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November 13, 2010



Thanks for this article about Pierre Overnoy. I remember a visit in his place, about 10 years ago, when we sat at the long table behind the kitchen and talked about natural wines, we tasted his wines and were overwhelmed by his hospitality and openness. We didn't talk about bread, but reading your article, we could have - at the time, I still made my bread myself, from a leaven, which I kept alive for nearly 20 years - and of course, we knew the frères Astrier and their stone mills...and had a organical wheat grower not to far from here, who payed back in flour the money, we and other friends had put together, to enable him to buy such a stone-mill...bread and wine ... and (goat's;-) cheese...what else do we need to be happy and well nourished:-)!

Brian Anderson

I have been starting to make bread recently and wonder what exactly is in the pot. Looks like it must be a sourdough culture. I have never made beer, but they say it is essentially liquid bread. Must make interesting bread to take the lees to form the dough...

Jerry McWine

I've only recently started to read your site, but it's a devoted start. I appreciate your viewpoints on the wine but especially the focus on the person as much as the bruvage. Thank you. Let me know if you are ever interested in the sklepy and bodi of the Czech Republic.

Cory Cartwright


Recently I have become obsessed with making my own pain au levain. I got the idea from an article by James MacGuire in The Art of Eating, which is perhaps America's finest food magazine. It includes both a history of levain, as well as a recipe for making the starter and bread, a time consuming experience for a novice such as myself (Brian is right that that is the bread starter). MacGuire makes a passionate case for bringing back authentic Levain and gives a number of places in France to find the real deal, including an out of the way spot in Muscadet (la pain Virgule). I highly recommend reading this, and thank you for the article.

Unfortunately when I was visiting Manu Pierre was out of town and I missed out of his bread (but not Anne's cooking)

Cory Cartwright

ps. My bread experiment is here:



Thanks for this contribution, Cory, makes me want to make the leap myself. What is funny is that I've been making bread for years but with a machine, and as I'm lazy, I bought ready-made flour with everything inside including bad industrially-produced wheat (I guess) and yeasts. In a first move, I think that I'll try to find authentic flour, some levain, work on it manually and cook it at the end in the machine.
I heard about this Art of Eating magazine which has no sponsors and advertising, seems to have very good in-depth reports on many things, including wineries.


Do they have email?


Yes, here it is : emmanuel [dot] houillon [at] wanadoo [dot] fr

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