We arrive at noon. The Wee Boulangerie has a long queue of people eager to buy their bread for the weekend, queuing out of the door. One chap Phil, is waxing lyrical. “I love this bread, the crust is so impossibly crusty. I buy this each week”. He is clutching a Pain de Campagne, a country bread.
A customer asks for a quarter from the large, very slow matured and baked loaf. “It lasts so well, due to the way it is made”. Katia owner and master baker, cuts a slice of a long multiseed loaf and suggests we try it. The taste is subtle, tasty. “This is a great loaf, but my favourite is the Country Bread. My family eat a lot of it. I love the pure and simple recipes”.
There’s a huge sense of passion, of love for bread in the air.
Located in a residential area, the bakery can only start baking from 6 am. No proving cabinets are used, so the dough just matures slowly and takes its time. Consequently, baguettes are baked later in the day and are ready just in time for lunch together with the sour doughs and white breads. Country breads are ready earlier around 9:30 am.
It’s a lovely light space, you can just see into the bakery behind the counter which is groaning with bread of all shapes and sizes. Here things are done properly, bread is wrapped in paper, macarons are placed in boxes and tied with decorative string, just as you would find in France. There’s respect for the ingredients.
On the counter itself, today there’s a foccacia stuffed with vegetables, brioche buns, fougasses (a stuffed bread from Provence) and to the right there are four flavours of macarons beautifully displayed. Katia also makes the most amazing nougat. “The very best you can find in Edinburgh, in Scotland “. You might also find almond croissants, savoury twists and biscuits. “It depends how creative the baker is feeling”, quips Katia smiling. If you’re lucky you can sit at one of the two tables and enjoy a coffee with your bread. Soup from Union of Genius is also served.
Katia Lebart ow,nee Boulangerie has not always been a baker. She followed her passion and swapping signal processing for creation of wonderful artisan loaves (wise move). She trained at the renowned bakery school in Aurillac, France before gaining experience in France and here in Edinburgh at Peter’s Yard. She recently represented Edinburgh in ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery programme on of 60 bakeries from across the United Kingdom that participated.
The Wee Boulangerie
The bakery is open 7 days: 9am-6pm Mondays – Saturdays; 9.30am – 3pm Sundays
The Wee Boulangerie
67 Clerk St.
Edinburgh EH8 9JG
+44 131 629 3134
Photographs in this post are copyright Brendan MacNeill