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Tasting tradition: The secret behind healthy French artisanal bread

Olivier's la Boulangerie uses simple ingredients and traditional processes to provide Greater Victoria with quality bread from their family to yours
At Olivier’s la Boulangerie, using simple ingredients is key.

In France, it's not only commonplace but also considered proper etiquette to tear off a piece of fresh, crunchy baguette using your fingers. Today, it's an acceptable practice in North America, too. 

When it comes to French artisanal bread, a handful of traditions run deep, something French baker Olivier Audibert and founder of Olivier's la Boulangerie holds dear. 

Before immigrating to Canada in 2008, Audibert left his position as a Sales Manager and, with encouragement from his wife, enrolled in a prestigious baking school in northern France before opening a neighbourhood boulangerie (2003) in Perpignan. 

"He used to bake bread for us kids, so the transition was very natural,” says Thais Audibert, sales & marketing manager.

At Olivier's la Boulangerie, they revert back to the fundamentals; using simple ingredients is key. They put their money into responsible and sustainable agriculture.

Simple ingredients, traditional processes

Olivier’s la Boulangerie possesses superior flavour, texture, and health benefits compared to its mass-produced counterparts. Photo via: Olivier’s la Boulangerie.

Today, ultra-processed and chemically treated foods are more prolific than ever.

With Olivier's la Boulangerie, you'll find superior flavour, texture, and health benefits compared to its mass-produced counterpart, which often involves a fast process with no fermentation and contains artificial additives. 

Artisanal bread can be defined by the skill and time put into its production, so be wary of companies who market themselves as artisan who are not. If you need help telling, a lack of chemical additives in its ingredients list indicates that the bread is truly artisanal.

Leaven, water, flour, fresh yeast, and salt, top the simple ingredients, and olive oil in the ciabatta.

"Our breads are non-GMO. There are no preservatives or synthetic chemicals, no dairy or sugar,” explains Audibert. “We make true French artisanal bread with a slow 24-hour fermentation process using our homemade leavening.

"The benefit of slow fermentation (the leavening) makes the bread much easier on the digestive system in addition to greater flavour development."

Slow-crafted health advantages 

Watch out for upcoming promotions in August and September. Photo via: Olivier’s la Boulangerie.

Look for air bubbles, something you'll see a lot of, particularly in their whole wheat bread and sourdough, which is indicative of a good fermentation. 

"Without slow fermentation, phytic acid stays in the bread, and when eaten with your meal, strips away the food's nutrients," explains Audibert. "It's the reason some people have an intolerance (bloating, stomach pains) to certain breads. But with our bread, the phytic acid is broken down and not present by the end of the process, making a noticeable difference."

Watch for Olivier’s la Boulangerie upcoming promotions in August and September in Country Grocer, Save-On-Foods, and Fairway Market.

"When I created our motto: "Simple, natural, and delicious. The bread you deserve, crafted for sharing," it came from the concept of what my dad wanted for us kids—to make something healthy. He always said: 'If I feed it to my family, I'll feed it to yours,'" Audibert says proudly.

He commits to these values by using only the highest quality ingredients and staying true to the traditional processes. 

"My dad has retired, so my brother Solal and I have taken over as the second generation of our family-owned and operated bakery, maintaining the quality and processes,"she reveals. 

“We've tried our best to make healthy, affordable bread for you."

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