Croissants - SF Dish of the Month February 2014
Croissants are the February 2014 Dish of The Month! Let the butter begin!
Now is your chance your try croissants you've not eaten before and report back on them. You might have a favorite croissant already, so use that to gauge the quality of your explorations. Tell us about the flakiness, butteriness, laminations, saltiness, breadiness, flavors. etc. How does it hold together?
If you revisit a place, please let us know about the place's consistency. Is it better on a certain day of the week or at a certain time of day? Is the regular fantastic, and the BBQ-flounder croissant terrible?
Here is a link to this month's vote:
I'll start this off a day early with my so-far favorite croissant in the Bay Area, probably the best I've had anywhere, at M.H. Bread & Butter in San Anselmo. I've had the plain one and the Chocolate Almond one, both best of type to me.
http://ruthvenphotos2.com/mhbreadbutter (first two photos of food)
re: Malcolm Ruthven
I hit MHBB this afternoon, on the way home from a bike ride - I got the last plain croissant, and given the late hour, it was very good - light, flaky and had a good amount of layering and air in the center (see the picture). I kind of wished for a bit more buttery flavor, but overall it was very good - certainly as good or better than many I've had in Europe.
Since I was running too late to get a croissant at Feel Good Bakery, I got one at Focaccia, right next to my office.
As I remembered, this is not a great croissant. It's not terrible, though. The texture is way off: no layers, not "stretchy" on the inside and crisp on the outside. But the flavor is pretty good; it's enjoyable if you don't expect it to be a croissant. A definite step up from some of those dreadful puffy and/or soggy things that are passed off as croissants.
My first croissant for DOTM turned out not to be a croissant, but I'll report on it anyway since it looks like a croissant and tasted better than things labeled as croissants elsewhere. I've had two croissant-shaped cuernitos at Panaderia La Mexicana on 24th St, one at 7:30am and another at 5am. It's a sweet bread, kind of like challah, but the shape lends to a higher ratio of eggwashed crust. The 7:30am one was good and airy. The 5am one needed more time to cool and tasted of raw egg.
I just inhaled a near-impeccable (can there be such a thing?) croissant -- at Fournee in Berkeley. Wow.
Perfect size/shape. Crisp 'n flakey exterior. Layered dough interior. My only disappointment: I would have liked a bit more of the butter flavor coming thru.
I will be back soon to try the bacon 'n eggs nested in croissant dough. Looks like a winner as well. Actually EVERYTHING had strong eye appeal, especially the bergamot lemon tart.
Since you reported on the plain croissant, I tilted toward the Seville marmalade croissant on Friday. It's round and squat, looking like a snail, but the dough is folded inward toward the center rather than spiraled. It almost looked like a kouign amann, but not quite as tall.
I loved the crispness of the flaky outside layer. The housemade marmalade was attractively bitter, and there's a bit of ground nuts on top as well. Like you, I would have liked a bit more butter . . . but that's where the kouign amann comes through.
Birdsall said this place knows lamination, and indeed it does.
More about Fournée Bakery,
Got my Feel Good croissant this morning.
The last one I'd had was disappointing, and I was wondering if they were going downhill. However, this one restored my faith: shattering crisp buttery crust on the outside; tender, stretchy and layered on the inside, with a hint of yeast. Still one of the best around.