Bakery Nouveau

Editor’s Pick

$ Bakeries

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By 6AM on weekdays, dense baguettes, gooey brown-sugar pecan brioche, and heavenly croissants—flaky and brown on the outside, sweet and chewy inside—start issuing from the ovens of Essential Baking Company's former executive pastry chef. William Leaman, Seattle's own international champion of baking, won the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie for pastries and breads, and now the trophy holds pride of place on the counter at Leaman's West Seattle storefront bakery. By lunchtime, neighbors and Junction shoppers file into the austere, mocha-walled café for croque monsieurs and delectable quiches. The giant trophy reminds folks not to leave without a sunflower rye ring or a loaf of challah; nobody needs reminding about the Parisian-style chocolates and candies. Leaman's macaroons, in flavors like pistachio, raspberry, and mocha, embody that most delicious contradiction: airy and light as a feather yet rich and decadent as a lost weekend in Paris.

Last updated: 06/13/2012