As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2014, coming April 16, the Hot Dish is serving up 100 of our favorite local dishes.
There is a lot to love at Anne Andrus and Emily Ackerman's Honey & Rye Bakehouse in St. Louis Park: Coffee from Tiny Footprint, chicken soup with thick homemade egg noodles, and a chewy coconut macaroon that does not mess around.
But if you're going to run a bakery, especially one with a heavy artisan bread focus, you absolutely must get the basics right. We knew Andrus had her arsenal well-stocked after biting into one of her crisply, flaky chocolate croissants, but what really inspired confidence was the simple, pitch-perfect baguette.
It's just flour, water, yeast, and salt, but what a deft baker does with those ingredients -- the handling and the technique and the precise timing -- is what produces a fine loaf of daily bread. Honey & Rye's baguettes are soft and tender on the inside, chewy and flavorful as a good pizza crust, but the exterior is soundly knockable and shatters satisfyingly when you tear into it.
It may be peasant food, but this particular baguette, especially when spread with cold salted butter or swirled into some good fruity olive oil, is fit for royalty.
4501 Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park, MN