The Good News and…The Good News


I have two bits of good news that are going to make you very, very happy. Okay, they make me happy. You, on the other hand, might not give a rat’s derrière.

One is that the bakery that makes the sesame baguette is going to stay open for an indeterminate amount of time. That means that I won’t be cut off from my Crack Baguette. What that does mean is that I’m going to delete the post where I gave out the address and I want all of you out there to clear out your cache, trash your bookmarks, then delete your hard drive, and forget you ever heard of the place. Thanks.

Another tranche of good news is that I recently revisited a bakery that’s really out of the way, which I never would have found had it not been for a tip-off by Clotilde. Good, sturdy grainy breads aren’t as common here as baguettes and other crusty loaves.

And as much as I like those breads, I am always on the lookout for loaves that are hearty, heavy, and loaded down with almost too-many seeds and grains.


So the other day, I made a trip to La boulangerie Voiriot, where I hadn’t been in ages. Like the sesame baguette bakery, it ain’t Ladurée. There’s no angels dancing on the ceiling, no chandeliers, and almost no place to poke around. It’s tiny, and there’s usually a line of people who work or live nearby waiting for their daily bread. If you don’t know what you want when it’s your turn at the counter, the person behind you is going to prod you aside and step into your coveted spot. It’s In-and-Out, Paris-style.

pain norlander slices

Because I’m here to help, step up and ask for Pain Nordländer. It’s a compact, little loaf, riddled with all sorts of grainy goodness, including dark rye and sunflower seeds. There’s one with dried fruit mixed in, but I’m a fan of nature. No, that doesn’t mean I’m a naturiste*, it means I like mine ‘plain’. They’ll hand you a paper-wrapped loaf, then you pay up and head for the door. It’s all good.

La boulangerie Voiriot
61, rue de la Glacière (13th)
Tél: 01 45 35 34 91


Related Links and Posts

Rhubarb-Berry Jam Recipe

Squirrel Bread

La Boulangerie par Veronique Mauclerc

Du Pain et des Idées

Ten Insanely Delicious Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Paris

Paris Pastry Guide

Bazin’s Viking Bread

Boulangerie!: A Pocket Guide to Paris’s Famous Bakeries (Amazon)

Paris Favorites

Moisan’s Ficelle Apéritif

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  • Mimi Wan
    August 2, 2009 7:47am

    I laughed out loud that a bread store could inspire such anxiety, so up my own alley. And the fact that you won’t share the name of it (selfishly I’m with you) not so much so that you could generate more business for them. And since I read your previous post, it seems as if it isn’t money that will induce them from having more user friendly hours. I love the idiosyncrasies of Paris and am really enjoying your new book.

  • Rhea Lubich
    August 2, 2009 9:12am

    I love your blog. I have a question not related to this post, I hope that is okay! I have been growing saffron for the last ten years. The seeds supposedly came to the USA with my Grandparents when they came to the US from Calabria Italy. Now that my DH has perfected the growing of the saffron, we have had bumper crops. A lot more than my family can use. I have been googling it so as to give correct info when trying to sell it on ebay. The question is the saffron I am growing is not a crocus type of plant it is a bachelor button type of plant. Do you as a food expert know what this is that I am growing? Is it really saffron? Thank you for your help. I would be happy to send you a sample if you would like to examine it.

  • August 2, 2009 9:26am

    “almost-too-many grains” : My thought exactly ! too many grains simply doesn’t exist in the world of breads.

    “It’s all good” : Hou la la, I can beleive this for sure :D

  • August 2, 2009 9:31am

    you know, it’s funny – i remember missing hearty breads, and whole-grain breads, when i was living in paris.
    now that i’ve left paris, what i really miss is just the more basic breads – the ubiquitous baguettes, the baguettes de tradition, and the pain de campagne (which is, i guess, a *little* bit hearty, but not very).

  • August 2, 2009 9:33am

    Rhea: I’m not an expert on saffron and don’t know any experts in the states, but here in Paris, we have Goumanyat. Good luck with your venture..

    Mimi: Glad you’re enjoying the book, and thanks! And yes, there’s a different mindset at work sometimes around here. It’s interesting, and often refreshing, when people aren’t motivated by just money. It does making daily shopping sometimes a challenge, though. And getting other things done, too!

  • August 2, 2009 10:11am

    I love a bread like this, chock full of goodies. They are actually one of my favorite vehicles for serving certain roulades or for making into croutons. Congratulations of keeping your crack baguette a little longer.

  • Torie
    August 2, 2009 11:14am

    The first thing I thought when I read the title of your post was that your crack baguette bakery was going to stay open. Lucky you! And thanks for the tip on the pain Nordlander. Looks like I’ll be making a trip out to the 13th this week. :)

  • Susan
    August 2, 2009 11:44am

    Aside from the fact that you don’t need to make your own bread, why haven’t you? There isn’t a single bread recipe on your site. That surprises me. (actually I was scouring the net the other day looking for french bread recipes and thought that surely I’d find one here only to find…nada!)

  • August 2, 2009 11:51am

    Good news like like this makes me GREEN! My only option when I read your post is to hit deck & bake bread. I love wholegrain, hearty breads, & the ones you mention make my heart sing!!

  • August 2, 2009 11:56am

    ‘Crack baguette’–you kill me! Happy news, indeed!

  • Sasha
    August 2, 2009 12:06pm

    And I thought you were going to give us the recipe for this delicious loaf!

  • August 2, 2009 2:59pm

    That is good news! The first thing I’m doing next spring when I arrive in Paris, after I’ve dropped my bags at my favorite p’tit Marais hôtel, is enjoy a spicy eggplant falafel from L’As in (though it’s more likely to disappear en route to) the Place des Vosges, followed by a generous (think heaping) helping of macarons of every color and flavor from the nearest Ladurée, and then last, but not least, a trek to you know for one of your coveted crack baguettes. So really it’s about third down on the list of crucial to-do’s upon my printemps Paris arrival, but deleted it shall not be. L’addresse has been baked into my long-term memory loaves. Et alors, you can’t stop me. But I’d love to see you essayez.

    P.S. I’m on page 81 of your delicious book at the moment, and I’m trying as best I can not to gorge myself and devour it all in a single sitting. I don’t want the feast to end. But I’m finding it rather difficult to pace myself and achieve a slow-savor. It’s just too good!

    P.P.S. One of many reasons for my short stint in Paris next spring is to celebrate my 35th anniversaire. If you happen to be en ville at that time en avril, I don’t suppose you’d like to make a fan’s dream come true with an impromptu birthday book signing? I mean, chances are I’ll be running into you anyway at that baguette place ;)

  • Sarah
    August 2, 2009 3:56pm

    Mazel Tov on your sesame baguette miracle. Enjoy, but keep stocking up just to be safe, that is what your freezer is for David.

    I saw your post’s first picture on your flickr page yesterday. And I was hoping you’d tell us all about it here, lucky us. The jam looks delicious, but I am daydreaming of a slice of this bread lightly toasted with some of that fabulous butter from your favorite fromagerie. With a glass fresh squeezed orange juice and a great cup of coffee. Had that breakfast been available to me today, I’m sure I’d be a much more contented person ;-) Or at least I’d have loved my breakfast. I had shredded wheat with fresh Michigan blueberries. It was very good. And to soothe my longing for your new bread discovery I remind myself that I got three huge pints of local fresh summer blueberries for 99 cents. So there! I only wish you were closer so we could do a trade.

  • Charlotte K
    August 2, 2009 4:42pm

    That is EXACTLY the kind of bread I love (and can never find, except on trips to visit friends in Holland). Lucky!

  • August 2, 2009 4:48pm


    i can’t decide if this is a good or bad thing now,
    i can now go to the store, and buy a baguette, which will keep them in business BUT it might be the day you want one and then they’ll be out before you get your fix. and i definitely don’t want to deprive you of your addiction.

    but have no fear, i’m not moving to france until september so your supply is safe (from me) until then!

  • August 2, 2009 5:02pm

    I especially go weak in the knees when you post about bread. It makes me want to move to France. Add butter to it, and it’s an offer that’s hard to resist.

  • August 2, 2009 5:44pm

    Hey! I live pretty close to there, will have to get one tomorrow, and maybe spread on it my Bonne Mamman ruhbarbe jam. I love chewy grainy breads too, thanks for the recommendation David!

  • Christine
    August 2, 2009 8:46pm

    Dear David,

    Just have to tell you I made your Salted Peanut Caramel Cups on the weekend.
    OH MY GOD! They are truly, sinfully, OTT! Your recipe makes alot, so rather than have them sitting in my fridge at home, calling me, I have brought them into work, and shared. Let’s just say I’m now nominated for Employee of the Month!

  • oregon native
    August 2, 2009 11:02pm

    Now that you’ve teased and tormented us with such a beautiful loaf of grainy,seed bread, where’s the recipe??? I’m on the other side of the pond and unable to check out your quaint bakery. Pain Nordländer Recipe???

  • August 3, 2009 1:41am

    Susan, Sasha, and Oregon Native: Appreciate your comments and interest in the recipe, but when I go to bakeries to buy bread, they don’t hand out their recipes. And most of them, if they do use a recipe (the baker who makes the sesame baguette laughed when he got a letter requesting the recipe, because he doesn’t use one) would not give them out. Or if they did, the recipe would make a few hundred loaves.

    Because I live in a country where good bread is widely available, and it’s inexpensive, I don’t make bread.

    If you’re looking for a bread recipe to make a loaf similar to this. try Jeremy’s recipe for Schwarzer Hamsterbrot.

    Sarah: Trade? At 99 cents a basket, I think they should be an outright gift ; )

    Christine: Hope you win!

  • August 3, 2009 5:23am

    My French baguette recipe: a few cups of flour, a bit of water, some fresh yeast, a pinch of sugar, a spoonful of salt. Mix and knead. Bake in very hot oven. Not a very satisfying recipe, is it? That’s because it’s all about technique and quality ingredients.

    My own local boulangerie has just reopened after a month’s holiday and I had my own crack pain au chocolat along with a bit of methadone baguette this morning. OMG! So, so good. I am quite convinced that my boulangerie makes the best pain au chocolat in Ile de France.

    So I understand the emotional rollercoaster of bread, David!

  • August 3, 2009 5:57am

    Looks like my kind of bread. Thanks for the pic with jam on it. So I am not crazy eating it with Nutella. I can buy such a type of bread here in Germany and always wonder about the color. Not too sweet molasses, perhaps. Regards, Nils

  • August 3, 2009 7:52am

    Don’t be alarmed, but I live in Paris since a few months now and, this morning, I took a walk (don’t worry, I’m not too close, it took me about 30 minutes), to seek out a baguette sesame of my very own. I had a feeling the bakery might be closed for August, and sure enough, it was. Oh well! I am very curious about it though and I may try again in September. Don’t worry, I promise to never buy more than one at a time! I really enjoy your blog and my French husband and I peruse it sometimes for new places to try. Thank you for all the great information.

  • lady Macleod
    August 3, 2009 8:20am

    I’m writing, I’m writing, scribbling in my Mole book – ok sure I’ll delete that straight away. :-) Are you mad? I’m making a list from your blog for our annual week in Paris in October. And by the by thank you for the referral onto the guides for personal tours at Context Travel. I have emailed them in hopes of getting a day’s tour of some of the more out of the way historical sites as my new husband is not a “museum chap”.

    Wonderful blog.

  • Roxanne
    August 3, 2009 8:49am


    This hearty bread reminds me Swedish rye bread, which my officemate misses a lot. She has to go to IKEA to get bread mix and bakes for herself. This bread is so chewy, nutty, and with a bit of crunchiness. I am sure it is wonderful if you can buy a fresh warm one…. Umm…I am so hungry now :(

  • August 3, 2009 10:15am

    Well, you should be so lucky to even have a backery close by. Believe it or not… the only bread we can find close to home here is supermarket bread (ok, granted; most supermarkets bake their own bread these days on the spot, but still… not the same as a really good bakery!) So that means baking it ourself or surviving on mediocre stuff…

  • August 3, 2009 2:06pm

    Finished your book last night. What a delight. Can’t wait to try give some of the recipes a go, after my neighbor reads and returns it. I turned her on to your blog and promised to loan her my copy the second I was finished.

    Merci encore for the laughs. I hope there will be a sequel. And thank god for your blog. Reading you is a true delight!

  • August 3, 2009 2:53pm

    That bread looks divine.

    Bread shouldn’t be made unless it can be up to those standards.


  • August 3, 2009 4:50pm

    Simone: If I were you I’d think about stocking up on some of that Swedish rye bread mix they sell at Ikea, that Roxanne linked and wrote about in the comment above yours. I’ve not made bread from a mix but it looks pretty decent to me. (Maybe they ship?)

    Risdamay: So glad you liked it…thanks!

    Taylor: AMEN!

  • August 3, 2009 7:51pm

    My Married (with dinner) amie Anita has just informed me that the key to an autograph might be a treat. So closer to my travel date I’ll see about coordinating a sesame baguette, falafel, and/or as many macarons as you can manage.

  • Cacktee
    August 3, 2009 11:47pm

    Oh wow! We visited Voiriot last August because it was the only bakery open. We were actually on the hunt for macarons and Gerald Mulot was closed (Paris in August…I don’t have to be told twice). Love your pics.

  • August 3, 2009 11:56pm

    Hahaha…that’s too funny! Would business not help them stay open?

    I have developed a new love for seedy breads. They are delicious with butter in the mornings.

  • August 4, 2009 1:40am

    Eralda: Um, yes…but that kind of thinking doesn’t always go over that well around here..

  • August 4, 2009 9:18am

    Oh David — I live on the same street as your crack baguette shop! I knew it was good, but had no idea that I was in the vicinity of a celebrity baguette. If you ever need a quick fix, I can run down and check inventory for you. I can’t wait to see people taking photos of the place, and posting them with their shots of the Eiffel Tower and Le Moulin Rouge.

  • Tone Victoria
    August 4, 2009 2:06pm

    I believe that all these things about not being ‘business-minded’ are more about general European culture rather than being something specifically French. At least I, as a Norwegian, recognise this attitude totally.

    For instance:

    The other day, I was talking to a chef/partner of my city’s (by far) best restaurant, that also has a deli and a simple café. The conversation went about like this:

    Me: Why don’t you market your deli more? You could for instance use Facebook more actively.
    Him: (With great disbelief) Well, we are not like THAT!
    Me: But if you for instance created a fan page for your deli on Facebook with regular updates, I know for myself that I’d go to there more often.
    Him: (With disdain) NO WAY will I be putting my mug out on Facebook!!!
    Me: Well, you wouldn’t have to put your mug out there, but having a fan page for your deli could make your sales rise.
    Him: No, it’s out of the question to do such a thing. We’re into food, and this has nothing to do about pissing around on Facebook.

    The worst thing is that I totally understand him. I would probably be just like that myself if I ran a business. To me, marketing is vulgar, and even almost immoral. If I owned a company, my attitude would be that it is pathethic to beg others to come and support me with their money. I wouldn’t lower myself that way! It should be totally up to them if they wanted to come and give me their money. (And haha, yes, I totally see that this is a ridiculous way of thinking. But this is how I would FEEL about matters, as this is how I’ve been raised. And this is perhaps the way many French people feel, too.)

  • August 5, 2009 1:37am

    wow that loaf looks beautiful!

  • Rhonda Anderson
    August 8, 2009 6:06am

    David, love your blog and the bread looks delicious.

    I have a note for Rhea, who asked about the saffron she’s growing. If the flower isn’t crocus, it’s not real saffron. If the flower she’s growing is yellow it may be safflower – this is sometimes used as a “substitute” for saffron but does not have the same aroma/flavour. She might like to google safflower.