Jerome and Fabienne Boulanger of Le Croissant Bakery (Fabienne Boulanger)
It may be a coincidence that the owners of Le Croissant bakery are named Boulanger (French for baker). But is no coincidence that this popular spot in St. Boniface was listed in enRoute magazine's top 100 restaurants in Canada. It did come as a big surprise to the
Boulangers, though, especially as Le Croissant is not actually a restaurant, it is a bakery.
This French couple -- Jerome comes from a long line of French chefs in Alsace working in Strasbourg and Paris and Fabienne hails from Brittany -- have been baking up a storm in Winnipeg since 2005. Step into their cozy bakery on Taché and you'll feel like you're in France. They bake croissants, French pastries, artisanal bread and cookies. They also make their own paté and tourtiere and stock products from France, including cheese and cookies.
The Boulangers are also very proud to supply bread to a number of Winnipeg restaurants. "That means everything to me because we work all together," says Fabienne.
Jerome Boulanger offers his recipe for traditional kugelhopf:
Part cake, part bread, kugelhopf is a special breakfast item from Alsace, the northeastern region of France. This centuries-old recipe can be easily adapted to suit any family's taste. A bundt pan is a suitable substitute, if you don't have an authentic mould.
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
5 Tbsp. sugar
2½ Tbsp. salt
60 g. fresh baker yeast
1¼ cups milk
1¼ cups butter
1 cup chopped walnuts
12 bacon strips, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350°F
2. In a pan, fry chopped bacon.
3. In a mixer, combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add eggs and milk. Mix on high speed until dough becomes elastic and releases from sides of bowl (approximately 10 minutes).
4. Add butter. Mix at low speed until incorporated, then at high speed until dough becomes elastic and releases from sides again.
5. Reduce mixer speed and carefully add chopped walnuts and bacon. Mix well.
6. Cover bowl with cloth and allow dough to rest for one hour at room temperature.
7. Deflate dough by folding and pushing out air. Place in greased loaf pan, bundt pan or kugelhopf mould and allow dough to rise to double in size (one - two hours).
8. Bake in oven for 20 - 30 minutes until kugelhopf turns golden brown.
Yield: two large loaves.