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Apr 23, 2009 03:57 PM

Light & Crispy Paris-Style Baguettes in Toronto?

I was in Paris many years ago and LOVED the type of baguettes they had everywhere there - fluffy inside with a nice crispy crust.

Most of the baguettes I've had in Toronto are more like a long loaf of bread with heavy doughy bread inside. I like Ace baguettes but to me they really fall into the "loaf of bread" category.


Does anyone know where I can get "Paris style" baguettes in Toronto?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. Though I'm not a huge fan of his restaurants, I've heard from friends that Thuet's baguettes are pretty good (I'm unable to sample them myself).

    1 Reply
    1. re: tjr

      Just got a baguette from Thuet's today, very crispy crust and soft fluffy inside... the best baguette I have had in a long time. MajorSlick I think this is where you want start your search for your baguette.

    2. the closest i've had are Fred's baguetes
      better than ace or any other boutique baguette

      4 Replies
      1. re: CoffeeAddict416

        ditto find Freds to be much better for their baguettes over ACE
        Also for a crispy outside and soft fluffy inside, the pale .99cent storebrand baguettes that come in the clear plastic thrown into the over for a few mins might do the trick, I have found they crust doesn't go 'soft' as ACE or Fred's tends to.

        Every time i try to grab some bread from thuet's they are out of baguettes (unless you get a sandwich) but in general all the loaf breads I have gotten from them have been top notch i am sure this holds true for their baguettes.

        On a side note, I don't know they exact term.
        but while in Belgium and france I had narrow shorter baguettes they use to make lunch sandwiches. does anyone know were I can source some baguettes like this? (they are about half the width of a 'standard' (ace/freds/storebrand) baguettes and perfect for lunch time. very similar (but more crispy) to the long narrow bread they use for some sandwiches @ le gourmand

        1. re: flying101

          Jules on Mt. Pleasant has a shorter/thinner version baguette, as well as regular sized one. I prefer the multigrain one, which is a bit more dense.

          1. re: flying101

            You may be describing the shape known as the ficelle. It is literally translated from the french as 'string'. I know ACE use to make this shape in there white baguette dough many years ago. They may still. The last time I saw this shape in Toronto was when I purchased Bonjour Brioche's Roast Beef Sandwich a couple years back.
            Hope this helps.

            1. re: CheddarCheese

              The main ACE bakery up in the Lawrence and Keele area still sells the ficelles. Luv them but unfortunately they're not available in many places.

          1. re: wontonfm

            I frequent Thobor all the time (just bought two loafs today on my way to get some fish n chips for lunch)

            there baguettes are shorter, but not very crusty on the outside. still tasty.

            1. re: acd123

              I diagree. Great pastries, but not very good baguettes. Alas, as far as I know, there are no Parisian baguettes in Toronto. President's Choice makes one that is not bad, as does DT Bistro.

              Dessert Trends
              154 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S, CA

              1. re: toveggiegirl

                Uh, not sure what you are talking about but there are several bakeries in Toronto that do a competent baguette.

                Thobors, Jules, La Cigogne to name just a few...

                1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                  I agree that the bakeries above are excellent, but I find that there is a bit more of a chew to the crumb. For the style of baguette that the OP is looking for, I think Rahier may be a better bet. The crust is crisp, but not thick and the crumb is very light and fluffy.

                  It's not my personal preference; I think Thobors' baguettes are superior.

                  1586 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M4G, CA

                  1. re: sloweater

                    I find it weird when people post about "Parisian" style baguettes-the ones I had in Paris vary [stylistically] all over the map!

                    Thobors sesame seed baguette may be more to the OP's preference-it is crispier and lighter than the regular version.

                    1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                      I agree! When I lived in Paris I found that the baguettes varied enough between patisseries... and don't even get me started about the baguettes at the supermarket!


              2. re: acd123

                someone else mentioned pain perdu as hit and miss but it used to be a hit always with me... well it's been a few months and i picked up on yesterday and it looked awful!

                very smooth not so crusty exterior and tiny tiny bubbles inside only. it's quite dense... any idea what's up?

                1. re: pinstripeprincess

                  I don't know -- I've been trying to like their baguette for a couple of years with no luck (they are right around the corner from me so it's convenient). Somehow they sell out by the end of the day. I don't know how. It's really quite terrible baguette and given how great their other pastries are...well, it is perplexing.

                  1. re: Arcadiaseeker

                    my experience with them had always been a good crisp exterior, nice large bubbles on the inside with a slightly chewy interior but really good flavour that always seemed a bit buttery to me in richness but could find no other words to describe it as there's definitely no butter. plus a nice tang of salt and yeast.

                    i would eat nearly a whole baguette in the car as we left... i don't know what's going on with the last one i picked up. i would certainly not call them terrible but perhaps this is the consistency one person alluded too as i'm not often in the area.

                    1. re: pinstripeprincess


                      Based on your description of the ultimate baguette, I think you would enjoy the house made baguettes at Tati Bistro on Harbord. Don't know if its your kind of place but I think you will like the bread. If you try it, please report back.


                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                        my ultimate baguette style bread in a restaurant thus far is batifole... any direct comparisons with tati and them? just out of curiousity.... though sometimes i've had batifole do a bang up job of burning the crap out of it so it's not always perfect there.

                        thanks so much for the suggestion either way. i've been curious about tati (the one time i tried to go they had a private party) and good tasty bread is always a draw. maybe chabichou (tati owns this right?) might have it regularly available for home use..... ah! it's worth the bike ride to find out.

                        1. re: pinstripeprincess

                          Its been a long, long time since I went to Batifole (now coming on 2 years) so I can't do a direct comparison unfortunately. I've never had burnt bread at Tati.

                          The food is solid at Tati but they suffer from service issues when its really busy. If Sahara is there, things seem smoother. It can also get extremely noisy-that doesn't bother me (as long as I'm in the mood for noisy), but I know some people have complained about it on CH. Some of the better dishes I've had there include the Pickerel Meuniere and the rabbit.

                          Yes, the chef at Tati (Laurent) owns Chabichou. Unfortunately, I've not tried it yet even though its literally a hop away from me-I'm quite loyal to Nancy's Cheese on Dupont. Its possible that he carries his baguettes there-your best bet is to call.


                          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                            The baguette at Chabichou, as well as the various pastries, are from Jules on Mount Pleasant. Does this mean Tati's is also? Not sure.

                            Despite your loyalty to the other place, you should give then a try. They also carry house made sausages (merguez, andouillettes, boudins, etc.) and sell some prepared foods (large mason jar of fish soup for $8). And state of the art grilled cheese.

                            1. re: Snarf

                              Oh-well that's good to know-they told me that the baguette was "house made" at Tati, so I'm not sure if that means their own recipe or perhaps they purchase the dough from Jules and then bake it in house? Thinking about it now, it did have a similar texture/flavour to the baguettes I've had at Jules.

                              I will give Chabichou a try-thanks Snarf.

                              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                                so i just picked up a baguette from chabichou and if they're the same as jules then that's good to know... i don't think i've ever picked up a baguette from jules.

                                but.... while the crust was exceptional (good crunch with reasonable shattering, salty, sweet, rich) the interior was very disappointing. it lacked in elasticity and had a fairly tight crumb with only a couple small bubbles here or there. it was sweet and not much else and the softness was a bit reminiscent of typical white bread. i would be happy to eat those crusts any day and scoop out the center.

                2. Ma Maison on Dundas St in etobicoke

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Love it Spicy

                    love ma maison!

                    we came back from paris addicted to baguettes and french pastries. we go to MM to get our usual fix. definitely the closest we've found to paris!


                    1. re: lilaki

                      Does Ma Maison have a cafe area? My sis in law is from France and it would an awesome experience to take her here for breakfast.