With over 80 locations of Maison Kayser around the world, it was only a matter of time before Parisian master baker Eric Kayser arrived on American shores. His first New York boulangerie/patisserie/cafe opened last week on the Upper East Side, and on day two was already packed with crowds, black-and-white-striped waiters shuttling sandwiches and pastries to tables, and of course many, many baguettes. We got a peek of the menu and kitchen, and learned about Kayser's plans for NYC expansion.
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At Bien Cuit, his new Smith Street bakery, Zachary Golper is assembling a team of top-notch "bread hands." By that, he means workers with hands that are "delicate but strong and dexterous" and with an instinct for shaping dough. Serious Eats has already documented his lovely tarts, croissants, and sandwiches. Here we're going to celebrate Bien Cuit's breads.
A bakery grows in a shipping container in a Brooklyn yard. That yard is part of the Bushwick compound of Roberta's Pizza, whose business seems to grow and morph every day. At first, the bakery used the pizza oven during the few, early morning hours it wasn't churning out pies. Last year, the restaurant hired master oven artisan Dick Bessey to build a big wood-fired oven in one of the many shipping containers that clutter its yard. In November, the restaurant brought in Melissa Weller, who has a resume that includes stints as head baker at Per Se and Bouchon as well as work at Sullivan Street and Babbo. The loaves that she pulls out of the oven every morning rival any in the city.
In honor of Serious Eats Bakery Week, we set out to answer a question that's been on our mind for ages: what's the best baguette in New York? Because for every good baguette, there are dozens of disappointments. Tough, mouth-hurting crusts or doughy, spongy insides. A dried-out crumb or a flavor that's too sweet or too sour or just plain bland. We're tired of suffering bad bread—and wanted to find you the best in the city.
Certain classic combinations never get old. Consider the Levain Bakery baguette with butter and jam. Levain cuts off a third of the thin, tubular, just-crusty-enough sourdough baguette and fills it with seedless Polaner raspberry jam and soft, sweet butter....
If you haven't already checked out the piece on the world's foremost baguettologist in New York Magazine, you must. This is all you need to know about Steven L. Kaplan: When he speaks of baguettes he says things like...