Every year, with the help of the French community, Rodolfo Saez organizes a food fair for Independence Day and offers French bread and pastries to Argentinians. He learned his job by observing his father in the family bakery. We asked him about his passion.
Could you describe your bakery ? How do you make bread ?
I am La Panaderia Francesa’s owner, an artisanal bakery. I create my own recipes and deal with customers. I make artisanal bread, with sourdough, a double fermentation. I don’t use any additives nor preservatives.
Where does the name of your bakery come from ?
My grandfather lived in a small village called Goyena – populated with migrants from Majorca – close to Pigue a city of French migrants. After the death of my grandfather, my father decided to live in Tres Arroyos and bought an old bakery called « La Francesa ». My maternal grandfather was from the same village, he was French and his name was Meunier. This is where the name « La Francesa » comes from.
Where does this passion for bread come from ?
This passion for bread comes from my father. I remember him when he was so concerned with guaranteeing the quality of the bread. I remember he took the bread to check if it was crispy, he smelled it and at the end, he smiled because the bread was perfect.
What is your function in this family bakery ?
I am from the third generation of this bakery, I grew up in this environment. I make products, I supervise, I deal with customers and make sure that products are perfect every day.
What is the most important value your bakery has conveyed from one generation to another ?
The most important value is our family history of breadmaking tradition and the fact a customer knows he is buying a rich and fresh product made with passion.
How were you trained ? What other kind of bakery would you like to try ?
I was only trained by my family. When I was a child, I used to look at my father kneading and then, I did it myself. It was like a game. I also learned how to make pastries with an excellent pastry chef who worked at La Panaderia Francesa. Later, I read books and other sources of information on my own.
I have already tried to work with flours of different cereals, with wholemeal flour and organic flours but I would like to improve myself in making French pastries.
What are you most passionate about in the bakery field ?
I am thrilled when the bread is good and made just as I imagined it. It has to be irresistible, attractive and good. For all these reasons, every day is a new challenge.
What has this profession brought to you personally ?
I have been kneading for several years. Now that I am back in my hometown and that I have a family, I wish I could share my passion with my sons as my parents shared it with me.
What kind of bread do you make ?
I make very diversified breads with all purpose flour, migñon, baguette, farmhouse bread, to the galleta de trincha. I also offer Arabic bread and breads with wheat, flax, chia, wheat germ, rye, rye and plums and nuts but also bran wholemeal flour. Moreover, I make bread from organic whole wheat flour and whole rye flour. I make pumpernickel, coca de pan, lavender bread and the last one is the triticale wholemeal bread.
What are your customers’ favorite products ?
My customers love wholemeal bread with flax, chia and sunflower seeds. They are also fond of whole wheat bread with rye flour, rye bread with dried grapes or plums and nuts or farmhouse bread.