Gérard MIRAVO has been a baker for twenty years, and was kind enough to invite me to a discovery course of his work methods.
The power is cut between 4 and 9 AM in Mahavelo, this village of Saint-Marie, so Gérard has to make his bread using only his oven’s and a few candle’s light
The oven has been hand-built by Gérard, who has chosen hardened clay bricks over more efficient, but overpriced firebricks. However, the heatup time is shortened.
Gérard makes only half baguettes
The pastry is made with 60% hydration, and 0.051 oz of dried yeast (saccaromyce cervesae) per lb of flour. He has chosen Egyptian imported flour because it’s compliant with the coastal climate of Sainte Marie.
Because of the small size of the baguettes, and the weak heating power of the bricks, the baking has to be done not only with the oven opened, but also with the fireplace lit. This is quite unusual, and fairly different from anything I’ve seen before!
Yet, this allows continuous baking, like what you could see in a traditional pizzeria, while a dozen of items can be baked together.
When at dawn we finally discovered the full structure of the bakery’s laboratory, we noticed it was perfectly embodying the local spirit
The first baguettes barely baked, the customers are rushing to the shop
Baguettes weight 5.29oz. Gérard makes 250 units per day
Many thanks to the MIRAVO family for sharing bread & breakfast with me, for their friendly and warm welcoming !
In Madagascar, as in many other countries, the most common bread is mass-produced in an industrial way, quite opposed to Gérard’s method. This man is a purist, and we were very lucky to meet him.