Eric Kayser, a fifth-generation baker from France, got his start at a little shop on Rue Monge in Paris.
Now, Maison Kayser bakeries are rising with the frequency and ease of his flawless baguettes—which are some of the best this side of the Atlantic. They can now be enjoyed in 25 countries, most recently in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with the newest bakery opening in Brooklyn, NY, at 57 Court Street this week.
The storefronts are warm, friendly and unpretentious places to break organic bread with friends and enjoy a lovely range of Gaullic-inspired soups, salads, sandwiches or indulge in a delicious dessert that is well worth the splurge.
“Something pure with no preservatives on the wheat is what I want to use,” says Kayser. “The very purest ingredients.” The bakery shelves are bursting with beautiful seasonal specialties—dark pumpernickel bread with molasses, walnuts and sunflower seeds; ciabatta with toasted pumpkin seeds and King’s cake, dairy-free chocolate cake—along with perennial favorites like the famous quinoa bread, plump madeleines, flaky croissants and buttery brioche. “If you don’t smell the eggs and butter in brioche, it’s no good,” he says. You can taste the loving care that is kneaded into every loaf.
Adapting recipes that date back as long as 1,000 years, and are made by hand with new technology, everything is made on the premises, which smell like fresh-baked bread. “The spirit of Maison Kayser is to mix and bake in the same place,” he says.”That is what artisanal means to us.” The training program is rigorous, and there are several people on staff whose job it is, simply, to travel to the bakeries and check on the quality. (Who wouldn’t want that job—tasting fresh bread and French pastries for a living?)
The recipe for Kayser’s success is simple: Everything tastes so good! “Presentation is one thing,” says Kaiser, “but taste is most important. I am a lucky man,” he continues. “I travel a lot, I teach a lot and I learn a lot, every day.”
Pain Complet au Quinoa & Raisins Recipe
Makes 1 loaf of bread
3.5 ounces white flour
1.5 ounces whole wheat flour
0.2 ounces salt
1 ounce fresh yeast
3.5 ounces water
0.2 ounces honey
1 ounce red quinoa
0.5 ounce flax seeds
1 ounce water
Roast flax seeds in the oven for 15 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roast quinoa seeds in the oven for 5 minutes at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the quinoa in boiling water, cook for 15 minutes.
After quinoa has cooked, add flax seeds.
Cover and let cool.
Mix all bred ingredients in a mixing bowl, starting with a slow speed for 4 minutes and then high speed for 7 minutes.
Add quinoa mix and continue mixing for 1 minute
Let the dough rest for 1 hour.
Remove dough from the mixing bowl and shape into a round.
Cover dough and let rise for an additional hour.
Place dough on a sheet pan and place it in the fridge overnight.
Preheat oven to 480 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove dough from fridge.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Turn oven off and let bread stand in oven for 25 minutes.
Remove bread from oven and let cool.
Recipe from The Larousse Book of Bread (Phaidon) by Eric Kayser