Tag Archives: croissant

Tale of Two Boston Bakeries

28 Feb

Here are two bakeries on opposite sides of the Charles River, both offering delicious goodies!

Paris Baguette is inside H Mart in Central Square, so it’s no surprise that there are Asian influences.  It’s like Hong Kong meets Paris – you’ll find red bean-filled donuts alongside baguettes, as well as some truly American concoctions like cream cheese donuts and croissant donuts.

 IMAG2804

As it turns out, Paris Baguette is part of an large Korean conglomerate and is expanding its American presence. I’m not a fan of chains, but I can’t deny that these treats satisfied my sweet tooth.

  Inside a green bean bun:DSC00904

Chocolate bread….MMmmmmm!!DSC00907

Info: Paris Baguette, 581 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA

SwissBakers has two locations, one in Allston and one in Reading. I visited the Allston location on Western Avenue near Harvard Business School. It’s a modern, IKEA-like space with big windows. There’s plenty of seating both inside and out on the patio (when it’s warm enough). Another big bonus: a parking lot!

Here’s the box full of Euro-treats I got: almond, chocolate and spinach croissants, a raspberry Berliner, a chocolate chip bun, and a pear and cheese tart. The tart has a shortbread crust and is topped with thinly sliced pears. Somehow, its flavour reminds me of Chinese egg tarts (which are also very yummy).

DSC01899

Inside a raspberry Berliner:

Swissbakers: BerlinerThe Berliner is slightly crisp on the outside with granulated and powdered sugar, but light and springy inside, with raspberry filling. I like that it’s not too sweet.

 Cheese and spinach croissant, flaky and stuffed with spinach!DSC01915

Both these bakeries deserve return visits!

Info: Swissbakers, 168 Western Avenue, Boston, MA 02134 USA

Swissbäkers on Urbanspoon

 

Behind the Scenes: Croissant-making at Seigle D’Or

1 Jun

Seigle D’Or is a new bakery that opened recently in Brighton. I was lucky enough to get a chance to watch Chef Boubker demonstrate his croissant-making technique at the bakery a couple weekends ago. Chef Boubker explained that Seigle D’Or is French for “Golden Wheat.” He began making croissants in France, and then joined Athan’s Bakery in the Boston area before opening his own storefront. Now, he is credited with making Boston’s best croissants

Upon stepping into the small bakery, my eyes began to take in the yumminess that surrounded me – tarts and cookies, and pastries like raspberry danishes and pain aux raisin made from the same dough as the croissants.

IMAG2543

IMAG2531

I squeezed into the kitchen area with about 15 others to watch the Chef make his signature croissants. He had already prepared his dough – the recipe is a secret, of course, but he did divulge that he uses far less butter than most other chefs. In 8 pounds of dough, Chef Boubker uses just 1.5 pounds of butter (compared to up to 4 pounds of butter other chefs use!). You might consider these low-fat croissants, if there is such a thing! Here in New England, the Chef prefers Cabot’s unsalted butter, in 1-pound blocks. If you can’t get your hands on that, the next best thing is Stop & Shop’s store-brand unsalted butter. (I was definitely surprised by this).

Chef had prepared a batch of dough the day before, that had rested overnight in the freezer. With a giant rolling pin, he flattened out the butter, placed it on top of his dough, and folded the ends of the dough over the butter.

IMAG2532Then, a fancy croissant machine rolled out the dough to a long thin sheet, incorporating the butter evenly into it. (I’m not kidding – I can’t find any other name for this thing than simply “croissant machine”.) At home, you’d have to roll out the dough several times with a rolling pin. Chef folded the sheet of dough several times, making double turns or half turns, and passed the dough through the fancy machine each time. After the butter has been incorporated, the dough must rest in the freezer for at least 90 minutes.

Chef brought out a rested batch of dough he had prepared for us earlier that morning. Once the dough is out of the freezer, you have to move fast! Mise en place, Chef calls it, in his thick French accent. He cut the dough into triangles and demonstrated the “croissant song.”

IMAG2533

A bakery doesn’t make good croissants unless you can hear the croissant song, he joked. It’s the loud slap of a triangular portion of dough as it hits the table with force, stretching out slightly so that you can roll the dough into a tight croissant that won’t fall apart as it bakes.  IMAG2537 copy

Chef quickly filled a tray with Parisian-style croissants while telling stories of the origin of croissants.

IMAG2542

Each of us “students”  enjoyed a hot, golden croissant fresh out of the oven, crisp on the outside, and soft yet flaky on the inside. Mmmmm….I devoured mine even though I was about to go for lunch, and I couldn’t resist buying two more croissants to take home.

IMAG2546

The next day, I cut into one of Chef’s almond croissants at home. It is much flatter than his plain croissants, and not as pretty as other almond croissants I’ve had. Though it lacked toasted, sliced almonds on top, there was a generous amount of almond paste inside, and another dollop on top.

IMAG2547If you haven’t tried one of Chef Boubker’s croissants yet, I recommend that you hurry over to Brighton now and pick one up!

Info: Seigle D’Or Bakery Cafe, 1585 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA, USA 02135

%d bloggers like this: