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May 19, 2011 12:12 AM

Starter Bakery in Oakland - Incredible Pasteries

I'm not a big pastery person but my husband brought home an assortment of items from the Starter Bakery that he picked up at the Temescal Farmer's Market on Mother's Day. He then brought a few other items home the following weekend. All I could say while I was eating these things (sorry don't know name) was WOW, these are amazing. Absolute perfect amount of flakiness, browning, and sugared crunch. Absolutely perfect.

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  1. I'll wager that you were noshing on their take on kouign amann, a Breton dessert that's been lusted after on these boards in the past. I'd find some links to older threads, but I gotta get to bed.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Spatlese

      Yeah, the kouign amann is a specialty of theirs. Available at pop up general store in oakland as well. Salty, sweet, wonderful - and the fruit ones are great too. They have a mailing list and are starting to distribute a bit more widely.

      1. re: Spatlese

        Finally had one of these yesterday, and it was exceptional. Now I understand what the fuss is about.

        1. re: Windy

          I've only had ther almond croissant, which was sadly ordinary and overpriced (compared to other Temescal bakers).

          1. re: peterme

            Don't give up yet. Try the kouign amann (plain) and I bet you'll be pleasantly suprised. I brought 3 over to some friends. Next day I heard the wife complaining to the husband because he ate them all without sharing. I think they are really special.

            1. re: Allfrog68

              The example I had was a filled one, and I found it too wet and underbaked in the middle. I pulled off the outer layer and only ate that. I didn't enjoy it as much as the kouign amann at Satura Cakes, my only other exposure to this specialty. I'd go for a plain one next time for more carmelization and salt to give it another chance.

              Satura Cakes
              200 Main St, Los Altos, CA

            2. re: peterme

              What other Temescal bakers sell almond croissants?

              1. re: wally

                So, we had the kouign amann (chocolate) today, and it is quite special. My wife even compared it favorably to the Bread Garden's pecan sticky bun, which is her high water mark of breakfast pastries.

                The best almond croissant at the Temescal farmer's market comes from the bakers who sell next to Blue Bottle. I forget their name, but they've got piles of bread loaves, and bunches of breakfast pastries. Their almond croissant is only $2.50 and quite good. Not Butler And The Chef-good, but good all the same.

                Bread Garden
                2912 Domingo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                1. re: peterme

                  I believe they carry Bay Bread/La Boulange products.

            3. re: Windy

              I'm glad I got to try the now-famous kouign amann, but I'm not a fan -- too heavy for my taste. Not criticizing this particular version -- for which I have no comparison -- I suspect that kouign amann are just not my thing.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Too heavy for me, as well. My husband liked it, but did comment that it was salty.

                1. re: Glencora

                  i like it only as a once in a very blue moon snack. it is a bit heavy and i could see myself getting tired of it quickly if i ate another one even within a few days. but, just having one once in awhile is fine.

            4. All I can say is their pain au chocolate is way way over priced and not even as good as some pretty mediocre places in SF.. sorry .. they hype machine in on overdrive with this place.

              1. Kouign Amann was the topic our a thread I started after we returned from Brittany where Kouign (or "butter cake" in Breton, became Tom's favorite sweet. Breton butter is famous and uniike other French butters is highly salted. I had Philippe at his bakery on Townsend attempt to make some for us as a special order but he cautioned that because our butter and flour are different, it would not be the same. I agree that the Starter Bakery kouign is not exactly like what we had in Brittany but it is pretty darn close and the chocolate version (which is the only version that Rapha Cycle Club carries) is great. So people who complain of the saltiness - well, that's the way it's suppose to be! Highly caramelized and layered with salted butter.

                Starter Bakery
                1552 Beach Street, Suite R, Oakland, CA 94608

                Rapha Cycle Club
                2198 Filbert St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                1. Do they make brioche to sell at the farmers' markets?