Fournée Bakery

on 2022-07-07

Overall grade: Superb

# of visits: many

Solid all-around classic French style. Serves pastry, bread, dessert, quiche and sandwich.

Ever since the first time there waiting in the long line around the corner not even having seen the shop front but heard a frequent local exciting verdict "best bakery ever" with a big thumbs up, it's been a staple visit every time passing Berkeley. Having tried almost everything1, it's safe to say you can't go wrong there. The fundamentals including laminated dough, levain bread, scone base, canele are excellently mastered and consistently executed. The flavor variations on top of the base are locally sourced, seasonal and full of complexities yet all well combined.

Best of the best

Everything on the menu is amazing. If having to give recommendations, the following items stand out from the crowd to showcase both outstanding mastery of base techiniques and creative take on flavor variations.

Veggie Croissant - Seasonal veggie paired with soft cheese, diamond fold or cylinder roll croissant layer super flakey

Fruit Croissant - Almond cream baked to crunchy, sweet fruit jam, diamond fold croissant layer super flakey

Fruit Scone - Crispy buttery outer shell, moist interior, pulpy juicy berries

Teff & Corn Grits with Black Sesame Seeds - Fine crumb, chewy not hard crust, very fragrant sesame aroma

Canele - Super caramelized exterior, crispy and chewy (not contradicting, crispy from the very surface and chewy from the transition layer from surface to inner custard) strong vanilla flavored custard, can see vanilla bean specks, moist and bouncy

Honorable mentions

It doesn't mean items listed here are not amazing. Just if it's your first time there and you want a sample of their representatives, the above list makes your decision easier. The list here is all solid options. But you can also get similar quality at other places. So don't hesitate to get them here if you want a taste of classics.

Plain Croissant - If you want a baseline of their laminated dough, here you go. Very solid honeycomb structure, airy, light and buttery. The exterior has a darker shine, thin crispy skin.

Almond Croissant - The classic almond cream center and top. The top almond cream turns into crispy almond biscuit. The almond flavor is spot on. The only critique is sometimes the croissant layer gets squashed or turns slightly soggy, making it not as peak taste as it should be. Still enjoyable but could be better.

Chocolate Croissant - Big cylinder flakes wrapping around chocolate cores. Good croissant base. High quality chocolate. Stay well even the next day.

Quiche - I've never thought I'd enjoy cold savory egg-based tart. Portable. Crumbly but sturdy tart shell. Super flavorful veggies and cheese encased by egg base. The egg base is tender and bouncy. It's an elegantly packed all-in-one meal slice.

1 Haven't tried a sandwich. According to the menu description, it's the same seasonal ingredients or ham & cheese croissants on baguette. With all the components top rated, the whole can't be far from excellent. That the sum is greater than its parts is usually trickery and false logic. But here you are just gonna take my word for it.