Where to Find Handmade Croissants in Paris
One of the best things about traveling to Paris is eating fresh croissants or pain au chocolat each morning. While you may have visions of some fabulous artisan baker waking up at 3am to have the fresh croissants ready by the time the bakery opens, did you know that the vast majority of bakeries in Paris simply bake up some frozen croissants?
For most modern day bakeries in Paris, buying pre-made, frozen croissants is so much easier because not only are artisan bakers hard to find, but croissants are incredibly labor intensive, taking anywhere from one to three days to make a batch. And it doesn’t help that the price of butter has skyrocketed lately in France, not to mention sometimes hard to come by.
There are a few exceptions, however. During my pastry class at La Cuisine Paris, I learned about a handful of bakeries that make their croissants from scratch each day. The resident bakers at these boulangeries and patisseries have been classified as Meilleur Ouvrier de France or MOF for short. Recognition as a MOF for a certain profession requires hours of preparation and the ability to pass a series of demanding tests. These bakers are the best of the best.
So, next time you are in Paris and want to taste a fresh croissant baked from scratch, head to one of these bakeries.
Farine & O
Located in the 11th arrondissement, Farine & O (which stands for flour and water when translated into English) was started by MOF pâtissier Olivier Magne. This boulangerie/pâtisserie is well known for their quality bread as well as pastries.
This combination boulangerie/pâtisserie is run by Sébastien Mauvieux, winner of the Best Baguette in Paris award in 2012 and a boulanger MOF himself. Located at the base of Montmarte, the bakery now cranks out up to 300 traditional baguettes every day. But behind this boulanger lurks a trained pâtissier who also makes buttery, flaky croissants to die for.
Des Gâteaux et du Pain
This exquisite pâtisserie/boulangerie is the creative outlet for Claire Damon, one of Paris’ only female pâtissiers. Claire trained alongside Pierre Hermé at Ladurée for six years and work at Plaza Athénée before opening her own shop in 2006. This year she won the Relais Desserts Prix d’Excellence for boutique pastry chef.
Let me know what you think when you try one of the croissants from these three pâtisseries!