Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Whole-Grain Goodness at Bakeshop: Portland OR

A couple of years ago a friend introduced me to an unusual and tasty scone. It wasn’t exactly sweet, and it wasn’t exactly savory – but something pleasantly in between. It was firm, but not dry, and had a rugged sort of quality. The shape was different, too. It was a spiral, kind of like a thin cinnamon roll and not the usual clumpy triangle.

Clearly, this was not your average scone. It was better – much better. 

Back at home: Bakeshop's Figgy Buckwheat Scones 
await tea time

I've since learned that what I sampled on that fateful day was a Figgy Buckwheat Scone made by Bakeshop, a wholesale and retail bakery located on NE Sandy Blvd., near 53rd in Portland, Ore. (Fortunately, Bakeshop isn't far from my abode, so the Figgy Buckwheat Scone just might become part of my daily routine.)

Bakeshop owner Kim Boyce prepares croissant dough

Bakeshop is the creation of Kim Boyce, an accomplished L.A. pastry chef who relocated to Portland 2-1/2 years ago for the same reasons as many creative people – an environment supportive of independent businesses that produce high-quality goods, combined with an appealing lifestyle.

Bakeshop has a cheery, stripped-down industrial feel – a simple white retail counter fronts a view into the baking area. On the chilly February morning I was there, Kim was kind enough to break away from her croissant dough laminator and chat with me about what gives her baked goods their distinctive flavor. When I confessed my fascination with the Figgy Buckwheat Scone, she proceeded to explain to me in layman’s terms what I was tasting.

A selection of Bakeshop's pastries

Basically, Kim uses whole-grain flour, which creates texture and a depth of flavors not found in white flour. She also goes easy on the sugar – sweetness is not the dominant thing with her creations, which allows the deeper, richer flavors of the whole-grain flour to come through.

And so my original experience with the Figgy Buckwheat Scone all began to make sense: the rough-hewn but elegant appearance, the not-quite-sweet-meets-not-quite-savory taste. In true Portland style, Bakeshop has clearly struck the perfect balance between rustic and refined.

5351 NE Sandy Blvd.
Portland, OR  97213

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