Tomorrow's Docket: Bread

By Marie-Laure Fréchet

After a day's worth of meetings, they head home to take care of their sourdough starter and knead some dough. Bankers, traders, and lawyers are all rolling up their sleeves to earn their daily bread.

Demain je fais du pain

Cooking shows have inspired the French to get back to their ovens. However, following a simple recipe doesn't impress others anymore—or yourself. Bread, though, is another matter entirely. Especially when it comes to sourdough. This mixture of fermented flour and water demands not only the right technique, but also attention and experience. The challenge of caring for something that is alive is doubtless what is driving this wave of budding bakers, many of whom are senior managers in search of a meaningful hobby that is far removed from the hustle and bustle of their professional lives. While some have turned their exploits in the kitchen into a creative hobby, others have decided to completely change careers altogether.

A growing awareness and change of career

Senior managers, bankers, and lawyers have all decided to start over from scratch and set out on their own. In Paris, the former graphic designer Maxime Bussy opened Bricheton, which operates like a village bakery. A business school graduate and former IBM employee, Jean-François Bandet earned his technical degree in baking at age 41 before partnering with a lawyer to found Bo&Mie. He now owns and operates two bakeries in Paris. After suffering from burn-out as an engineer, Roland Feuillas created Les Maîtres de Mon Moulin in Cucugnan, a small village in southern France. The move was equal parts career change and a decision to stand up for the environment. Feuillas, who calls himself a "country baker," makes plain bread and has revitalized an entire industry to secure a source of heritage wheat varieties. The bakery lets Feuillas practice self-care while also looking after the planet.


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