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The Pain d'Avignon Baking Book: A War, An Unlikely Bakery, and a Master Class in Bread (Hardcover)
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Five-star bread and pastry recipes, and a tale of adventure, from an iconic East Coast bakery.
A good loaf of bread has the power to bring—and keep—people together, wherever they may be. In a journey that started in Belgrade amid the beginnings of war, and continued in America, four friends tested this philosophy to the extreme: They began a new life and opened a tiny bakery together on Cape Cod. Working hectic, twenty-four-hour days, while living all together in a loft above their business and making it all up as they went along, the founders of Pain D’Avignon quickly became one of the first highly acclaimed purveyors of artisanal bread in the Northeast.
For thirty years Pain D’Avignon has been pursuing excellence in the art of the bread making inspired by the old-world methods while partnering with New York’s top chefs to bring a five-star bread to our everyday life. As a baker who had an unorthodox bread education, Uliks Fehmiu has learned over time that practice and patience are the most important parts of the journey, and here he shares this important lesson with home bakers everywhere, while giving them an accessible, step-by-step primer on mastering the fundamentals. With 60 recipes, including their iconic Cape Cod–inspired Cranberry and Pecan Bread, Classic Sourdough, Thyme Baguette with a Touch of Lemon, and Plum Galette with Pistachio Paste, The Pain D’Avignon Baking Book is a tried-and-true collection of must-make breads and pastries, with extraordinary and immersive storytelling. It is a celebration of bread, of perseverance, and of baking with heart and purpose.
About the Author
Uliks Fehmiu is an actor, producer, and self-taught baker. He cofounded the Pain D’Avignon bakery with his friends Branislav Stamenkovic, Vojin Vujosevic, and Igor Ivanovic in 1992. Pain D’Avignon has been featured in The Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York magazine, Boston magazine, Crain’s Business, Wine Spectator, Cape Cod Life, Saveur, Eater, Edible Cape Cod, and Cape Cod Times, among others.
“I always knew that Pain D’Avignon makes some of the most beautiful, interesting, and delicious breads in the Northeast, but I did not know the incredible and compelling history behind the bakery. This book tells the story of the group of friends, immigrants fleeing war in their native country, who built Pain D’Avignon through hard work; resilience; and a commitment to one another, to their employees, and to making good bread. Along the way, they developed recipes that celebrate the art of artisanal sourdough baking and pastry, and are both modern and timeless. The inspiring journey is further evidence that baking and bread are universal languages.”
—Claire Saffitz, New York Times bestselling author of Dessert Person
“As a bread baker I have long admired Pain d Avignon and now I understand why. Their journeys to becoming bakers has roots in this city and this country. It’s a most intimate and honest account of chance adaptation and becoming. It’s a great story. They offer the keenest insights into the art and science behind baking and share recipes and stories with profound understanding of the craft."
—Jim Lahey, founder of Sullivan Street Bakery and author of My Bread
"Pain d'Avignon has been creating stunning breads and baked goods since 1992, and I was fortunate to be one of Pain D’Avignon's first restaurant customers in Manhattan. Truly, their daily production is the work of real artisans who found their calling out of happenstance and necessity, which unfolds in this beautiful story they share. Page by page, you can feel clearly how their bread sings with purpose and love. Reading this lovely book will teach you how three humble ingredients—flour, water, and salt--can transform into something so spectacular. Pain d' Avignon bread is a gift to us all who toil in the kitchen."
—Geoffrey Zakarian, chef and restaurateur
“The 10 years before I had my own bakery, the boys at Pain D'Avignon were my go to in NYC for making the closest rendition of the European bread we craved. I look forward to trying some of their recipes beyond bread.”
—Andrew Carmellini, chef and author of Urban Italian
“Here we have an intimate story of bread in America. Hard work, passion, dedication, perseverance and most of all the unfailing spirit of immigrants supporting one another to thrive against all odds and make excellent bread together in the land of the free. This book will inspire anyone and gives away the secret recipes of one of this country’s most beloved bakeries.”
—Zachary Golper, chef, author, and co-owner of Bien Cuit
"Pain D’Avignon has always embodied the power of how bread brings and keeps us together, and this book brings that power right into your kitchen. This book has a recipe for bakers of all skill and interest levels, and tells the beautiful journey of how hard work, strong character and a love for life can create something magical, and delicious."
—Greg Baxtrom, chef and owner of Olmsted and Maison Yaki