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great baguette or other bread?

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Dear Maryland Hounds,

I am from Boston and will be catering my brother's rehearsal dinner in Silver Spring, MD in the end of this month. Although I have family in that area, none of them know where to get good bread. I don't just mean better than wonderbread. I mean REALLY good baguette, focaccia, etc. that is on par with what you'd get in France and Italy (or at least close :) Good crust, nice open crumb, proper amount of salt, and all that good stuff.

Can anyone recommend a bakery between Silver Spring and Baltimore that carries such breads? In Boston, Whole Foods carries most of the good local bakeries. So while the breads made by Whole Foods are kind of pathetic, you can always find good bread there if you know which companies to look for. Do they do that in Maryland too? Which bakeries should I be looking for if I go to Whole Foods?

Thanks so much!
-Helen

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  1. There is absolutely no bread in this town -- and certainly no baguette -- that compares to what one can get in France. Best bet is probably Breadline, downtown, which is very good but not earth-shattering.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MartyL

      I second Breadline. And as a side note, I love how the WF up there carry Iggy's etc.

    2. Bonaparte Bakery, in Savage, Maryland would qualify as between Silver Spring and Baltimore. French breads only, but very good.

      1. Thanks for your suggestions, hounds. Unfortunately, we decided to go with Bonaparte due to convenient location. What a disappointment! I think poor Napoleon turned in his grave when these people opened their bakery. Their baguettes had mushy crust and closed crumb with absolutely no holes or flavor. If you took supermarket bread and shaped it into a long thin loaf, that's what you'd get. The addition of wheat germ or some other "health bread" looking ingredient was strange. I can't say it ruined the bread, because this bread couldn't get any worse, but it just shouldn't be present in traditional baguette. I also tried their croissants. Too dense and bready.

        I guess next time, I'll stick with La Brea bakery stuff my parents get from Giant. It's nothing to write home about, but surely beats Bonaparte. And if I am ever in DC, I'll check out Breadline. Too bad it's a really long drive from Reisterstown where my parents live :(

        2 Replies
        1. re: A Fish Called Wanda

          That is very strange. I would have recommended Bonaparte's too, but haven't been in probably 18 mos. Will definitely go soon to see if your experience was an anomaly or if they've really lost it. I lived in France for quite a while and have generally thought Bonaparte's baked goods to be about as good as what I got there.

          1. re: Procrastibaker

            I have no idea if the location makes a difference, but the one I went to was at Savage Mills.

        2. I know this is over and done with, but for other people on the post Great Harvest Bread Co. makes great bread, not a french baquette in the store as I remember, but very good bread coming from someone who grew up on all homemade bread and was an exchange student in France.

          If you are near Annapolis the Big Cheese in downtown has (had before they moved haven't been to the store since it was in the market place) a great baquette.

          The Randolph bakery in NoVa off 29 had the best croissant I have had around here yet.

          1. Try Praline Bakery & Restaurant in Bethesda