Kayser's breads are made with a sourdough starter devoid of commercial yeast.
Maison Kayser has a 100-seat sit-down cafe as well as a counter for bread and pastry to-go.
Epi East Side ($2.75)
A baguette shaped to resemble a chain of mini-loaves, designed for easy sharing.
Shaped a little more like what Americans would expect for a sourdough. "It's a sexy bread," he said of the loaf as he cut it in half.
Ed in deep bread contemplation
The pastry menu includes apricot-pistachio tarts, eclairs, croissants, brioche, financiers...
...Paris-Brest, strawberry tarts, and a brownie. Pastries run $3.75 to $5.95.
Chicken and Artichoke Tartine ($14)
Grilled chicken with artichoke tapenade, cherry tomatoes, and arugula. "Everything we do is so nice because it's simple," says Kayser.
Kayser doesn't pick sides when it comes to bread vs. pastry; "I like them all," he says with a smile.
Kayser's natural liquid starter—shipped over from France along with much of his baking staff—lives in this custom-made lactofermentation unit.
Maison Kayser's standing mixer stands as tall as Kayser himself, mixing dough all day to keep up with demand. The bakery is turning out 1,000 loaves a day, and will make all the dough for the midtown and flatiron locations projected to open in the Fall.
Loaves at Rest
Loaves of dough rest in canvas slings after shaping.
More loaves of partially risen dough waiting additional shaping, slashing, and another rise.
Though the baguettes get slashed with a razor-sharp blade right before they enter the oven, others get slashed during the shaping process.
White Chocolate Bread
Loaves of white chocolate chip dough get an egg wash.
The Planning Board
This whiteboard lays out the to-do list for the day: the breads that need to be made, notes on recipes, and ingredient costs.
Loaves of shaped dough slide on to a rack that'll roll into a walk-in fridge larger than many NYC bedrooms.
Off to the Oven
Meanwhile, other loaves are headed off to be baked.
Epi East Side
The Epi East Side is clipped with scissors right before baking to create the wheat stalk shape.
A conveyer belt slides 30 loaves into one of the five tiers of the oven.
Kayser with his Bakers
Two of Maison Kayser's French-born and -trained bakers.