have been searching hi and low for a decent baguette in GBA, baked properly with:
1) a crisp (yes, I want crisp!!) and light crust
2) proper reddish brown hue
3) open crumb structure with a creamy appearance
4) chewy texture
5) firm enough that when you break the baguette in half, it makes noise, yet soft enough that it doesn’t break apart completely
6) Smell of wheat
here's the "best" of what I've tried:
a) Whole foods: epic FAIL. Crust like a sponge, wrong color
b) Roche brothers: hard like a breadstick. A disgrace.
c) If pigs could fly Brookline: stiffer than Roche Brothers, it actually snapped in half when I carried it home.
d) Clear Flour: not bad but not close to what I'm looking for. Wrong color, crust not crispy. Must have been that darn plastic bag Crumb structure is nice and good chew.
e) Iggy's: Crumb is too dense, good crust but again, not crispy enough. Color is nice.
Used to work as a baker and understood how extremely difficult it is to make a perfect baguette due to so many variables, it really shows the skill and attention to detail of the head baker.
longing for those perfect loaves from Paris.... Eric Kayser, Gosselin, Lenotre.... even the average neighbourhood boulangerie's baguette beats anything I've had here so far.
Wait, plastic bag at Clear Flour? If you were given a baguette in a plastic bag, you were not at Clear Flour. Never gonna happen there.
I know what you are talking about with the plastic bag. It is a plastic bag with lots of tiny tiny holes. This means you bought a Clearflour baguette somewhere other than Clearflour and that you bought their standard baguette. I agree that the ones that get distributed to WF or other places aren't their best work. Their standard baguette (Baguette Parisian) which is what you can buy all over is okay, but what you want is their "Ancient Baguette" which is incredible and the closest to a "baguette traditionelle" I have found in the Boston area. It is only sold at their bakery though, not distributed.
They used to only bake it twice a week but it is now a daily item. Try one and report back, I think this is what you are looking for. They are incredible!
Savenours carries another bakery's baguette (I believe it's Nashoba Bakery but it could be Pain D'Avignon) that is also very good and worth trying.
Try going to Clear Flour and buy the "Ancienne French" that they sell in the shop. Their description: "rustic french baguette with a very open texture & a fully caramelized crust for those seeking bold crunch and mildly sweet flavor" They make it every day, and say it is available after 1 PM. I've only seen it at the shop and at the Farmers' Market stand. It is our choice when we can get it.
If you get to Wellfleet you should try PB Boulangerie's baguette. And, one other to try would be the B & R style bagguette that Nashoba is making. I've only been able to get that one at Savenor's on Beacon Hill but you could call Nashoba and ask if it is available any where else.
Will have to make the short pilgrimmage to Clear Flour then! i got the plasticized version at the Meat Market at Coolidge Corner, I suspected that it ruined what might have actually been a great baguette.
can't wait to rip into it, spread some Plugra and a few grains of Fleur de sel, and eat with a glass of cheap French table wine.
will report back soon!