Friday, January 25, 2008
A little piece of Europe
I’ve begun a new habit: Stopping at Ollie’s Bakery on my way to work for a soy Au Lait and French Roll. Ollie’s is as close to a European bakery as they come on this side of the pond. Truly. Their selections are small, but the breads are crafted in the European tradition, and each morning, there’s a new rotation of specialties: croissants, scones, popovers, long baguettes, round floured bâtards. I adore bakeries—not pastry bakeries, but true bread bakeries. Ollie’s gets it.
I’ve had a flair for baking for the past four years. I began tentatively experimenting with plain, yeasted loaves, and gradually moved on to sourdoughs, foccacias encased with garlic, and French doughs that need days of maturation before they can be baked. I secretly desire a brick oven in my back yard, just for bread baking.
“Give us this day our daily bread” is my mantra. I would happily survive on just bread—but I mean good, quality, European-style breads. I love baking them, eating them, and inhaling the aromas.
Which is why I love Ollie’s. Conveniently, Ollie’s is on my way to work, and I’ve gotten to the point where they know exactly what I want, as soon as I come in. I hand them my mug, and they make me the perfect Au Lait. I buy my little French Roll, for $.85 cents, and my day takes on a better feel.
For some reason, that simple act—stopping in for good coffee and bread, starts my day off just right.