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A&J Bakery in Salem--a new local gem (long)


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A&J Bakery in Salem--a new local gem (long)

vvrimon | Jan 21, 2007 06:33 AM

Perhaps you saw this Wednesday's article in the Globe about new bakeries popping up everywhere. My SO and I went on a little field trip to try them all out. Far and away, A&J King in Salem stole the show. If you love Standard Bakery in Portland, Maine, and prayed for something similar...rustic, hearty, soulful, deceptively show up in our neck of the woods, your prayers have been answered. Though not everything was perfect (not big on the corn muffin, personally) some real treats were the raisin scones (I think they called them biscuits), which were wonderfully short without being overly crumbly, and not one bit dry, and a wonderful outer-carmalized properly-crust to soft inside ratio. Also impressive were the pecan shortbreads (I read they use Plugra butter, and with shortbread being the vehicle for butter that it is, their choice of premium high-fat butter shines through), their wonderful bouchons (which could make me give up big, clunky American brownies forever, because while these have all the richness of a brownie, they somehow achieve an elegance that a brownie lacks {and probably doesn't aspire to achieve}). Also sublime was the bread pudding, which was, thankfully, not a sugar bomb, despite being glazed with a hard caramel, and its eggy richness was cut just right with bourbon (perhaps?). Also a damn fine coffee cake, wonderful, light, crusty but not stab-you-in-the-gums crusty french breads and rolls, a lovely ciabatta. I would, in short, haul ass over there.

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