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Swede wins gold at world Baking Masters

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Håkan Johansson celebrates his victory. Photo: AP
14:04 CET+01:00
Håkan Johansson's wizardry with bread won him a top prize at the Paris Baking Masters. Find out what our Swede of the Week thinks makes the perfect croissant.
Johansson, a 32-year-old baker from Falkenberg, can now claim the honour of being a Baking Master after a top notch performance at the competition in Paris this week. 
 
The five-day competition, the 2014 Baking Masters, brought together bakers from 24 countries around the world in the categories Bread, Artistic Piece, and Viennese Pastry, the last of which was won by Håkansson. 
 
He edged out chefs from seven other countries to take home the gold. 
 
"This is unbelievable, it's going to be a while before it sinks in," he told the Göteborgs-Posten newspaper on arriving in Sweden on Thursday.
 
 
The Swede is the head baker at Taverna Brillo in central Stockholm and is responsible for all the baked goods at sister restaurants Riche, Teatergrillen, and Sturehof. His employers even gave him the past two months off work in order to practice.
 
The Parisian competition, he says, was no walk in the park, and included a grueling eight-hour performance where judges measured everything from weight, volume, technique - and of course - taste. But Johansson came prepared. 
 
"I've been at it for several months trying to bake the perfect croissant. It should be light and airy, but still crispy and taste very buttery," he told GP, adding that he's rather partial to Swedish cinnamon buns (kanelbullar). 

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Winning a title at the competition is "the envy of the entire profession," wrote the organizers on the official website, adding that the contestants aren't competing for the glory, rather the recognition of their craft and to share their knowledge and skills. 
 
Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who - for good or ill - has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.

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