Who will lead me to a larger waist measurement???
I can’t help you with your question. But Kouign-amann is my vice!
Bakery Nouveau’s is definitely good, I think I had one at Honore that was dark beyond French brown and not good but memory is hazy. Worth trying if Ballard is convenient. Crumble & Flake makes everything so small you don’t get that overindulgent gooiness like with Nouveau’s.
Thanks, BabetteI. Is there any difference 'twixt the West Seattle and Capitol Hill locations of Nouveau IYO?
I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten anything from Capitol Hill. I believe they do each make their own doughs, but William is known for high standards so I wouldn’t fear. If you go to the hill, might as well stop by C&F too. You could also try Ines Patisserie on 11th & Madison while in the 'hood. Not sure if she does KA or if you’ll get anything resembling customer service, but you can try
I have no basis for comparison to your area’s bakery offerings, but can vouch for the excellence of Trader Joe’s frozen KA. You have to let it thaw/proof overnight, but then have the advantage of maximum crispness once you’ve baked it yourself, eating it while it is still warm.
Real butter and fresh out of the oven go a long way.
Here in Portland, the best I ever had was from Alder, a now defunct bakery on E Burnside. Actually, everything I had from them was top notch. Haven’t found anything close yet. I was craving it last week and not feeling like driving across town to potentially be disappointed, so I just took some time and made my own. I clearly need more practice…
Well, last week I had Honore’s, and yesterday I had Nouveau’s (W. Seattle).
The two were totally different. Honore’s was solidly caramelized on the bottom, and the rest of its crust was firm but light. Extremely buttery. Nouveau’s was firmer, the dough sweeter, almost no caramelization, and bread-ier/yeast-ier; at its center was a curious disk of semi-melted granular sugar. I don’t think this is what Nouveau intended.
I defer to your expertise and experience (and everyone has their days), but based on this A-B, Honore would bring me back. Nouveau not.
Before tasting either, I had read that there is no recognized standard for Kouign-amann. A dear friend in San Francisco, with whom we are classmates with David Liebovitz, took me to 3 bakeries in the City, all of which David had raved to him about. None were remotely the same, and to a degree that I would not have recognized them as the same pastry, A-B-C. The one I enjoyed the most was from a small place in Presidio Heights; what distinuished it to my taste was that the caramelization was atop the pastry, yet the whole thing was crunchy, yet very light.
I guess I need to try more places…
I have to echo greygarious on this one- TJs and Williams-Sonoma both make a decent frozen proof-and-bake product (WS is, of course, exponentially more expensive). You can bake them fresh and eat them warm at home in your pajamas, which beats even the best hours-old bakery product.
I think the richness of the dough and the crispness of the caramelized sugar do not result in a product that sits on the shelf very well. If you can get a still-warm KA from Noveau or Honore, it might be life-changing, but I’ll stick to proof-and-bake for now.
And which 3 are those? Is B one of them?
Yes, B Paisserie was one:
B Patisserie–California St at Divisadero
So many choices here and room to sit and have a nice lunch. Their bread rivals that of Poilane in Paris, but everything is good.
The others were:
Arsicault --Arguello at Clement
This was the best of the 3, IMO
The third was Neighbor Bakehouse in the Dog Patch, 3rd St at 20th or so.