With a dedicated bread-a-holic in residence, we have tried all the recommended baguettes in the Greater Boston area. Our favorite is from Clear Flour Bread. While we pick up their regular baguette when we see it at Whole Foods or another shop, we will go out of our way to get their darker, richer Ancienne style.
This bread deserves a slide show to flaunt its star power. Click on any thumbnail to open any photo in the space above.
On their site, Clear Flour describes it as, "rustic french baguette with a very open texture & a fully caramelized crust for those seeking bold crunch and mildly sweet flavor." It's always the first item we order at the bakery or at their stand at the Brookline Farmers' Market.
Important tip: This bread is not available until after 1pm so plan your shopping trip with that in mind.
When the poster, doctorandchef, over on Boston's Chowhound board asked for the areas's best Parisian-style Baguette, Penny quickly nominated the Ancienne French and it won applause from the locals. (That conversation also discusses other wonderful, local, favorite baguettes.)
Some of the criteria doctorandchef requested were:
"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..."
We've tried to show these characteristics in the photos above.
What's your favorite Boston area baguette? Have you tried the Ancienne from Clear Flour? If so, let us know what you think.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photography: © 2012 Penny & Ed Cherubino
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