Everyone is excited by all the bakeries opening (and closing) in DTLA. Some of us just can’t be bothered to drive that extra 8 miles to Atwater. And really, why should we? Every neighborhood, and neighborhood adjacent deserves a bakery, be it Chinese or French. Chinese, because they make $1 egg tarts and $1.50 crispy milk buns. French, because because they know butter. Between Chinese and French bakeries, no other breads need to exist as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully everyone got the memo on the evilness of refined white flour in America.
Anywho, here’s a video of the first dough at the B1 Breadshop being mixed. This isn’t important to anything or anyone, but… I watched the whole thing.
So far, the ham and cheese croissant, pain au chocolat, baguette, an “Italian” sandwich, and apple turn-over have been sampled from the Downtown shop. In the Jewish baked goods category, I am rather possessed by rugelachs, and in French column, palmiers. I suspect, as soon as B1’s Downtown shop starts carrying non-breakfast pastry desserts on the weekends, I will be hoarding the palmiers. Not sure why B1 decided to offer palmiers to the Venice branch first. Venetians are not greater than Downtowners. Or are they?
Out of all the pastries, the apple turn-over was the absolute fave. It’s properly brilliant, and not because B1 touts its organicness. They cut the hell out of the dough with massive amounts of cold butter. There’s no doubt in this baking process. You taste it. You see it as the butter ebbs from the croissants unto the paper bag. It’s been a while since I’ve tried Proof’s pain au chocolat and I’ve yet to make it out to
BFE Maison Giraud. But currently, in Downtown vicinity, out of all the breakfast bread choices (Bread Lounge, Bottega Louie, Towne, etc.), B1 is bread shop number one based on this one pastry alone. It carries 1000 layers of buttery fluffiness. The center is jabbed by apple (nearly compoted) that isn’t over sweet. After consuming half of this pastry, I wanted to deglaze my gut with Formula 409.
The pain au chocolat is formulated the same way. I don’t do croissant that isn’t stuffed with some type of anything, so the only way to get me to eat a croissant-shaped croissant at B1 was to have the ham & cheese. Not as “amazing” as the apple turn-over since the skimpy, vacuous center was rather depressing, but still, it carried the same fluffiness.
Is this pain au chocolat better than Proof’s? Perhaps they are par, though the ham & cheese lags behind. On the other hand, no croissant from Proof can handle the butter attack mounted by B1’s apple turn-over. It is easy to complain about the breadiness of the $9.50 sandwiches at B1, but know they use Zoe’s artsy meats from the Bay Area and not even Bay Cities bake its own bread. Alas, B1’s coffee “program” remains only French pressed Monkey & Son (non-locally roasted?). Makes sense though, since the French invented this cafetiere. So the ideal thing to do is to buy a pain au chocolat here, drive really fast to Handsome so you can pair it with a cortado for a whopping $7 coffee & bread breakfast. Downtown hipsterism never tasted so good.
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