It’s owner operated bakery is also home to a little cafe where you can enjoy a great cup of coffee to accompany your croissant or pastry while you read the daily newspaper, chat with a friend, or check and respond to the ever growing list of emails we all seem to have to attend to.
Wake up & smell the bread
I had distinct pleasure of waking up at 5am on a Tuesday morning to watch and photograph the bakers prep, roll, and bake the day’s bread. The bread making process starts at midnight every day, with additional shifts starting at 3am, 6am and 8am - this prerequisite alone should tell you that in order to be a baker, you must absolutely love what you do. What else could get you out of bed at those hours?
The dough is made the day before using a recipe that’s been improved and perfected over the last 12 years that they’ve been in business. Once the dough is ready it’s put into a machine that evenly scores the dough into square cubes, where it is then hand rolled and manipulated into various rolls and breads.
From there, the formed rolls (whether it’s a miche and baguette) are placed onto a canvas type sheet called a couche, where it’s left to rise little bit more before it goes into the ovens to bake. Using the couche is a French technique that prevents the bread from drying out while also keeping it’s shape.
It should go without saying that their breads are amazing, but what’s even more extraordinary is the passion and dedication the bake staff has for what they do. Not only are the hours taxing, baking is highly mathematical (not a subject I ever excelled in). If you’re off by even a little bit, your dough could be ruined, and you have to start over, which means no bread for the customers in the morning.
Be in time or get in line
In the case of their croissants, they’ve found the right number of folds in the dough that works best for them to create the perfectly light, airy, and crispy croissant that their customers love so much.
For some bakers, the number can vary from 20 folds to 40 or 50 folds. In Rustica’s case, they’ve settled on 26 folds. On a Saturday or Sunday morning - you may have to wait out the door to get your hands on a fresh loaf of bread or pastry. Most weekends they sell out of all their breads by 9am. The only way to guarantee you get what you need is the place an order 48 hours in advance!
Their baguette is one of their best selling breads, and when I was chatting with the owner, he said they sell over 100,000 baguettes throughout the year. One hundred thousand. So incredible, but after trying it, you can understand why. It even got the attention of Bon Appetit magazine.
So the next time you find yourself in the area, make sure that Rustica is on your list for an early morning coffee, pastry, and bread to take home. We’re indeed, very lucky to have them here and hope they stay for more decades to come.
Link to website: rusticabakery.com
- Colleen -