Grand Prix for the Best Baguette in Paris:
Baguette is serious business in Paris, and France for that matter, and each year, in the quest for finding the best baguette in Paris, all Parisian bakers are invited to compete in the Grand Prix for the Best Baguette.
Qualities of a Good Baguette
According to the industry body, the best baguette must have these qualities:
- It must be between 55 to 65 cm
- Weighs between 250 and 300 grams
- Salt content must be 18 gms per kilo of flour
- The sticks of baguette are then judged for their taste, smell and appearance
The dough of the baguette is set by French law.
Best Baguette Grand Prix 2013
Getting the baguette recipe right is no easy matter. Of the 203 sticks of baguette baked for the 2013 competition, 52 were eliminated due to failure to meet the size and weight criteria. For the 19th edition, the jury, made up of members of the profession and catering sector, selected Ridha Khadher, the baker from the bakery In Paradise Gourmand on 156 rue Losserand in the 14th arrondissement.
Best Baguette Judges
The 2011 winner, Pascal Barillon, a baker in the 18th arrondissement, was one of the judges in this 19th edition of the Grand Prix for the Best Baguette.
One of the pleasures of living in Paris is being able to get fresh bread in the morning as there are plenty of boulangers in each district. If you’re staying in the 18th arrondissement, this district seems to have a strong tradition of baking champion baguettes as five out of seven recent Grand Prix winners have come from this suburb. In addition to the winner, there were also a couple of 18th arrondissement bakers in the top ten baguette winners.
Of course great baguettes can be bought from many bakeries in Paris and in the Marais district where we are, we’ve been enjoying some really great baguettes from the local boulangerie - Aux Desirs de Manon at 129 rue Saint-Antoine is one of my favourites. But if you want to taste baguettes from champion bakers, these are some of the past winners:
- 2012 Boulangerie, 159 rue Ordener, 75018 (Baker – Sébastien Mauvieux)
- 2011 Au Levain d’Antan, 6 rue des Abbesses, 75018 (Baker – Pascal Barillon)
If you want to learn how to make the classic French baguette and croissants from an expert Parisian baker, you can get hands-on experience from the two-hour long Baguette and Croissant Workshop.