Apollonia Poilane, Paris, France, Bread, Boulangerie, Patisserie, Loaf, Loaves, P, Where to eat in Paris, France, Restaurants, Bars, Aperitif, Wine, Wine Bar, Bakeries, Sandwiches, Lunch, How To Eat Poilane, Poilâne



Recommended By

- Lior Lev Sercarz (La Boîte À L'Epice)


Paris, France

Bread Bakery

Multiple Locations



Where To Buy Poilâne In The USA:

Available Here



6th Arrondissement

8 Rue du Cherche-Midi

75006 Paris, France

T: +33/(0)

15th Arrondissement

49 Bld de Grenelle

75015 Paris, France
T: +33/(0)

3rd Arrondissement

38 Rue Debelleyme

75003 Paris, France
T: +33/(0)



46 Elizabeth Street

London SW1 W9PA, UK
T: +44/(0)207.808.4910


If man were to live on bread alone, he’d want it made from Poilâne bakery. Poilâne breads are one of the most sought-after loaves in the world. Thick, with a golden crust, slightly sour flavor and marked with their signature “P” on top, people like chef Alain Ducasse and Robert De Niro, pay a hefty price to have the bread shipped from Paris.

It was a tragic turn of fate that put Apollonia Poilâne in charge of the multi-million dollar company, when she was an 18-year-old student at Harvard University. Her parents were killed in a helicopter accident and Apollonia became the CEO of the iconic Parisian bakery, running the empire out of her dorm room and taking trips back and forth from Boston to Paris.

Poilâne was started by Apollonia’s grandfather in 1932. Instead of the classic baguette, Poilane baked round, off-white sourdough loaves, a speciality of his native Normandy, from a secret family recipe. In the 1970’s Pierre’s son Lionel took over the family business.

Today, Poilâne bakes 15,000 loaves a day and ships to more than 20 countries around the world. Apollonia just opened her third Paris location in the Marais and has launched her first book, Ceci N’est Pas Un Livre Pour Faire du Pain (This Is Not Another Book About Making Bread).

Q & A With Apollonia Poilâne

Q. Poilâne is one of the most lauded breads in all of Paris. What makes the Poilâne breads so unique and sought after?

A. First of all, thank you for saying such kind words about my family’s bread. I love my bread and eat it daily, but I am hardly objective on the subject matter!

When my grandfather started his business in 1932, he sorted to traditional French bread techniques. He wanted to bake bread like that he knew as a child in Normandy.

Our bread is about simple ingredients and time proven techniques. For instance, we use sea salt from Guerande, sourdough as a starter and a wood fired oven.

Q. How have you managed to keep the artisanal quality and simultaneously grow the company internationally?

A. We carry on baking the bread the same way. We just added ovens, and trained new bakers so that each batch is still hand-made by a single baker.

Q. What’s your favorite way to eat your breads? Any favorite spreads or toppings you can recommend?

A. There are many many way I like bread, but a simple slice of bread topped with slightly salted butter is one of my staples.

Q. What does the future hold for Poilâne?

A. My hope is to hand down my family’s business to a fourth generation of Poilânes. In the meantime, we have carried on developing the business with new products such as my cookie spoons and are planning two new stores later this spring.

Q. Do you have a pastry dirty little secret - a favorite non-artisanal pastry that you love?

A. Chocolate - I am a member of the Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat (the Chocolate Eater’s Club) here in Paris.

Advice / Tips

Q. What advice can you pass along to home bakers for baking bread? Are there common mistakes you often see?

A. I do not bake bread at home, so I am not sure I can give any advice.
However, a trick to enhance the color of your home baked loaves is to put an oven-safe bowl of water at the bottom of your oven.

Q. Is there an essential baking utensil that you would recommend people have in the kitchen arsenal?

A. Your hands! They are the most sophisticated utensils in the kitchen. Machines thus far do not have the same ability to feel things.

Q. Can we get you to share a recipe?

A. I am afraid my bread’s recipe will remain a secret for now. But, this is one of my father’s favorite recipes with it.

1) Cut three thin slices of bread.

2) Butter two slides and toast the third.

3) Make a bread sandwich using the toasted slice as a filling.



Q. Are there specific markets you love for shopping or just browsing?

A. The Marché des Enfants Rouges in the 3rd district of Paris is a good place for lunch on weekends. The place is crowded with food stands from around the world.

Q. What are your favorite resources (stores/websites) for buying products or tools?

A. I shop quite locally my food products. Quatrehomme is a great cheese shop and Joel Thiebault sells amazing vegetables.

I am very blessed to have La Grande Epicerie around my shop in St. Germain des Prés. The department store has an incredible selection of ingredients and products from around the world.



Q. Your favorite local restaurants in Paris... for breakfast:

A. Café Flore for a hot chocolate.

[See details.]

Q. For lunch:

A. La Cuisine de Bar, next to my store, for open-faced Sandwiches.

Le Cherche-Midi, the Italian down the street.

[See details.]

Q. Bistro:

A. Au Sauvignon on rue de Sèvres for a glass of wine with sandwiches of my bread with pâtés and cheeses.

[See details.]

Q. Off the beaten track:

A. KGB on rue des Grands Augustins for fusion food. The chef is French and does an amazing job at integrating Asian flavors to his cuisine.

[See details.]

Q. For a fancy night on the town:

A. Hélène Darroze on rue d’Assas.

[See details.]


Q. Places you would love to return to eat at in Boston?

A. B&G Oyster and The Butcher Shop on Tremont are my favorite places in Boston.

[See details.]


Q. Where do you like to go for an aperitif in Paris, where only the locals go?

A. Au Sauvignon is the place of choice for an ‘Apéro’ as the French call it.

[See details.]


Details of Apollonia Poilâne’s recommendations for where to eat and drink in Paris and Boston.

City Guides

- Paris: Download

- Montreal: Online | Download


Ceci N’est Pas Un Livre Pour Faire du Pain (This Is Not Another Book About Making Bread)

Available on: Amazon.com


Q & A

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