Once upon a time, I declared a woman with the right baguette can conquer the world and then I generalized the happiest girls eat bread. My love affair with carbs is a not-so-secret one. (You, too?!) With low-carb diets running amuck, I think it's time we stop being ashamed of this important relationship and start owning it. In moderation, of courseee.
I've eaten my lion's share and there were a few things I picked up while in Paris, but I don't think there's a perfect baguette. Just like cookies, there are different types for different people. Some like chewy centers while others are keen to the light and airy variety. Here are my top five picks in no particular order. So, come this weekend, when you #treatyoself, choose wisely and make it count!
- Tartine - Not only is the center perfectly chewy, the soft crust makes this baguette great for sandwiches. It also tastes great at room temperature for times when you need something heartier than a granola bar to snack on.
- Bellegarde Bakery - With a hard crust and airy center, this baguette is best served heated or as toast. Hi-Volt Coffee makes a beautiful poached eggs and toast breakfast with these baguettes. There's no physical bakery, but you can grab the baguettes and other Bellegarde breads at Keife & Co. or St. James Cheese.
- Breads on Oak - Shorter than the standard size with a dense center and a crust that's nicely sturdy (won't cut your lips when you bite into it). Similar to Bellegarde and best served warm.
- Gracious Bakery - Sourdough baguettes are technically not considered real baguettes because there are more than four ingredients (flour, water, salt, yeast), but the sourdough flavor combined with the classic chewy texture is just delicious.
- La Boulangerie - A pioneer in New Orleans bread bakeries for good reason - their baguettes most resemble Parisian baguettes! A tender crust with a slightly dense but airy center. Just heavenly with a few dabs of butter and a latte.