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Souvenir Request - Bread

itryalot Jul 20, 2013 12:28 PM

From our last trip, we brought our elderly relatives and some friends a variety of loaves from Iggy's as well as some seafood and Italian pastries from the one place Batali went to.
They LOVED it! We are planning another visit to the area and wanted to load up again. Last time we high tailed it to Cambridge and waited for the big loaves (hearty and rustic ones) to come out and spent so much time to do that. This time, we are wondering where we could go in town? Looking for artisan, rustic French/Italian Bread a la balthazar.
Any new notable places for that and pastries? I am wondering about some gourmet donuts (a la doughnut plant in NYC).

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  1. rlh RE: itryalot Jul 20, 2013 12:59 PM

    Iggy's is hard to top.

    Whatever Sportello offers will be great (they have donuts and dossants occasionally as specials), as is whatever bread Flour is offering.

    Further afield, the bread at Mamadou's in Winchester is the very best around (the levain will keep for up to a week if unsliced) - open 10a-3p, but a 20 minute drive from downtown Boston.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rlh
      itryalot RE: rlh Jul 20, 2013 04:16 PM

      Maybe we didn't know where we were going but it took FOREVER to get there. Do they sell their loaves in town anywhere?

      1. re: itryalot
        Madrid RE: itryalot Jul 20, 2013 05:15 PM

        a few varieties of Iggy's bread are sold at some Whole Foods markets for much more $$$$. Iggy's is also at some farmers markets in town, I think at the Copley Sq Market on Tuesdays and Fridays. Maybe listed on their web site or call them.

        1. re: itryalot
          lc02139 RE: itryalot Jul 21, 2013 07:27 AM

          mapquest say's 6 miles from Boston on local roads, the area can be congested so if you avoid lunch and rush hour traffic shouldn't be FOREVER and you can't get fresher than from the bakery, but you can snag a piece of pizza if you go around lunch time or a bagel if you go earlier. They also list the farmers markets they attend.


          1. re: lc02139
            itryalot RE: lc02139 Jul 21, 2013 07:42 AM

            We'll be heading out on a Sunday morning, so should be easier driving too. I think you sold me on going directly there!

            1. re: itryalot
              catsmeow RE: itryalot Jul 21, 2013 02:51 PM

              I don't think there's much that compares with the variety and quality of Iggys bakery location. I wish I was over that way more often.

              1. re: itryalot
                rlh RE: itryalot Jul 22, 2013 03:09 PM

                The Iggy's Bakery opens early and has awesome coffee (two types as well as iced) and some of the very best croissants available - love the feta cheese one, as well as pecan rolls that are more nutty than sticky - another favorite - you'll be able to choose from everything if you're early - they also have 4-foot baguettes that are not only dramatic but tasty, along with the round sourdough epi loaves, etc. The pizza later in the morning and for early lunch time is among my favorite slices in the area - often very interesting seasonal specials - like garlic scapes, local asparagus, and ramps - all with top notch cheese, sometime with sauce, sometimes with little or none.

                1. re: rlh
                  galleygirl RE: rlh Jul 23, 2013 09:37 AM

                  Plus, don't forget the potato-leek focaccia...Will make up for any lack of pizza....

        2. g
          Gabatta RE: itryalot Jul 20, 2013 01:26 PM

          Bricco Panetteria is excellent for bread.

          IMO, donuts have just about jumped the shark (a la cupcakes).

          5 Replies
          1. re: Gabatta
            hotoynoodle RE: Gabatta Jul 20, 2013 02:07 PM

            +1 on bricco.

            do we have "gourmet" donuts? am thinking not.

            1. re: hotoynoodle
              phatchris RE: hotoynoodle Jul 21, 2013 05:37 AM

              Union square Donuts in Somerville?

            2. re: Gabatta
              itryalot RE: Gabatta Jul 20, 2013 04:17 PM

              I know about the donuts; none where we live any more. People at work crave great donuts with gourmet flavors unfortunately...guess they're not getting any! LOL

              Re: Bricco - I see a few possibilities for loaves, but when Iread description, Iggy's seems good. I may have to get a couple of different ones to try though. Anyone have brick oven bread or wood fired bread?

              1. re: itryalot
                hotoynoodle RE: itryalot Jul 20, 2013 06:32 PM

                wood-fired anything is illegal in boston, unless someplace got grandfathered in -- and i can't think of any bakeries that have.

                bricco has its standard items, but every time i've been they have a few specialty breads available too.

                brick ovens:



                have never tried either, but they are available locally.

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  itryalot RE: hotoynoodle Jul 21, 2013 07:43 AM

                  I forgot about the wood fired ban....

            3. p
              phatchris RE: itryalot Jul 20, 2013 01:28 PM

              AJ King in Salem is my new favorite.

              2 Replies
              1. re: phatchris
                teezeetoo RE: phatchris Jul 20, 2013 03:10 PM

                clear flour and canto 6 - if pretzels are a consideration the Swiss House in Allston

                1. re: teezeetoo
                  Allstonian RE: teezeetoo Jul 21, 2013 06:54 AM

                  That's Swiss Bakers: http://www.swissbakers.com/

                  The folks at Clear Flour have been getting into German baking of late, and they have some excellent pretzels as well (weekends only, unfortunately.) They even got someone to make them a replica of the hanging pretzel rack shown in this 17th-century Dutch painting: http://www.worcesterart.org/Collectio...

              2. m
                maxevan RE: itryalot Jul 20, 2013 05:49 PM

                We love Nashoba Brooks bread, but live out in the burbs. Is it available in the city at all? Their Pepperjack is amazing as toast as is the Brioche.

                7 Replies
                1. re: maxevan
                  Madrid RE: maxevan Jul 21, 2013 07:14 AM

                  I think Savenor's in Cambridge might have some varieties, but the bakery should be able to confirm where it's sold in the city.

                  1. re: maxevan
                    bear RE: maxevan Jul 21, 2013 07:26 AM

                    Nashoba's olive bread has caramelized onions in it and makes fantastic croutons tossed with a little garlic and butter and toasted in the oven or on the stovetop. Great with gazpacho.

                    Wilson Farms in Lexington sells Nashoba breads, but that may be out of the way for the OP.

                    1. re: maxevan
                      addiez RE: maxevan Jul 22, 2013 07:54 AM

                      I get the pepperjack at Harvest Co-Op in Central! The Rosemary Garlic is to die for if you find that, too.

                      1. re: maxevan
                        wonderwoman RE: maxevan Jul 22, 2013 07:54 PM

                        i've seen nashoba brook at whole foods and the porter square star.

                        1. re: maxevan
                          wwarren RE: maxevan Jul 23, 2013 07:07 AM

                          I have dreams about their olive bread. My brother used to work there for a while in high school and would bring home 3-4 loaves a night-- it was heaven.

                          I've seen them at various Shaws and at Harvest in Central Sq.

                          Bricco makes a good olive loaf, too.

                          1. re: maxevan
                            maxevan RE: maxevan Jul 23, 2013 07:09 AM

                            I have to plug the café they run as well. Neat location in an old mill, fantastic lunch sandwiches and breakfast sandwiches. It gets quite crazy in there sometimes, though.

                            1. re: maxevan
                              Pegmeister RE: maxevan Jul 24, 2013 07:42 AM

                              I'm able to get the Nashoba Brook at the local Hannafords in Quincy

                            2. t
                              teezeetoo RE: itryalot Jul 21, 2013 04:51 PM

                              If your interest goes beyond French/Italian style, I'd also suggest a visit to some of the excellent Russian markets here, notably Baza in Newton but also Bazaar (the one on Cambridge Street in Allston) for first-rate eastern European style breads. You can also find superb sausages and hams and jams and cookies that are delicious and reasonable.

                              1. opinionatedchef RE: itryalot Jul 21, 2013 09:58 PM

                                I offer you strong opinions!
                                1) forget donuts in Boston
                                2) boston has no wonderful French pastry shops. period. the last one closed in 1970.
                                3) It's possible that your best 'one stop shopping' would be in the North End. Italian bakeries like Maria and Modern in the North End have a few v.good items.They are 1-2 blocks away from a new well reviewed rustic breads bakery- Bricco- mentioned by other posters here.

                                4) i am a die hard Iggy's fan. Their Francese is my heartbeat.
                                (I live 4 minutes from Mamadou ; i much prefer Iggy's but then i am a sourdough lover. Center Boston to Mamadou is 30 min. non rush hour. ) Clearflour in Brookline also has excellent breads. I have not been impressed enough by
                                Canto or AJKing or Swiss Bakers-to go out of my way to get there, though they each have items that are very good.

                                5) Best croissants in Boston are at Chocolee(and the new
                                Bread and Butter by the North End) both in Boston proper, and Japonaise Bakery in Brookline.

                                While you have only mentioned rustic french and ital. style
                                breads, just fyi ,there is a wonderful When Pigs Fly store in Somerville and Brookline. These are heavy dense sourdough based breads with scores of fun and inventive varieties. Some are sweet and make fun breakfast breads: Lemon Blueberry Raspberry; Chocolate; Orange,Toasted Walnut and Cranberry...........
                                Their ryes are also stellar.


                                1. i
                                  itryalot RE: itryalot Jul 23, 2013 08:57 AM

                                  For convenience and time's sake, it'll be Iggy's with some add ons from Bricco if needed. Thanks!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: itryalot
                                    bear RE: itryalot Jul 23, 2013 12:56 PM

                                    I think that will give you a big bang for the buck since your time here is pretty short. Please report back!

                                  2. g
                                    gracenote RE: itryalot Jul 23, 2013 02:43 PM

                                    You might see if there is a Farmer's Market nearby that Pain d'Avignon sells at. They're based in Hyannis but do some local markets.

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