-hour is needed to put it in; about an hour to bake it; a quarter of an hour to take it from the oven; and a half-hour or three-quarters of an hour to reheat an eight to nine foot oven; which all together makes at least two hours of hard work, over two and a half hours of fast work.
He only begins kneading when the leavening at the toupoint stage is ready, and when in his judgment the previous batch is baked and the oven reheated before the whole next batch he has to make is ready; he takes about an hour to knead.
The second aide brings the flour, he cleans the cauldron, he brings the water, he carries the wood, he splits it and sets it to dry. It is also the second aide who takes the bread off the cloth, and who puts it on the paddle when the geindre puts in the bread.
The third aide, who is the fourth worker, receives the bread as it comes out of the oven, and he sets it: it is the third aide who, when the bread has cooled, brushes it, then ranges it, and finally takes it to houses.
Malouin notes further that bakers from different regions had different reputations, those from Langue-Doc, Provence and Touraine thought good; those from Champagne, Brittany and Picardy to have a heavy hand. He adds later that that there were then more bakers from Auvergne in Paris than from any other region.

He also cites an article (XXIII) from the Bakers' Statutes of 1680 stating that no one can be received as a Master Baker if he is infected with a communicable disease. To which he adds that "there are workers whose sweat is so awful, or their breath so bad, that they spoil the leavenings." If this image is not off-putting enough, he goes on to say:
Normally those who knead sweat a great deal from the force of the work, and the sweat falls into the dough, if one is not careful to give them a rag to wipe themselves; I have sometimes seen them rub themselves with large flour sacks. In the King's bakeries rags are passed to the bakers; there is reason to believe they use them.
Unbelievable as this may appear to a modern reader, in the next century, this “flavoring” of the dough with the worker's sweat would be cited as a quality.


Ironically, Parmentier’s name has most endured because of his promotion of the potato. But his interest in what became a standard French food on its own grew directly from his work with bread. Ultimately, in his comprehensive work on the subject, he said firmly that it was NOT economical to make bread with potatoes, but that the food by itself was a promising and nourishing one. Still, he said, “some men must absolutely have bread, and if the food is not presented to them in this form, they do not think themselves fed. The people, in this as in everything else, are more attached to the form, than the reality, above all in times of trouble; they want their fundamental and habitual food, in the familiar shape, whatever the substance of it.” And so he presents several recipes for bread and even biscuits made with potatoes, with or without grains.

He was right to believe that potato bread would not displace wheat bread, even in hard times. Luckily, his pessimism about the French eating potatoes alone proved unfounded, and soon the French were eating them in a variety of forms and a variety of places. But this had little impact on their demand for bread.


As the Revolution approached, French bread had effectively moved into modernity. The distinction of bread by origin (Gonesse or Chailli) had faded. The long breads which would become the baguette were firmly established, even if darker, coarser bread continued to be sold in round (though not often spherical) shapes. The hard dough of the past had been firmly replaced by the softer “bastard” dough. A good crust had become one of the desirable qualities in a loaf. The split bread was now familiar, if not as common as it would be.  Economic milling was well on its way to being the standard method, as farine de grau was to being the standard flour for finer breads in the next century.

The nineteenth century would brings its own significant changes, but only after the brief and dramatic interlude of the Revolution.


Pierre Jean-Baptiste Le Grand d'Aussy, Histoire De La Vie Privée Des Français: Depuis l'origine ...,Volume 1, Issue 1, 1782

Denis Diderot, Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers. Tome second, Azyme-Cezimbra / par une société de gens de lettres 1751-1765

Denis Diderot, L'Encyclopédie. [45], Artisanats au 18ème siècle : [recueil de planches sur les sciences, les arts libéraux et les arts] 1751-1780

Paul-Jacques Malouin, Description et détails des arts du meunier, du vermicelier et du boulenger, avec une histoire abrégée de la boulengerie et un dictionnaire de ces arts, par M. Malouin, 1779

Antoine Augustin Parmentier, Le parfait boulanger, ou Traité complet sur la fabrication et le commerce du pain, par M. Parmentier,... 1778

Antoine Augustin Parmentier, Traité sur la culture et les usages des pommes de terre, de la patate, et du topinambour, par M. Parmentier, 1789

Gustave Bord, Histoire du blé en France: Le Pacte de famine; histoire--légende, 1765

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The pain au chocolat and the chocolatine: a truthier version

As noted in my last post, I have been drawn despite myself into the history of the pain au chocolat and the chocolatine. And so I might as well provide what real information I can on these subjects. Not that this will keep a new set of myths from spreading like flattened dough.

Pain au chocolat

If you are American, you probably know the pain au chocolat as a “chocolate croissant”. Which in fact it is not (croissant means “crescent”, while the so-called chocolate croissant is dough rolled around a chocolate core); the English term refers to its being made with the same laminated dough as the (crescent-shaped) croissant. The French term simply means “bread with chocolate”, and to complicate matters the French sometimes eat exactly that: bread with chocolate. Not only that, but the French word "pain" can mean "loaf" (as in "sugar loaf") as well as bread.

The term is found as early as 1779 for a dish on the menu from a wedding in Clermont. It is included among the entremets (a course which could include both savory and sweet dishes), but no other details are provided.

In 1829, a regional cookbook for the upper Rhine printed a recipe under that name which bears no resemblance either to bread with chocolate or to today’s “chocolate croissant”:
A half-pound of sifted sugar, a half pound of crushed almonds, two ounces of grated chocolate, an eighth of an ounce of cinnamon and a sixteenth of an ounce of crushed clove, put all this in a large mortar or in a casserole, to make a workable dough of it; once powdered with fine sugar, stretch the dough to half the thickness of a finger, cut with forms on white paper and bake.
In 1901, a newspaper printed a very different recipe for the same item (which again appears as a dish in what would usually be the entremets course):
125 grams of ladyfingers, 125 grams of butter, two bars of chocolate, 1 egg, cut the ladyfingers in two. - The cream: Break the chocolate up into a pot with a spoon and a half of water, when it is reduced take it off the fire and let it cook, add the butter in pieces. When it is all mixed, break the egg, add it little by little vigorously stirring off the fire, spread a layer of the cream between each ladyfinger, pile them on a dish and cover them with a layer of cream and chill.
Just three years later, another newspaper printed yet another recipe, again for the pain au chocolat as an entremets; here however pain is being used in the sense of “loaf” and in fact the result resembles a chocolate mousse:
With three bars of chocolate, make very thick chocolate: and add a little milk, but the chocolate must stay very thick. Take the chocolate off the fire and add three egg yolks, a spoonful of flour and 100 grams of fresh butter, which are to be melted. Mix all this, then beat four egg whites very stiff, and mix all this together, butter a mold, then pour the mixture into it, put it in a double-boiler for an hour, then put it all in the oven to harden it. In serving it, one can if one wants fill this cake with a good vanilla cream.
Was the eighteenth century version also a “chocolate loaf”? That is not impossible.

A 1921 recipe actually cites the most primitive version:
Instead of eating, according to the old schoolboy tradition, bread and chocolate, is it not tastier to prepare a “bread with chocolate”?
Split a well-gilded roll, then take out the crumb. Butter it and put it in the oven until the butter melts. Meanwhile, soften a bar of chocolate in the fire. When it is ready, slide it into the roll which one serves while still hot.
Tantalizingly, a 1933 short story shows a young woman stopping in a bakery to buy a pain au chocolat – which is what one would do today, since the laminated dough version is a professional product. So it is possible this refers to the modern version, but not in the least certain.

And after 1933? Nothing, in a word, decisive. The term becomes more common with time, but is taken for granted, not defined. In 1951, an American writer described a pain au chocolat as “a kind of flat roll made with the same rich dough as the croissant and filled with a layer of mildly bitter chocolate”, which is exactly what it is today. In 1969 Joe Dassin recorded a song - “Le Petit Pain au Chocolat” - which says that the female baker who sold it was “as crispy as her croissants”, suggesting that the chocolate item was (as it is today) in the same family. So the best one can say is that for a long time, the term referred to a variety of sweet confections before taking on, at least by the Fifties, the meaning it has today.


In recent years, the word “chocolatine” has been offered as a synonym for “pain au chocolat”. Though, as pointed out in the last post, there is utterly no relationship between that term and August Zang’s nineteenth century Viennese bakery, the term was certainly popular in that time.

In an 1853 article on New Year’s presents, a French journalist announced the chocolatine as a new candy:
the novelty of the moment, the chocolatines, which have just appeared in a business loved by the public, chez Perron, the chocolateer of 14, rue Vivienne…. Perron has then made for the New Year’s gifts of 1854 charming boxes, filled with an exquisite candy, which he calls chocolatine. This delicious mix of chocolate and fruit is cheerful and pleasant to see; its fine and subtle taste cannot be confused with the chocolate known until now.; it looks like a hard candy, but has neither its hardness nor its inconveniences. .
Aubert, the journalist, goes on in a tone that suggests a paid ad more than a spontaneous journalistic mention.

About a decade later, Chocolatine was widely advertised, in both English and French, as a cocoa extract: “the purest extract of cocoa obtainable”. It was recommended for medical use, and said to be highly soluble. For decades, this would be the most common mention of the term.Yet Perron’s bonbon was still being advertised in 1878 as “the best of all candies”.

Meanwhile, in 1883, a patent was registered for a “Creole treat, hygienic and tonic chocolatine”. This may have referred to an item which would become more popular later.

An article from 1889 credited Victor Julien with inventing a number of liqueurs, including one called Chocolatine: “a chocolate liqueur”. Like a number of other liqueurs of the time, this included quinine, and the writer cited a medical report praising its tonic properties.

In 1894, a pastry-cook’s manual offered two recipes for what appears to be something similar to Perron’s version:
1268. Chocolatine
Make fruit pastilles (see this word) either with apricot or apple paste, the size of a one franc piece, on pastille sheets, then when they are set, detach them with the end of the palette knife, double them and set them in layers in a box garnished with very fine Caracas chocolate.
1269. Chocolatine (Candi)
Proceed as above. Double them and praline them with chocolate, then set them to candy for 24 hours. [That is, set them in a mesh-bottomed tray and cover them with sugar syrup.]
The first dictionary definition of the word appeared somewhere between 1881 and 1891: “A sort of chocolate candy” and another in 1895: “A kind of chocolate candy”.

Yet the liqueur too seems to have been established by then.

At the start of the twentieth century, the word’s meaning shifts drastically. A study of malaria from 1906 discusses the problems of administering quinine to children and states “Chocolatines with tannate of quinine, which we have received from Father Celli, of Rome, are very well accepted by small children”. Did Father Celli have the idea of putting quinine into chocolate candies for children? Was Julien’s quinine chocolate liqueur an influence here? Unknown. But for much of the twentieth century, “chocolatine” would mainly refer to various quinine-laced candies, which appear to have been promoted by the famous Institut Pasteur.

In 1915, Ezra Pound referred to the people of Tahiti as having a “faint pinkish chocolatine colour,” giving some idea of what the candy looked like at that point.

When did the term start to mean a chocolate croissant? In 1980, a novel listed “croissants, chocolatines, raisin rolls [pains aux raisins]”. Since such a list would otherwise include pain au chocolat, it is likely that here already the term chocolatine has taken that meaning. But the usage has remained rare (in France) until just recently when debates have arisen as to which term is the proper one. If one judges by prior usage, pain au chocolat seems to win hands-down, even if it took some time to take on its modern meaning. But in fact neither term has been used for very long with today’s meaning, even if both have a long history in France.

Friday, August 25, 2017

No, August Zang did not bring the pain au chocolat, the chocolatine or the schokoladencroissant to Paris

Why so categorical a title? Let me explain.

I was pleased last Sunday to receive an email from an old friend from Paris, and more pleased still to learn he had just seen my book August Zang and the French Croissant cited in Le Figaro. Once I found the item  Êtes-vous plutôt «chocolatine» ou «pain au chocolat» ? , written by Joanne Girardo and published August 20, 2017 – I was also pleased to see both my name and the title of my work spelled correctly.

I was less pleased however to see the following statement about August Zang: “In his shop, the ‘schokoladencroissant’ indicated a croissant filled with chocolate. Originally then, the term ‘chocolatine’ would have come from this place.” (“Dans son échoppe, le «schokoladencroissant» désignait un croissant fourré au chocolat. À l'origine, le terme «chocolatine» proviendrait donc de ce lieu.")

And who is credited for this claim? Why… me.

The problem? My book says NOTHING about the chocolate croissant either in French nor in German (schokoladencroissant). It is easy enough to see as much; go to Google Books and search for “chocolate” in that book. What is more, Zang, an Austrian, would never have called this crescent-shaped pastry - which Austrians knew as a kipfel - a "croissant"; the French only used that word (French for "crescent") AFTER Zang made the kipfel popular in Paris.

But it gets better.

Searching the Figaro’s own site, I discovered an article making similar claims had appeared last year in Madame Figaro, this one, published October 4, 2016, written by Anne-Laure Mignon: Doit-on dire pain au chocolat ou chocolatine ?

This one further credits my book with mentioning the arrival of chocolate in France in 1492: "l’historien culinaire Jim Chevalier rappelle que l’arrivée en France du chocolat daterait de 1492." It would be quite embarrassing had I indeed dated the arrival of chocolate in France to 1492 – chocolate was only discovered by the Spaniards after Cortes’ encounter with the Aztecs in 1519; it did not come to France until sometime after that.
At this point, the reader may be wondering, “Why not contact the Figaro?” Well, I tried.

Not finding an editor’s contact, I messaged their Facebook page and got a polite note suggesting I write… the journalists. Each of them. But given the overlaps between the articles and the fact that neither journalist seems to have actually consulted my book, I thought this was something to bring to the attention of an editor. Luckily the astute and helpful Irene Torres located the editor’s email address for me. On Tuesday, I wrote the editor, raising all these issues; I have heard not a word since.

So, how influential has this (entirely inaccurate) version of the "facts" been?

Well, right off, I was reminded that I had alreay seen
one post (from January 19) by Isabel Miller-Bottome on the Local France site which states: “According to culinary historian Jim Chevalier, author of "August Zang and the French Croissant: How the Viennoiserie Came to France", it was the schokoladencroissant, a crescent-shaped, chocolate-filled brioche [!] that slowly evolved into the rectangular chocolatine.

At the time, I posted a correction in their comments section but never saw any response to it. Now, checking, I see that that response has been... deleted and comments disabled.

UPDATE 9/2/2017
Last Sunday (August 27) I wrote the editor for the Local Paris and the managing editor for the Local, informing them of this error, the fact that my comment had disappeared and the resemblance of their article to one from the Figaro. To this date, I have received no response.

While I’m not going to list every one, a look at Google shows numerous other blog posts - at least twenty, including one in Spanish and one in Japanese - which appear to follow the first Figaro article, repeating the same error and crediting it to (groan) me.

I did however find one from well before that first article, a post on a POKEMON blog from March 2016. Could this then be the UR-post, the original source of all this eagerly shared erroneous information – information which writer after writer has passed on without a single one, apparently, consulting my actual book?

In the past I have tried to fight a number of myths about August Zang: that he was a count or a baron; that he brought the baguette to France; that he introduced the poolish pre-fermentation method. Not one of these is true. Now I find myself fighting yet another rapidly spreading myth – only this one is credited to… me.

I’d say, “You can’t make this stuff up.” Only, apparently, you can.

FOLLOW-UP 9/2/2017

I have learned (or perhaps confirmed) three things in tracking the spread of this idea across the Net:

1. Many bloggers and journalists find it perfectly natural to "quote" a work without ever actually consulting it. And yes, this includes articles in traditional, established media. (The error I've found here is not the only one I've found in a major publication.)

What you can do: Never forward an item which supposedly cites a work without making some effort to find the quote in the actual work (this goes for a LOT of quotes spread around the Net).

2. The business model for a dismaying number of sites is simply to take content from other sites, unacknowledged. Often, neither the original site nor the reader is aware of the 'borrowing" and the site using the content cares only that it attracts eyeballs (that is, advertising revenue).

What you can do: Before forwarding an article you find interesting on a site, copy a sentence or two and put it between quotes in a search engine, then look for it. No, you won't always find it on another site, but if you do, check first which article came earlier. If the one you found seems to be the source for the second, forward THAT one - and hopefully inform the contact person for the second site that their content has been swiped.

3. Once an idea is out there, it's really hard to change. (See my efforts above.)

What you can do: If you see the erroneous citation I'm discussing here mentioned anywhere, try to post a correction in the comments section or contact that writer or site owner. Ideally, link to this entry, which I wrote in part so search engines would bring up my correction.

The Truth thanks you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

In case you were wondering....

Although I still have several installments on my history of French bread to go, and other subjects to cover, I have not posted here for some time, for a very simple reason: I am working on a book on the history of the food of Paris. This very large subject takes up most of my writing time. So, no, I have not abandoned this blog; I am simply trying not to add it to the list of my procrastinations. :)

Friday, February 26, 2016

FRENCH BREAD HISTORY: Seventeenth century bread

This is the seventh in a series of posts on the history of French bread. The preceding post in the series was on Renaissance/sixteenth century bread. Further information on bread history can be found on Facebook in the Bread History Lounge.- If you want to MAKE medieval bread, click here.

The seventeenth century was a turning point in French bread history. At the start of the century, bread in France was not very different than it had been in the Middle Ages. By its end, bread had changed in several significant ways; it was already closer to the bread of today than that which had preceded it for centuries.

Breads at the start of the century

The last Parisian bread statutes in the sixteenth century were set in 1567 and renewed in 1577; they named the usual three qualities of bread: white, pain bourgeois and pain bis.

In his Théâtre d'Agriculture (1600), Olivier de Serres listed the main breads of Paris (presumably as they were actually sold, not necessarily as the law defined them). He begins his list with the luxurious pain mollet:
The finest bread is that called pain mollet ["softish bread"], which bakers make by tolerance.... It is normally small, and round: is very light, spongy, and flavorful, because of the salt put in it, which makes it less white than it would be without it, none of the other breads either of the city or the field being at all salted.
This is a useful, and unusually specific, description of the bread itself. It is also important in specifically saying that most bread in the region was not made with salt at this point. (Why the salt changed the color is unclear, unless the salt itself was impure.)

Strangely, he skips simple white (blanc) bread, which theoretically was the best available to most people. Did those who could afford white bread in fact more often buy the better (but officially suspect) pain mollet?

He may be considering the next two grades of bread as white, whereas the earlier statute treats pain bourgeois as of middling quality (between white and dark):
The breads called Bourgeois, and that called Chapter [Chapitre], come after the mollet, only differing between them in the form, the Bourgeois rising more in its rounding, than chapter. which is more pressed, flatter: both are of very white substance, highly kneaded, weighing sixteen ounces.... Dark white [bis blanc] follows next; it is a little grey. Finally the Dark [bis], which being of the darker color is also of the lowest price.....
He is one of the first to mention the bread of Gonesse, which replaced that of Chailli as the best quality of bread in normal trade:
From neighboring villages, various sorts of bread are brought to the said city, of which the most remarkable is that of Gonesse... It is very white and fine, holding its own with mollet when eaten fresh, but after a day is not pleasant. This bread varies in body, being made large and small, in flat round shape...
In the same way exists bread from other places, varying in body, in shape, color, quality and price, there being large, small, round, long, white and gray, intended for all sorts of people.
De Serres writes that in Paris household bread (pain de menage) sometimes actually was made in private homes, though sometimes too by bakers, and that it could be made in any desired shape. but was always halfway between bis-blanc and bis.

In 1611, Randle Cotgrave published a French-English dictionary which is a classic source for a great deal of period information. In providing definitions for various breads, he also incidentally inventories those available in France at the time.

His definition of pain mollet is similar to de Serres': “a verie light, verie crustie, and savorie white bread, full of eyes, leaven, and salt.” Note that at this point it was made with “leaven”; that is, sourdough leavening.

Cotgrave also defines pain de cour and pain de bouche as synonymous with pain mollet, as was already true in the previous century. All of these referred to an especially good quality of white bread, beyond the white bread (pain blanc) typically mentioned in statutes; the latter was also named as pain de Chailli, which he defines as "a verie white bread (named so of Chailli a village) the loafe whereof is to weigh 12 ounces, and to be sold for 12 d[eniers] .Paris[is] when a Septier of wheat is worth 20 s[ous]. Tourn[ois]."

Though they are sometimes synonymous, he defines the middling quality breads separately: pain bis-blanc ("wheaten bread, or bolted bread”) and pain bourgeois "crible bread betweene white and brown; a bread (that somewhat resembles our wheaten, or cheat) a loafe whereof is to weigh, when tis baked, 32 ounces.") The same is true for the lowest quality of bread, which he defines separately as: pain bis ("browne bread, houshold bread, course bread") and pain de brode ("browne bread, course houshold bread; a loafe whereof is to weight 96 ounces, or six pound.").

His definitions for a number of other breads include one for pain de Chapitre as "a fine, white, hard-kneaded, and flat manchet, weighing about 16 ounces.” As seen earlier, this bread had been known for some time, but was not mentioned in statutes. However the next Parisian statutes (in 1635) define these four types of bread: white (de chaillis), pain de Chapitre, pain bourgeois (bis-blanc) and bis (or brode). Until now, Parisian statutes had typically defined three grades of bread; now there were four.

The same statute says (for the first time) that bakers can, if asked, make pain mollet, “Gonesse style”. This is a rare mention of the bread of Gonesse together with the bread of Chailli; the former was starting to displace the latter as the preferred bread from outside Paris. Cotgrove defines it as “a delicate white bread, made in a village called Gonesse; whose water is reported to be the chiefe cause of that delicacie." Going into the eighteenth century it would be known as the best bread in the Paris region. Note however that the statute refers to "Gonesse style" bread made by Parisian bakers; that is, even this early on it was not necessarily made in Gonesse itself.

Note too that some of these definitions overlap or contradict each other; bread terminology has rarely been technical or codified and often varies with each author. Otherwise, nothing about these breads is significantly different from those mentioned in the previous century. Some are specifically described as round; the others probably were as well. Nor is any difference noted in how they were made, all of wheat flour: sifted to different degrees of quality, and leavened with sourdough.

Yeast and the queen's pain mollet
Marie de' Medici, raised in Florence, married Henri IV in 1600 (she would not be crowned until 1610). By 1644, a special type of pain mollet existed called “bread in the Queen's style” (pain à la Reine). Unlike earlier pain mollet, this was leavened with yeast, not sourdough. De la Mare, at the start of the eighteenth century, wrote more specifically that it was made with milk, which made it harder to leaven, thus requiring yeast to leaven it.

However, writers in previous centuries mention bread made with milk, but nothing about it being made with yeast. And all the details on how the new pain mollet was made come in 1667 or later. As for the queen's supposed use of this bread, it is not clear if one of her bakers came up with the idea or if it was something she knew from Florence. Whatever the case, the standard narrative is that Marie de' Medici developed a taste for bread made with milk and yeast and so popularized pain mollet made in this way. By the middle of the seventeenth century, pain mollet was synonymous with fine bread leavened with yeast, despite the fact that the bread had been known since at least the fourteenth century and had always been made with sourdough.

Pains de fantaisie
This is in turn led to a variety of fashionable breads, all made with more or less milk or butter and leavened with yeast: pain de segovie, pain à ia montauron, pain de Gentilly, etc. While in previous centuries a variety of breads had existed across France and in different contexts, this variety within Paris was an innovation and the start of a spectrum of breads being available in Parisian bakeries that went well beyond the three or four breads defined in statutes.

The bakers who made these and the standard breads were known as “bakers of petit pain”. This literally means “small bread”, today it means roll and in fact the standard size for white breads had long hovered around a pound, indeed making them by today's standards like rolls. The other bakers were “bakers of gros pain”. This literally means “large bread”, but Cotgrave defines the term as “coarse brown bread” and typically it was the coarser grades of bread which were made in the larger sizes.

Bakers of petit pain loved pain mollet for a particular reason. Unlike the standard breads, it was not regulated ("taxed") by size and price; bakers could charge what they wanted for it. What is more, such bread appealed to a wealthier clientele. Not unexpectedly, bakers preferred to make it. This was so much the case that the 1635 statute obliged them to have the standard statutory breads on hand. The right to make pain mollet was exceptional (“They can nonetheless make pain mollet, Gonesse style, and otherwise, for the convenience of those who want to use it”) and had to be exercised with discretion; they could not display this bread out front (“so they will put it in the back rooms of their shops, or wherever it will not be seen”). As different varieties of pain mollet became fashionable, the temptation to focus on these became all the stronger. In 1645, a statute's language showed a certain exasperation on the part of the authorities:
Nonetheless for several years the said Bakers, excusing themselves from observing the Statutes, have stopped making bread of Chailly; and instead of the latter, against the Law's intent, excuse themselves from making [it] and substitute several other sorts of breads, to which they give names which strike their fantasy; that is pain de la Reine, à la Montoronne, à la mode, pain bléme, Gonnesse style, and various other names; which breads they make with no order or weight, and do not garnish their workspaces and boutiques with any other bread, and sell the said shaped bread to the public's great detriment, as much by the loss of weight in making the said bread, which is not so nourishing as Statutory bread; and the said Bakers find so great a gain in selling the said counterfeited bread, that they make almost no other, so that at ten to eleven o'clock in the morning one does not find in the best Baker's shops any pain de Chapitre, and very often no bis blanc, which is the bread of the poor, and so that individuals who go to get bread, either Chapitre or Bourgeois, not finding any, are forced to buy the said counterfeited breads...
The statute goes on to try to force bakers to have the standard breads available and to sell the various pains mollets at prices linked to those for the statutory breads. Note the phrase “names which strike their fantasy”; this was the start of a long history of bakers preferring to make unregulated luxury breads that were later known as “fantasy breads” (pains de fantaisie; the English would call them “fancy breads”), making it hard for customers to buy the statutory breads at regulated prices.

The Quarrel of Pain Mollet
For several decades, the various types of pain mollet were made with yeast without incident. It must have helped that, in theory at least, they were intended for a limited clientele. Most bread was still made with sourdough, as it had been since Roman times. Pastry-makers used yeast and it later came out that in some cities in France even bread-bakers did so. But in Paris its use was as exceptional as it was unchallenged.

Until 1667, the year of the “Quarrel of Pain Mollet”.

Ultimately this tempest in a teapot would determine the place of yeast in Parisian bread-baking. But it began with an entirely different question: what bread could cabaret-owners buy for their clientele? (Cabarets at this point were little more than taverns which could officially serve meals.) They had been obliged to buy bread from Parisian bakers – effectively, bakers of petit pain – but wanted to buy bread from outside Paris – typically in large loaves – which they would then cut up for their customers. The makers of the more luxurious Gonesse bread joined them in their suit, being after all bakers from outside Paris.

Anyone who has paid careful attention to modern food disputes may have noticed that sometimes what is really a fight over access to a market is framed as being about health/and.or safety. The latter after all is an altruistic concern as opposed to the more self-interested goals of commerce. This is what happened here. In trying to avoid buying the smaller Parisian breads, the litigants came up with the claim that, because these were made with yeast, they were unhealthy.

This led to different decisions, first by a group of doctors, who declared the use of yeast unhealthy, then by the Parlement (a judicial, not a legislative, body). In the course of deliberations by the latter, it was pointed out that bread was made with yeast in some other places in France. Unfortunately, no specific places were named. Probably, these were cities closer to the north; that is, near the Flemish, who had long used yeast in their bread.

A series of decisions ended with one on March 21, 1670 which rejected the cabaret-owners' request (so that they were still obliged to buy their customers' bread from Parisian bakers) and explicitly allowed Parisian bakers to use yeast, but on condition that they buy it locally and that it be fresh.

As a practical matter, this meant that yeast was now a standard leavening method in Paris. But in practice it continued to be used mainly for luxury breads, or to reinforce sourdough leavening.

It is not clear how seriously this affair was taken in its own time, but once yeast became commonplace in Parisian baking, it looked trivial, even comic, in retrospect. A hundred years later, when another group of doctors tried to ban inoculation (then new in France), La Condamine, a supporter of inoculation, responded by writing a long humorous poem on the pain mollet controversy. Though the poem never once mentions inoculation, his withering satire of those who resisted change was plain at the time.

Other breads and uses of bread
The best documented bread has always been municipal bread. But sources mention others.

De Serres describes some of the bread from outside Paris:
As for the bread of the village folk around Paris, laborers, vineyard workers, and other workers of the earth, it is typically made of maslin, which is composed of wheat and rye of which the flour being finely sifted is shaped into good bread for the tenant-farmer, his wife and children, and a second for his servants.
He also uses the term pain rousset (reddish bread) for another bread made with wheat and rye, this one he says given to the gentry for reasons of health. He later refers to “true maslin” (vrai meteil), which he defines as coarsely sifted wheat flour. He also describes a pain bigarré (pied bread), made with alternate layers of wheat and rye dough – that is, of white and gray color.

Oat bread had rarely been mentioned in France since the Middle Ages, but Cotgrave gives a translation for this term, suggesting that it still existed. Today, pain perdu (literally, "lost bread") simply means bread pudding, but Cotgrave defines it as a ”broth made of wine, rose-water, and sugar, eggs and bread." He also refers to pain fraisé; this very literally means a reamed or plaited bread, but he defines it as "a Panado of the crumbs of stale bread soaked a while in 2 or 3 changes of water, then boiled in a pipkin with butter, or any other sweet and fat moisture; or in a Capons broth; and often stirred." (This recalls a curious use of saved bread crumbs in the Regula Magistri, an early monastic law.)

Pain coquillé already existed in earlier centuries but Cotgrave defines it now as "a kind of hard-crusted bread, whose loafs do somewhat resemble the Dutch Buns of our Rhenish Wine houses." He also defines the very large pain de brasse as “a great houshold loafe of course bread, like our Chesloafe.” (The latter has not been identified.)

A special type of bread, pain de mouton (sheep bread), was given by servants to their masters' children on New Year's Day. This was basically a very small white loaf, glazed and sprinkled with wheat grains.

The term pain de fenêtre (window or display bread) referred most literally to the bread a baker put on display (bearing in mind there were no plate glass windows at this point; the window was simply an opening). Cotgrave defines it as “brown bread”, but other sources say to the contrary that it was whatever best bread the baker made, displayed to tempt customers. Parisian bakers were obliged to give a pain de fenetre to the Priory of St. Lazare, implying that the bread was a favored one. Rather than being contradictory, the two different meanings may reflect the fact that the authorities (as seen above) sometimes obliged bakers not to display their pain mollet, for instance, but to sell it discreetly from a back room, leaving only lesser breads to show in their windows.

Beyond the breads of Chailly and Gonesse other breads from outside Paris were known as pain chaland, a term which is variously said to refer to the barges which brought them into town or to the clientele which bought it (chalan meant a barge, chaland a business' customers).

The Chailly and Gonesse breads were not the only ones to be prized in the nearest big city. Cotgrave defines the bread of Potensac as “a delicate bread made in a Village called Potensac, near unto Bordeaux.". He also mentions a specific loaf called pain de pannière, “a great white loaf yielded by the Tenants of St. Gondon sur Loire unto their Lord, yearly, and besides their Cens." Very likely other such special types of loaves or bread existed which went unrecorded.

Long bread
French bread until this point had, with few exceptions, been round. Sometimes it was spherical; sometimes it was round and slightly risen. But whatever the variation, the basic round shape had dominated French bread for centuries.

Rare exceptions can be found. De la Mare wrote (in the eighteenth century) of “long, split breads of two pounds” that existed in 1577. In a quote above, de Serres includes long breads as one type of those made in places beyond Paris. In the seventeenth century itself, La Varenne, in describing napkin folding, recommended putting two long breads on top of one type of fold.

These very rare references are enough to show that long breads were not completely unknown before the end of the seventeenth century. In the eighteenth however these would become dominant.

Le Grand d'Aussy (1783) placed this change at the end of this century and linked it directly to the new pain mollet: “It is only towards the end of the last century when the different sorts of the breads called mollet were greatly multiplied that long bread began to be made, because the crumb of the latter being less good, more crust was wanted.” If Le Grand was right, then the advent of pain mollet made with yeast (which is what he was referring to) not only led to longer breads (which have proportionately more crust relative to the crumb than round breads), but initiated the French love of a good crust on bread, something never mentioned in previous centuries. (Note though that Cotgrave describes the earlier pain mollet as "verie crustie", suggesting that this was already viewed as a quality in 1611.)

In this century then, Parisian bread-baking changed in several key ways. The term pain mollet became virtually synonymous with yeast-leavened bread, even though such bread had existed for centuries as a sourdough leavened bread.The use of yeast became standard, if still far from universal. This may in turn have led to making more long breads, a development which would culminate in the baguette, and in new appreciation for a good crust.  The idea of pains de fantaisie (fancy breads) first appeared and would play a key role in French bread-baking well into the twentieth century. A much wider variety of breads became available in commerce, whereas in previous centuries no more than four or five, relatively stable, types had been offered.

Less enduringly, the bread of Gonesse replaced the bread of Chailly (in fact, Chilly) as the best bread brought in from outside Paris.

Overall, bread in the seventeenth century made important strides beyond medieval bread towards the bread Parisians know today.


De la Mare, Nicolas, Traité de la police, vol 2 1722

Olivier de Serres, Le Theatre d'Agriculture et Mesnage des Champs d' Olivierde Serres..., 1603

A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, ed. Randle Cotgrave, 1611
Assembled from two scans in the French National Library by Greg Lindahl

Guybert, Philbert,  Toutes les oeuvres charitables de Philbert Guybert 1644

Journal du palais, ou recueil des principales décisions de tous lesparlemens & cours souveraines de France Vol 3

Correspondance littéraire, philosophique et critique de Grimm et de Diderot, depuis1753 jusqu'en 1790 Vol 4 1829

Cholet, Estienne, Remarques singulières de Paris 1881

de La Varenne, Francois Pierre, Le cuisinier francois, ou est enseigne la maniere d'apprêter toutesorte de viandes  1680

Legrand d'Aussy, Pierre Jean-Baptiste, Histoire De La Vie Privée Des Français: Depuis l'origine de la Nation jusqu'à nos jours, Vol 1, Issue 1 1782

For an English version of Le Grand d'Aussy's texts on bread, along with pasty and sweets: