French Bakers Set a New World Record by Making a 461-Foot-Long Baguette

The previous world record was set by a group of bakers in Italy in 2019

French bakers holding a long baguette
A team of 18 bakers worked for hours to create the record-breaking loaf. National Confederation of French Bakery and Pastry

In July, thousands of athletes will descend upon France for the Summer Olympics, competing in sports ranging from breaking to swimming.

But, in the meantime, French bakers have already won their version of a gold medal: a new world record for the longest baguette.

A team of bread bakers—“boulangers” in French—whipped up a 461-foot-long baguette on Sunday in Suresnes, a suburb on the western edge of Paris. It was longer than the 435-foot baguette baked in Italy in 2019, the current world record holder, according to Guinness World Records.

Joanne Brent, a judge for the Guinness World Records, was on-site for the occasion and approved the baguette, per Reuters’ Louise Dalmasso and Sybille de La Hamaide.

The event, called the Suresnes Baguette Show, took place on the Terrasse du Fécheray, an observation deck with views of the Paris skyline and the Eiffel Tower.

“A record for the longest artisanal baguette requires real collective sportsmanship. In this year of the Olympics, congratulations to all our artisan bakers,” says Guillaume Boudy, mayor of Suresnes, in a translated statement.

It took 18 people more than two hours to produce the elongated loaf, which required 200 pounds of flour. The boulangers started mixing, rolling and shaping the dough at around 3 a.m., eventually forming it into a roughly two-inch-thick cylinder. Around 5 a.m., they began feeding the slender, snake-shaped concoction into a specially built rolling oven. It emerged on the other side with a golden brown crust.

The end result was “the length of nine pétanque courts,” as Victor Mather writes for the New York Times, referencing the French sport that involves throwing metal balls.

The record was confirmed at around 4:40 p.m. After a bit of celebrating, the bakers began slathering the baguette with Nutella—the sweet spread made of hazelnut and chocolate—and handing it out for attendees to enjoy. Some was also given to a local charity.

In 2022, UNESCO added French baguettes to its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, noting that the process of making the slender, crusty bread requires “specific knowledge and techniques.” UNESCO also recognized the baguette’s cultural and social significance in France.

The list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, created in 2008, is meant to help protect global traditions, festivals, rites of passage, art forms and other practices.

“It’s kind of a way of life,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s director general, to CNN’s Joseph Ataman, Marguerite Lacroix and Saskya Vandoorne about baguette making in 2022. “There is always a boulangerie nearby, you can go and buy fresh affordable bread and you meet people, meet with bakers, it’s a very important element of social cohesion.”

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