Max Poilane Bakery: French Bread at its Finest
Max Poilane is nominated for a Luxist Award in the Best Bread Bakery category. It all started more than 70 years ago when Pierre-Léon Poilane, Max Poilane's father, moved to Paris from Normandy and started a bakery. Contrasting with France's famous fluffy white French loaves, the Poilane bakery brought a signature miche, or sourdough loaf made from stone-milled gray flour that makes for richer, more nutritious baked goods that last longer (up to a week in some cases).
The Max Poilane Bakery, as it is today, came to be many years later (in the 1960s) when Max and his brother Lionel had a falling out and Max Poilane left the family business to start his own bakery on the other side of town. Tensions ran high over the following years and even included a lawsuit over legal rights to the name 'Poilane' (the courts ruled Max Poilane had the right to use his own name). Emotions are still tense today but the Max Poilane Bakery continues to put out delicious baked goods made in a very simple, artisanal way that holds true to family tradition.
The bakery is famous mostly for its fresh bread, although it does offer pastries and other baked goods as well. So next time you're in Paris you could do well to stop by and pick up some of their 'pain,' if just for the experience. Also, there's a fascinating video on YouTube showing how the bakery's famous bread is made.
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