My Gîte and a Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

The peripatetic Peter Zimmerman continues to make his way through the north country, from which he sends this illustrated bulletin. Thanks Pete!

MARGUERITE MARGO – no relation to Brigette Bardot – is a baking fool (writes Peter).


I met her after exiting the highway to take a breather and stumbling onto her boulangerie (bakery) in the small village of Saint-Gédéon, Quebec, along the river Chauvières, not far from the Maine border.

st gedeon map

In this small area of Quebec, Le Beauce, there are more than a dozen towns named after saint this and saint that, all quite obscure: St-Robert-Bellamin, St-Georges, St-Martin, St-Ludger, St-Honore, St-Sebastien, St-Hilaire-de-Dorset, St-Romain, St-Cecile-de-Whitton, and St-Samuel-Station.

“My town,” St- Gédéon, is 96% Roman Catholic, 3% Atheist (!) and 1% Protestant. St-Gédéon was the 13th bishop of Besancon, France. He served six years and died in 796. His feast day is August 8.

Here is the church of St- Gédéon.

st gedeon church

Louis Hémon wrote the first draft of Maria Chapdelaine while staying in Saint-Gédéon in 1912.

What I didn’t notice at first about the boulangerie is that it’s also a gîte (bed and breakfast).

my gite

I was tired and ended up spending two days and nights there.

Turks cap or bellingham lilies flourished in the front yard of my gîte.


Every time I came downstairs, Marguerite was bustling around the kitchen, baking something new.

marg bread

Sometimes hidden.


I bought a liter of blueberries and she is making two little blueberry pies just for moi!

pie baking

The first step is “biling” the berries.


She laid it in a crust.


Out of the oven.

pie next to plate blueberry pie cut

But where did all those baked goods go?

At the end of my visit, I found out that she sells her goodies at a nearby campground, where everything is snapped up like hotcakes, so to speak.


While she was off making her delivery, before I departed, I baked her a loaf of my whole wheat-flax bread. 😉

whole wheat flax bread

Although Marguerite knows very little English and I only know a few French words, we speak the universal language of pain.

Meme si Marguerite connait tres peu la langue Anglaise et moi quelques mots Francais. Nous parlons la langue universelle du pain.


Pete’s Whole Wheat-Flax Bread Recipe

take out 2-3 T. yeast from refrigerator and wait 15-30 minutes until room temperature

add 2 T. honey and 1 tsp. salt or to taste, then 2 T. oil, 2 T. flax meal and 1/4 cup wheat bran

mix well (but gently)

add 1/2 unbleached white flour and 1/2 whole wheat (approx. 3-4 cups of each), mix and knead

after you’ve added the flours, you need to keep adding lukewarm water a little at a time until you have the right consistency

then before you let it rise, dust the dough lightly with flour

let rise 30-60 minutes, fold into oiled bread pan

bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top

let cool on warm stovetop for 30 minutes

turn onto baking rack.

best toasted and topped with unsalted butter

for lighter bread, add 1 cup wheat bran to step 2


Filed under Cooking, Culture, History, Home, Jean Zimmerman, Nature, Photography, Writers

5 responses to “My Gîte and a Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

  1. Andy

    Nice, Peter. Québec, je me souviens……


    More please. Toasted. No garlic. Salted butter. (And a little bit of cinnamon sugar on top… 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    P.S. Or try Czech garlic bread. Toast bread until crispy, spread with butter, and “grate” raw garlic on the toast. The Czechs eat their topinka right before bedtime!

  4. Gil Reavill

    My mouth is watering…

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