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May 19, 2013 01:11 AM

Poilâne bread

Is Poilâne bread only sold in their own shops? If sold elsewhere, suggestions. We will be staying in the vicinity of George V metro stop.

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  1. Many Monoprix stores sell sliced Poilane bread. You might also find it in G7 groceries. Unsliced loaves are available in Poilane shops. Just so you know, there are two "versions", made by two brothers: Poilane and Max Poilane. I can't find any real difference between the two.

    1 Reply
    1. re: manouche

      Yet there is a vast difference between the sliced supermarket polaine and the pieces cut from the whole loaf in the shops. If this bread floats you bat it's worth buying fresh from the bakery rather than pre-cut from the supermarkets.

    2. l find a vast difference between the shops of the old warring brothers. The 'Poilane' in fame and glory and IMHO justified is the late Lionel who has three shops , Rue Cherche-Midi, Blvd Grenelle, and Rue Debelletmy
      As PhilD mentions you can get the slices in plastic bags in many groceries, always the little Carrefours. Once the bread goes into a plastic bag, as cheese, it is dead.Gets stale and most important loses the bite to its crust. l travel from the far reaches of the 11th to Rue Cherche-Midi for mine. l ask for 'bien cuit' or well-cooked as l like a crust that will take your fillings out.
      There are always samples of the excellent sugar cookies as well.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        But, D, don't you have breads you prefer to suggest?

        1. re: mangeur

          Actually now that l can get the very well done loaves, it is on my rotation of favs, Du Pain des Idees, Landemaine, Grenier du Pain, and some others.

        2. re: Delucacheesemonger

          dlc- agree with "sliced is death", but you must admit that even dead Poilane from either brother is far superior to the bread many non-Parisians can find at home, non?

          1. re: manouche

            "but you must admit that even dead Poilane from either brother is far superior to the bread many non-Parisians can find at home, non?"

            I think it must be a function of time, when you pick up your loaf. I have yet to sample a Poilane loaf that I wouldn't swap for a fresh loaf at home. What is touted as Poilane in sandwich or at table in Paris is or can be quite sad.

            1. re: mangeur

              Poilâne bread is a strange thing. It was the cat's pajamas back in the 60s and 70s, and rightly famous. Something happened in the meantime and now it is frankly below the quality level of any decent levain bread that can be bought anywhere in France. It also dries up too fast, which is weird for a sourdough bread.

              1. re: Ptipois

                Mark the Kayser cereales as my favorite. Worth a metro trek for.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  My first time having it in the mid-80s was disappointing -- dry and not at all moreish. Pain des Amis or, even better, for me, the levain from Veronique Mauclerc are far superior.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    It sure was the 'cat's pajamas' in Paris back the 70's when just about every cafe has a sign stating sandwiches made with Poliane bread is an extra 10 centime. I don't know if the quality of their levain bread has changed as much as the quality of bread in Paris is so much better now than back then.

              2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                "l find a vast difference between the shops of the old warring brothers."
                Not to mention that one brother is indeed dead, leaving aside the sliced bread.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  His daughter is now running the show, non?

                  1. re: ChefJune

                    Exactly, Apollonia, there was a nice article in the New Yorker about her transition from Cambridge Mass to Paris bread-making.

              3. I've gotten it at Monoprix, but if you're asking, you'd probably find it worthwhile to go to the shop. It's better, as others have said, plus the experience is worth it.
                Also get a slice of the custard tart if they have it!

                1. Bread in plastic bags is ruined as far as I am concerned. There are too many excellent bakeries all around Paris where a wonderful crusty fresh loaf can be picked up to settle for bread sitting in a plastic bag on a grocery shelf.

                  Eric Kayser's is really good and fresh too.