By Tara Dickinson
Loïc Autret Bakery – Handmade Delights
It’s called a destination bakery for a good reason. Although I have yet to visit the great city of Paris, friends and family over the years have regaled me with stories and photos that make me a vicarious lover of the city and its cuisine. And I have to say, Loïc Autret Bakery would fit right in.
I had the opportunity to dine at the Loïc Autret Bakery Delray twice this past week. My first visit was in the early morning. I walked into a simple and elegantly styled bakery with the aroma of baking breads swirling around my head. The shop is composed of mostly large windows that allow the sunrise to stream in. Gentle French music played in the background. The south side of the establishment was taken up with an open view of the kitchen and preparation area. Here you can see the staff glazing cookies and filling croissants with chocolate before they are popped into the large ovens.
I started with the Ham & Cheese Breakfast Biscuit and a Chocolate Croissant. I also wanted a decaf coffee (I know, bear with me). They had not brewed a pot yet and offered me a personal French press carafe for my meal. This turned out to be really tasty and I was happy to be able to try it out (that was my first time using one!). The biscuit sandwich was packed with butter, layers of fluffy dough touched with a hit of rosemary and thyme I believe. The cheese added a nice savory balance and wasn’t overwhelming.
Owner and chef, Loïc, came out personally to explain to me about the delay (with was only about 5 minutes) in getting the chocolate croissants out. The first morning’s batch had been put in an oven that was a bit too hot so the final product was not quite up to his standards. They had cut up some samples to share and explain the baking process and I have to say his ‘rejects’ were 100% fine with me! Needless to say the finished product was worth ten times the wait. A dark chocolate center was surrounded by perfectly toasted layers of the croissant pastry.
My second visit to Loïc Autret Bakery Delray was for an afternoon social/business type of mixer where the host had ordered the entire menu. Thus I was able to taste just about everything my stomach could handle. Some of the highlights for me where the French Almond Cream Tart, the Walnut Raisin Bread, a Raspberry Croissant, Vanilla Butter Cookies with Pistachios, and the French Fruit Tart.
The fruit tart was layered with strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, cherries, and almond slivers all nestled on top of a melt-in-your mouth buttery crust. The walnut bread was served warm and I added a generous dab of butter. Nothing could be more delicious for your morning meal. I’m a big cookie fan so I might be a bit partial here, but I believe these cookies were some of the best I’ve ever had. Truly subtle flavors that sneak up on you and knock your socks off.
Loïc Autret Bakery Delray is located at: 814 NE 6th Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33483. 561-266-3516 and open on Tuesday – Saturday 7:30am – 4:00pm, Sunday 8:00 am – 2:00pm.