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How Boulangerie Utopie Makes One of Paris’s Most Innovative Croissants

The sourdough croissant is the bakery’s take on the classic French pastry

When bakers Erwan Blanche and Sébastien Bruno graduated culinary school, they say they couldn’t seem to find a spot in Paris that sold both bread and pastries in the same place, let alone ones that were homemade, good quality, and affordably priced. That’s when they opened Boulangerie Utopie, now known for one of the most coveted and innovative croissants in Paris. “Above all, what I think explains the concept for Utopie is that we’re excessively creative.”

The bakery makes everything in house, and is known for its brioche, baguettes, and chocolate eclairs. But the real star is the sourdough croissant, the bakers’ take on the classic French pastry. “When we started — even after we opened here, we had made pastries before,” explains Blanche. “And yet we spent several months before we succeeded at making the croissant with the balance that we wanted.”

“We made a croissant that looks a little bit more like bread than pastry,” says Bruno. “We like when we eat a croissant that our hands aren’t all greasy. One that has a good honey crumb and a good butter taste, but doesn’t disintegrate everywhere.”

“It will have more character in terms of taste. Very soft inside and crunchy on the outside,” added Blanche.

The bakery produces 150 to 200 handmade croissants everyday. Because the pastry is made with sourdough base, it’s very temperamental, responding to the temperature outside, if it rains, etc. So the two are constantly adapting their recipe to make a consistent product.

“We really wanted to focus on a bakery where everything was 100 percent homemade...the overall goal is not to expand quickly and have chains everywhere,” says Bruno. “It’s about enjoying ourselves and making people happy.”