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I took it upon myself to test the baguettes in this city that had been titled Le Meilleur Baguette de Paris. The award, includes not only a 4,000€ prize, but the prestige of being the official baker to the President of France for one year. I had already tried the winner of the award in 2007 and so I did a taste test of the last 5 years.

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Qualifications:
A baguette de tradition (different than a regular baguette)
1. Only be comprised of 4 ingredients:
a. Water
b. Yeast
c. Wheat Flour
d. Salt

2. It must be 55cm to 65cm in length.
3. It can only weigh between 250-300 grams.

Any variation from these standards resulted in instant disqualification.

These were the boulangeries:

1. 2008: Au Duc de la Chapelle
2. 2009: Le Grenier de Felix
3. 2010: Le Grenier à Pain
4. 2011: Au Levain d’Antan
5. 2012: Boulangerie Maurieux

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As you can see, 4 of the boulangeries were in the same area. That particular arrondissement was the 18th. For those who are familiar with the area, you should know that I walked everywhere and earned each bite of this bread. If you are unfamiliar with Montmartre, it is steep inclines, staircases, oh, and cobblestoned streets. Nevertheless, the work had to be done. 🙂

Once I had rounded up all of my demi baguettes de tradition, I put them through rigorous testing. 🙂

First, Packaging:

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Second, appearance. Should have a golden crusty exterior.

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Third, the slice test. Each should bounce back. Also, this allows for viewing of the interiors. If there aren’t a lot of holes in the bread, it means it wasn’t allowed enough time to rise.

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Fourth, the taste test of each slice.

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Fifth, with butter. I am not a butter person as you all know. However, this butter, le Beurre Bordier has fleur de sel in it, is from Bretagne, and I don’t know what I will do without it. I never put butter on bread, or anything for that matter. Help!

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Sixth, I put some Boursin on each bite that was left, and had a glass of wine. 🙂

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After all the tasting, and comparing, I really believe that the winner in 2010, Le Grenier à Pain, was my favorite. This years winner, Boulangerie Maurieux was wonderful as well. (really, all were great) They both had the sourdough type of flavor, and really great crust, but not too dry. I just felt that Le Grenier à Pain had the best of everything, in every category.

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So there you have it. 🙂 Thanks for following my bread crumb trails. It took most of the day, and the total cost was 2 metro tickets, and 5 demi baguettes, total cost: 6,31€. Totally worth it.

And do not worry, none of it was wasted. I have made baguette sandwiches, crostini, pain perdu, morning toast with confiture, as well as an accompaniment to all non-bread based meals. 🙂

1. 2008: Au Duc de la Chapelle
32 rue du Tristan Tzara
Metro: (12) Marx Dormoy

2. 2009: Le Grenier de Felix
64 Avenue Félix Faure
Metro: (8) Boucicaut

3. 2010: Le Grenier à Pain
38 rue des Abbesses
Metro: (12) Abbesses

4. 2011: Au Levain d’Antan
6 rue des Abbesses
Metro: (12) Abbesses

5. 2012: Boulangerie Maurieux
159 rue Ordener
Metro: (12) Jules Joffrin

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