HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Discussion

Croissants & French baguette

Where can I find a great croissant and baguette. The kind of croissant that is crispy, flaky and super buttery, not that bready & tough, probably par cooked stuff. Also, a place where I can find a warm baguette right out of the oven. I am not a fan of hi-rise bakery because I think the bread is to hard and crusty. I have heard Sel de la Terre also has a bakery, but have not visited. Any suggestions???

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Clear Flour in Brookline on Thorndike St. near Commonwealth Ave.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chuck s

      i am crazy about croissants and i love them super flaky and buttery. my fave so far is clear flour. i think canto 6 is pretty good too.

    2. Easy, best croissants in town head to Iggy's bakery on Fawcett Street near Fresh Pond. They are much fresher than the ones you will find in stores.

      For the best baguettes, I would say B&R in Framingham (also at some locals specialty stores) and as a second choice, I would say a Clear Flour baguette.

      PS: B&R is the baker who used to be with Sel de la Terre. He left and opened his own bakery about 2 years ago. Sel de la Terre's current bakery offering are nowhere as good.

      1. Clear Flour & B&R bake my preferred baguettes.

        1. I can't offer any croissant places but I agree with everyone that Clear Flour has the best bagguette in or around Boston.

          1 Reply
          1. re: adamgendreau

            They sell them at Savenors and the Wine and Cheese Cask too.

          2. Croissants are a tough one! If you ever have extra time on your hand, the croissant recipe in the "Baking with Julia" cookbook, is really good. I dont know of any places in Boston that have a perfect croissant, so I have tried my hand at making them. The recipe is really good with a lot of detailed explanations. Clearflour baguettes are good!

            1. A&J King in Salem has really good croissants and a decent baguette, if you're up for a road trip.

              1. For pastries:
                1) Iggy's (some of their best offerings: croissants, chocolate croissants, sticky buns, cranberry/nut loaves, etc.)
                2) Clear Flour (some of their best: scones, croissants)
                3) B&R

                For Bread:
                1) B&R ( some of their best: baguettes & levain loaves)
                2) Iggy's (some of their best: francese full loaves & ciabatta)
                3) Clear Flour (some of their best: baguettes)

                8 Replies
                1. re: kelly001

                  The Clear Flour baguettes are indeed fantastic, but I would also recommend their Rustic Italian loaves, especially as an adjunct to a soup- or stew-based dinner. And honestly, I often find myself going over there for a treat on a sunny day (there's a little neighborhood park across the street that I like to sit in with a magazine and my iPod for an hour or so) and passing up all of the pastries in favor of the plain French-style bread roll and a pat of Cabot butter. Simple pleasures.

                  As for pastries, when they have it, never pass up a chance to get the Bostok: an inch-thick slice of brioche, toasted and covered with a thick layer of almond frangipane. Could be my favorite thing to eat inside of 128.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    The rustic itallian's are killer, at Clear Flour. I also like the focaccias. They do both an onion and an herb that are awesome.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      have you compared their bostok to the one at canto 6? i like the canto 6 version, but i've never one anywhere else. i've really been meaning to make it over to clear flour again for ages...

                      1. re: autopi

                        They're basically identical. The owners of Canto 6 are ex-Clear Flour.

                      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        They also have a Pain Ancienne, which is a heartier-crusted baguette which I prefer, but may not be what the OP is looking for...

                        1. re: galleygirl

                          I adore that one! always my choice when I make it to Clear Flour.

                          1. re: BostonZest

                            Ooops. Sorry. this was meant to be a reply to the post below, from steinpilz.

                            The "baguettes" at Whole Foods are underbaked, dense, doughy, CRAP. To top it off, they bag them when they're warm (or hot), and regardless of whether it's a "bread bag" that's vented, a real bakery would NEVER bag a loaf until it's sold, much less warm.

                            Just because it's Whole Foods don't make it good. They've plenty to brag about, but their bread sucks out loud. They make up for it by carrying Clear Flour, Iggy's, Pan D'Avignon though.

                            1. re: hollowleg

                              I agree 100%, their bread is terrible and on par with the crap that Nashoba Brook Bakery sells even if you do store it properly out of the oven.

                    2. You can get fresh baked baguettes at the Whole Foods stores (at least I've gotten them at the Newton Centre and River Street stores) but it's a matter of being there at the right time. On several occassions I've picked up a nice warm baguette in the Newton Centre store on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, when it's busy and baguettes are moving fast.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: steinpilz

                        Those are the Whole Foods baguettes (not Iggy's) and aren't anything special imo.

                        1. re: joebelt

                          I realize that Clear Flour and Iggy's are exceptional, just wanted to provide another warm-baguette option.

                      2. My husband is French and after we moved down here from Montreal, I spent a great deal of time driving around town to try out bakeries. While I have managed to find baguettes that he likes, I have been less successful for croissants.

                        The baguettes listed below are all very good (clear flour is one of our favorites), but to that list, I would also add the baguettes at the bread and chocolate bakery in Newtonville (http://breadnchocolate.com/). Their baguettes definitely capture that "super butter" flavor you mentioned and are lighter and flakier than those we get a clear flour.

                        I did not notice if they had croissants, but if the did, they would likely be quite good. Their cupcakes and stuff look absolutely amazing.

                        -----
                        Bread & Chocolate Bakery Cafe
                        108 Madison Ave, Newton, MA

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: MaggieMuffin

                          "Supper buttery" baguettes ? That are "light and flaky?"

                          [confused]

                          A buttery, flaky baguette doesn't do it for me. Croissants, yes. Bread, no.

                          I think Sel de la Terre's bread is quite good. Not as good as Clear Flour, but it's easier for me to get my hands on it.

                          1. re: C. Hamster

                            Actually in France, there are two distinct styles of baguettes. The ones with the hard crust like Clear Flour or B&R and others that are much lighter and less crunchy on the outside (not limp just not as crusty). I have not found any examples of the latter in Boston. But a baguette should not contain any butter or be flaky. The most common kind is the hard crust baguette but the other kind is wonderful when done right and makes better tartines for breakfast.

                            1. re: joebelt

                              I had the opportunity to go to Paris twice this year and found this out in a delightful first-hand way!

                              Seems hard to find the lighter-crusted kind anywhere, though

                              1. re: C. Hamster

                                Yes, I have not found any place on this continent that offers that type of baguette.

                                1. re: joebelt

                                  It's been a while, but I seem to remember the warm baguettes served at Brasserie Jo having a notably thin crust. Does this ring a bell for anyone else?

                                  1. re: finlero

                                    The last time I was there was about 6 weeks ago. The bread was good but was pretty crusty -- not the really thin but crisp crust that I recall from paris.

                          2. re: MaggieMuffin

                            I believe the baguettes and croissants at Bread and Chocolate are Iggy's. I asked them one time and they told me that. They are good.

                            I also like Clearflour. You can sometimes pick up their baguettes in Whole Foods (at least in Wellesley and Newton).

                            For good croissants and chocolatines, try La Riviera Gourmet in Wellesley. Crispy and buttery. The pastry chef in French.

                          3. B & R Artisan Bread does an outstanding job for both the croissants and baguettes. The croissants are made fresh and baked daily. They also make a terrific pain au chocolat.

                            Baguettes are fantastic. They sell wholesale to a variety of spots in Boston proper. Contact them directly and I'm sure they'll be happy to share with you the locations.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: odaivilo

                              The Sugar bakery in West Roxbury offers much better options than any listed above. They get the bread From Lavallee's Bakery Distribution and it is all amazing.

                              1. re: Northstar22

                                I hate to be so ridiculously extravagant, but I just ordered those $50 (includes shipping) croissants from William Sonoma...holy cow are they good. Yes, it is WAY too expensive but the croissants were as good as I have had in Paris. If you feel like blowing some dough (pardon the pun), then order these...they are delicious.

                                1. re: bostongal

                                  I posted earlier that I had ordered them too as a result of this thread. When you break it down, it really isn't more than buying them in a bakery and oh so much better. I'm addicted.

                                  1. re: catsmeow

                                    The croissants alone come out to $3.33/piece, add to that the cost of the energy to bake them and these are nearly twice the price of Iggy's. :(

                                    1. re: joebelt

                                      I got the "mini" ones which are larger than what I think of as mini. 24 per order. I was basing my calculations on that number. They really are wonderful.

                                  2. re: bostongal

                                    According to a reliable source (ok, according an earlier thread on the Boston board), La Riviera in Lexington and Wellesley sells frozen, unproofed croissants, for a fraction of the cost of ordering through Williams Sonoma.

                                    While I haven't tried them specifically from La Riviera, I make it a point to keep frozen, unproofed croissants in my freezer. There are bad bakery croissants, good bakery croissants, and great bakery croissants, but unless they're straight out of the oven, they seldom compare to the piping hot croissants I consequently get at home.

                                    1. re: finlero

                                      Trader Joe's has them too, about $4 for 4 -- like you said, I think fresh out of the oven beats most bakery croissants.

                              2. The croissants from Iggy's are good, but the ones from Sel De La Terre are fantastic. They have good baguettes too, although I slightly prefer the ones from Clear Flour that others recommended. If you like croissants with fillings the S.D.L.T. ones use really high quality chocolate or ham and cheese.

                                1. I don't know where they get them, but for decades Formaggio on Huron Ave in Cambridge has consistently had the best croissants I've found in the area. Maybe some day I'll ask...

                                  Oh yeah, they sell Clear Flour baguettes too.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: jajjguy

                                    The last time we were at Formaggio to select cheese for a wine/cheese tasting we added a baguette tasting to the list and had three loaves. I don't recall the third loaf but B&R won. With that, I have to say I love Clear Flour and I'm so grateful that they are at my local Whole Foods.

                                    1. re: BostonZest

                                      Agree. B&R is better than Clear Flour. Still two great bread makers in their own rights.

                                      1. re: joebelt

                                        Where is B+R?

                                        1. re: catsmeow

                                          Framingham:

                                          -----
                                          B&R Bread
                                          151 Cochituate Rd, Framingham, MA

                                          1. re: catsmeow

                                            Framingham in an odd location next to Taco Bell

                                    2. Japonaise Bakery & Cafe on the Boston/Brookline line makes a wicked good baguette that's lighter than Clear Flour's. The bakery is on Beacon right next to Chef Chang's. No croissants, though.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: SSqwerty

                                        I'll have to try the baguette. I always get the multigrain bread and a couple of scones. They have the light, cakey style of scones. I love the split and toast them.

                                        1. re: BostonZest

                                          Well, thanks1 Now I have to try the multigrain and scones!

                                      2. Could someone compare the bahn mi bread at Ba Le to a baguette for me? I've had great examples of both, but I can't quite put this into baguette territory, but perhaps I'm wrong.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sailormouth

                                          A banh mi roll should have some rice flour in it, to make it lighter and crispier...andnot sour dough...And not a heavy crust...It did start out as a traditional baguette, tho, from the French, to Vietnam

                                        2. I must add that L.A. Burdick's in Harvard Square makes incredible croissants, both plain and chocolate filled. They are as good as the ones I had in Paris, and I do not say that flippantly, they are really good. Their Luxembourgers are also excellent.

                                          Canto 6 makes pretty good croissants as well, but they can be greasy and I think they're too big- they also make weird flavored ones, like gruyere. I like gruyere but I don't want cheese in my croissant. But if you're in JP try to get a fresh plain one, they might fit your bill.

                                          1. I love the ham and cheese croissants from Japonaise in Brookline. I also like the plain croissants from (I know this sounds strange) Athan's in Brookline; it's been a few months, but at least then they had really light crispy flaky croissants comparable to ones I had in France. Really excellent. Not sure who bakes them though.

                                            I agree with the votes for Clear Flur baguettes. Love them.