Thursday, January 13, 2011

Senegalese Baker Makes the Best Baguette in Paris

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Since March 2010, Senegalese baker Djibril Bodian of Au Grenier à Pain has enjoyed the honor of being the baker of the best baguette in Paris. Among the 163 candidates who entered the 15th edition of the competition organized by the Mairie de Paris, he emerged victorious in that year’s contest. He won a 4,000€ prize and the distinction of supplying the Elysée Palace (home of the French president) with baguettes for a year.

Djibril Bodian
© Discover Paris!

First Prize for Paris’ Best Traditional Baguette
© Discover Paris!

Bodian arrived in Paris from Senegal at the age of six. He learned to appreciate the baking trade from his father, who is also in the field. While playing at his father’s workplace after school, he developed a love for the aromas of baked products and for the art of transforming the simple ingredients that comprise dough into delectable breads and pastries. He went on to obtain certificates in baking and pastry making, and has been a professional baker for the past twelve years. He is no stranger to the Best Baguette in Paris competition, having entered for the past several years and placed among the top five runners-up each year.

Bodian’s baguette was selected because it had the thinnest, crunchiest crust, the most fragrant aroma of wheat (not masked by excess salt), and the most beautiful honeycombed interior. During an interview with Le Parisien, he stated that the secret to his success is simply to follow the recipe and avoid taking shortcuts to save time. He said that one also has to know how to let the dough rise.

Baguette varieties and ficelles
© Discover Paris!

Bodian is currently director of Au Grenier du Pain at 38, rue des Abbesses in the 18th arrondissement, where he leads an impressive team of bakers, pastry makers, apprentices, and salespeople. The bakery produces roughly 1,900 baguettes every Sunday.

Chalkboard displaying the names of the members of Bodian’s team
© Discover Paris!

Au Grenier du Pain
38, rue des Abbesses
75018 Paris
Tel: 01 46 06 41 81
Metro: Abbesses (line 12), Blanche (line 2)
Hours: Thursday through Monday 7:30 AM to 8 PM


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