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Paris - French Loaf (Pan Antique)           

In 1788, speculation in the French Revolution movement, storage and sale of grains combined with adverse weather conditions led to a severe bread shortage throughout France.

Prices for this staple increased beyond affordability, especially for the poor and peasant classes. While the rich had plenty of fine bread made from pure white flour, the poor either starved or subsisted on an inferior product.

Mass starvation eventually provoked revolution. The storming of the Bastille was more a call for bread than it was an uprising to free enemies of the crown. The people cried out for bread and searched the bakeries to no avail. There was no bread.

Once calm was restored, the constituent assembly authorized bakers to make only one kind of bread - "bread of equality " (pain d' egalite). White flours were banned and rationing was introduced.

After Napoleon seized power, he was determined not to make the same mistakes made by his predecessors. He established standards for French bread, specifying ingredients and baking methods.

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