Ready, Set, Dough: Paul Arrives In DC
Back in the fall, Metrocurean brought you the news that Paul, a French bakery with a 120-year history, would be opening in DC, and this week I got to sink my fingers into the sticky, doughy evidence.
Before the first DC location opens May 2 at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Paul invited some writers in for a chance to see exactly how the goods get made.
The breads, from crusty baguettes and fougasse to rustic olive loaves, start with organic flour grown in the US and are all baked in-house.
Despite head baker David Dequeker's insightful coaching on how to smack the dough onto the counter to beat it into shape, my little bread ball was more sticky mess than smooth beauty. But my baker skills improved enough to coax a pretty braided loaf out of the dough (see above) and successfully unload a whole wooden peel full of shaped loaves into the hot oven. (Oh, that beauty of an oven. Want.)
DC food lovers on the hunt for great bread know there aren't many choices downtown (or elsewhere in the city for that matter), so Paul should help fill the void. The bakery will also offer sandwiches, salads, coffee and plenty of sweets like fruit tarts, cakes and pain chocolat.
And speaking of sweets, macaron lovers will flip when they see the ample size of Paul's version — it's more on par with a whoopie pie than your average bite-sized macaron.
A second bakery is in the works for August in Georgetown at 1078 Wisconsin Ave., a prime perch just off the corner of M Street. The DC outposts join an existing huge international brand with some 500 bakeries around the world.
Paul will be open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.