Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Baker’s Wife Pastry Shop – Minneapolis, MN

Every once in a while, I get a random txt from MommasBoy with a photo of some amazing food I need to try. He’s an amazing food scout and knows what I like. Recently, I got a photo of a donut from him. He claimed it was from the best bakery in the world – Baker’s Wife – and I needed to go there. I could tell it was a cake donut, so I wrote back I wasn’t impressed (I’m a militant hater of cake donuts – if I wanted cake, I’d eat cake!). He said they had some ham thing I needed to try. And he also said, “I love St. Paul, but Baker’s Wife is my favorite bakery ever!” – Those are some strong words coming from a die-hard St. Paulian.

Fortunately, I woke up early on a Saturday to play disc golf with my regular group. When this happens, it means I get to go get donuts before playing. I remembered MommasBoy telling me about Baker’s Wife. It was mostly on the way to where we were playing that morning, so I swung by. Lots of parking out front, so there weren’t any concerns there.A couple of guys went in before me and were looking in the cases at things. There are hand written signs saying what they have and what is what in baskets on the counter. There are post-it notes everywhere in the kitchen with numbers and recipes and things on them. This place is actually a home kitchen that just happens to be in a pastry shop.

The next thing I noticed was… there weren’t any donuts. Sure, there were cake donuts near the cases, but not REAL (raised) donuts. I was already soured by the whole thing. I immediately had an urge to kick MommasBoy in the nards for wasting my time. I suppressed it, thankfully. I looked at what else they had. I was surprised at both the amount of pastry items they have and also the combinations of flavors they had. Lots of fun sounding things. Cinnamon rolls as big as your head, teacakes, snowballs, danishes, and tons of other things I can’t even explain. Sadly, I’m not a pastry guy though. I really wish I was, but I’m just not. I almost gave up on the place and walked out.

Then I heard one of the guys who walked in with me tell the lady “I’m looking for something buttery, yet savory.” The lady replied super nicely, “Well, you need to try our Ham and Cheese Danish, then!” I hadn’t even seen this thing, but I immediately knew this was what MommasBoy wanted me to try. It looked really good, and it was pretty huge. Right after those guys left with their danishes, I told the lady that I wanted one of the same since she had convinced them so easily. She could also tell I was eyeballing the Crème Brulee Danish, so she said “You’d probably better get something sweet to finish this thing off with.” So I had her throw it in there. It was also enormous. I got a glass of milk to go and since they don’t have cartons of milk, they put it in a paper coffee cup with a coffee lid so I looked like a grown up. Hahaha

I went out to the car and noticed the bag was already greased through. That’s a super good sign in my book. I know some people frown upon this, but I know it means I’m going to love whatever is in that bag. I also like to tell people, so they don’t cradle it against their favorite jacket and stain it – I’m helpful like that.

The Ham and Cheese Danish was incredible. Seriously. Super light and flaky pastry crust like I’ve never had in my life. Really. Really. Really. Flaky. And awesome. And it was pretty large, if you can’t tell from the photo. It has the big-ness. The cheese inside was perfectly melty, but not runny, and the there was a perfect amount of ham, so that it wasn’t overpowering the rest of the pastry or cheese. It was better than any breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had. I will have many of these.

I had much higher hopes for this second item I got at this point. The Crème Brulee Danish was made of the same pastry crust outside, but the inside had the delicious egg custardy good that had been blowtorched to a crunchy sugary cover on the whole thing. Again, the pastry part was delicious, but as soon as I hit the custard part, I knew I had made the right choice. The custard goo was firm, but sweetly soft. It wasn’t some low-brow Crème Brulee, it was the real thing and done really well.

When I arrived at the disc golf course a few minutes later, I stepped out and brushed a heap of flaky crumbs off my lap and shirt. It was soooo worth stopping there before playing that morning.

I take everything bad that I said about MommasBoy back. I can’t wait to see what he sends me next!

Top 5 things about A Baker’s Wife Pastry Shop
1. Ham and Cheese Danish
2. Crème Brulee Danish
3. REALLY nice people working
4. Amazing selection of pastries
5. Very home-y and lived-in feel to the shop

Bottom 5 things
1. No raised donuts
2. I had to apologize profusely to D.Rough for not taking her when I told her how awesome it is
3. Despite being on the way to disc golf, it isn’t on my way to anything else
4. Some people don’t like that much grease (I call it flavor) (And I’m assuming it’s butter)
5. This shop is making me reconsider my dislike of pastries… (I almost wrote pasties, but that’s a different article)

A Baker’s Wife Pastry Shop
4200 28th Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406


Anonymous said...

I awoke one morning after a bad dream ,All the bakers had been lost, is all i will go in to now,So as quick as i could off to the a bakers wife ,good their open ,I grab a cup of holes and a coke and all is good.We need this place.

mrtimm25 said...

If you prefer raised donuts check out Mel-o-glaze bakery. It is a few blocks south from A Baker's Wife on 28th. Also worth the out of the way trip. Sometimes I go to both since it is out of the way for me too.

lee said...

put them on the list for cake tasting....

when my son got married, i went with him and chicky to each place. i threatened to not come to the wedding unless i got to go to each cake tasting. funfunfun!

Anonymous said...

I bought a special pastry at Edelweiss bakery in Prior Lake for wife's b'day in October. It was so good, I wanted to get the same thing for each of the relatives for Xmas. Turns out it was seasonal and nothing like it there anymore.

Frosted chocolate cake with custard, fudge and caramel between chewy layers of what seemed to be a reduced custard like what I'd find above the graham cracker crust at the bottom of my mom's rhubard pies.

Where can I find such a concoction? it was fabulous!

Anonymous said...

Your selling yourself short by not trying the doughnuts. Yes they are cake doughnuts - but if you get 'em early when they are fresh out of the fryer (Take that cake!) they are divine. The perfect cross of warm sweet crunch, and soft fluffy interior. I prefer sprinkles. The tea cakes are pretty blissful as well. :D