Update: I just opened a bakery in Baywood Park, a small town on the coast, just south of Morro Bay. For more information about my central coast operations, please visit the bakery's facebook page. I'm still baking bread for all my L.A. customers, as well.
Also, I was recently named one of the Ten Best Bread Bakers in the U.S. You can read all about it here.
Hi, I’m Mark Stambler, and I’m the baker behind Pagnol Boulanger. I named my company after the renowned French writer and director Marcel Pagnol, whose stories of village life in the south of France in the early 20th century have captured the culinary imagination of certain parts of California.
I employ traditional French methods to make my breads, doing most all the work by hand. I use distilled water, sea salt, organic grains and flour, and wild yeast. I mill all my organic whole-grain flour right before I bake with it, the best way to retain the flavor of the grain.
In January 2013, I became the first person in Los Angeles County (and probably in all of California) to be legally allowed to sell homemade food.
After being busted by the LA County Health Department in 2011 for selling my homemade bread, I worked with the Sustainable Economies Law Center and Assemblyman Mike Gatto to pass the California Homemade Food Act, which is now California's cottage food law. As a result, I now proudly make my bread in my home kitchen in the County of Los Angeles under Health Department permit number 194151.
A Long Tradition
I’ve been baking bread at home (for family and friends) for about 40 years, focusing on what’s essential to good bread: ingredients, time, heat, and skill. I use the classic French method, travail sur trois levains, for making my naturally leavened bread. This is a process that takes approximately 36 hours to fully develop the flavors.
My bread won the blue ribbon at the California State Fair in 2006 and at the Los Angeles County Fair in 2005. It has evolved since then, however.
My Bread Today
I currently make four kinds of bread:
Pain Levain - 30% organic whole grain flour (a mix of wheats, spelt, and rye, which I mill into flour myself on my stone mill); 70% Central Milling Organic Artisan Bakers Craft (ABC) wheat flour; distilled water; sea salt; wild yeast. Baked as a batard.
Sourdough Rye - 40% organic whole rye flour (which I mill into flour myself); 60% ABC flour; distilled water; caraway seeds; sea salt; wild yeast. Baked as a boule.
Miche Pointe-a-Calliere - Based on a recipe the French settlers brought with them to Quebec in the 17th century. my miche is 70% whole grain flour (two wheats, including hard red spring wheat, hard red winter wheat, spelt, and rye, which I mill into flour on my Fidibus stone mill), 30% ABC flour, distilled water, sea salt, and wild yeast. Normally it's baked in huge rounds, but I'm baking "mini-miches" as boules.
The Sonora Loaf - My latest loaf, baked with Sonora wheat, the oldest variety grown in California, brought from Mexico in the 18th century. While 50% whole grain, it has the appearance of white bread: Sonora is a white wheat, with a white hull, it mills into a pale golden flour.
If you’d like to find out more about me and my bread, check out these links:
NPR's Dinner Party Download
Food and Wine
Wall Street Journal
The California Report
The Los Feliz Ledger
USC Annenberg News
The Tasting Table
People have told me it's the best bread they've ever eaten. I hope you'll try it.
I also wholeheartedly support the Real Bread Campaign.