I had a perfect bite of pastry at b. patisserie recently. I went to the shop looking forward to getting one of their kouign amman, for which they are justly famous. I arrived at 5:15 on a Saturday afternoon, and there was a line around the counter. I scanned the pastries on display at the counter; after a typically busy day there were only a few pastries left, including one lone kouign amman. Please, no one take it, I thought to myself Of course, one of the customers ahead of me snagged it, and my heart sunk in disappointment. Then, disappointment turned to excitement as the person behind the counter announced that more will be coming in six minutes. Six minutes, and I can taste one fresh out of the oven? Yes please! A freshly baked kouign amman from b. patisserie is incredible. The crisp flaky richness of the outer layers, slightly underdone interior, and warm sweet syrup in the center were at their peak deliciousness. Don’t get me wrong, a room temperature kouign amman baked that day is still pretty good, but one that is just a few minutes out of the oven? Perfect.
The store is located on California at Divisidero. The chef, Belinda Leong, trained with Pierre Herme in Paris and can usually be seen working in the open bakery. I watched one of the chefs encase an enormous block of butter into some dough, and then use a machine with a conveyor belt to pass the laminated dough through a roller to make perfect layers. I need one of those! So much easier than rolling the dough out by hand with a rolling pin!