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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Arizmendi Bakery: SF

I love mornings. I love the promise of mornings: it's early enough to get all sorts of things accomplished and any thing is possible. But it's also early enough to savor and enjoy the art of doing nothing, which, I admit, is not a luxury I get often (you and me both, I'm sure). Yesterday I slept in until about 9 am and it occurred to me that I had the whole morning to myself with nothing to do. Yeeeees.

My friend, Eli, recently told me that Arizmendi makes an apple-sage sourdough on saturdays that "gives meaning to bread". Now that is a statement. Arizmendi, my second favorite bakery in the city sliding in just after Tartine, is a sister co-operative bakery to the famous Cheeseboard Cooperative in Berkeley. In addition to breads and bakery goodies, each of these places have a vegetarian pizza that changes daily (and I have been known to sometimes plan meals around their pizza calendar). I tossed a book in my bag and grabbed my trusty Tea Tiger full of Cream Tea and headed out into the February gray with a sourdough goal in mind.

Apple-Sage Sourdough: Tiny diced apple bits are folded into a soured dough and speckled with flecks of fresh sage.
It's not really a savory bread, but it isn't exactly a sweet one either. The apples and sage provide a nice balanced flavor, which starts to grow on you with each bite. I bought a loaf for Eli as a surprise she is sure to love...

I should probably admit to you that I arrived at the bakery around 10 am and it took a-l-l of my will power to not order the pizza of the day for breakfast--spinach, red onions, feta cheese, lemon and thyme oil, parsley and parmesan cheese. This got MUCH easier to do once I caught a glimpse of the scone selection and saw that they had my favorite scone.It's made with cornmeal for a fantastic texture with just enough butter to create a delicate crumb. Then they fold in some dried tart cherries and generously sprinkle sugar on the top to create a thick sugar crust. It is the perfect scone. Really. Perfect.

SF Gate published a recipe from the Cheeseboard Collective back in May 2006. I tried it hoping for the magic of cornmeal cherry scones to fill my kitchen, but instead it was a total disaster. The butter ratio was so high that the oven just melted the heaps of scone batter into buttery pools of goo. It could have been due to the fact that I didn't use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients, but I think it was likely due to the fact that I used soymilk with some vinegar instead of true buttermilk. Maybe I will try again.

Or maybe I will just hop back on the train and head back to Arizmendi...Maybe on a Friday when they make a Fig-Fennel Sourdough.

1 comment:

Brian Yaeger said...

You guys were there Sat? Kim & I go there almost every Sunday when we head to the farmer's market across the street. Kim also get the corn-cherry scone since it's one of her favorite things of all time. I am trying to make my way through just about everything else.

We'll have to hit it next time you're there since it's a short walk through the park for us.