When it comes to croissants, there is a sizeable difference between one worth paying for and one that’s not. I have been trying out bakeries all over Seattle, and I would like to share the top three that deliver outstanding results consistently, so the next time you visit Seattle, you know where to go.
What makes a good croissant? I am a long-time baker, and I have taken pastry classes from different institutes and pastry chefs. So I based my evaluation both on the experience and the technical execution of the croissants. I also tried to incorporate some non-technical components, like if the croissants bring me memories of my trips to France where I had exceptional ones.
Here are the basics:
- Visually: It should be golden brown, with a caramelized crust. Depending on the glaze, it might be shiny or not. All the layers from the lamination of the dough have to be visible, and it has five or seven distinct elements.
- Smell: It should give you a ‘bakery’ feeling, and you should feel the butter and the bread as the prominent aromas.
- Weight: the croissant should feel very lightweight and airy when holding it in your hands.
- Texture: A good croissant is very flaky, and it makes a mess of crumbles while eating it. The interior is moist, and the crumb is very open, almost like a spider web.
- Flavor: A croissant contains a lot of butter; thus, its quality must stand out. If you want to appreciate the flavor, I recommend tasting different high-quality kinds of butter to get a reference. It must not taste either too salty or too sweet.
You can watch this video of Alex trying out various croissants in Paris to have an additional reference.
Best Croissants in Seattle
Here are my top three choices. There is, however, a fourth one worth mentioning that didn’t make it to my top three because their results are not consistent: 1 out of three times, I’ve got a good croissant and the remaining average to poor. This bakery is Cafe Besalu in Ballard.
I also like Macrina Bakery for other baked goods, but their croissants don’t pass the visual test.
Rosellini’s Bakery In Ballard
This place not only serves the best croissants in Seattle but also serves excellent coffee, an outstanding selection of viennoiseries, and my favorite granola so far; I will be making another post to talk about local granolas.
Sea Wolf Bakers in Fremont
This place is extremely close to Rosellini’s, and they make outstanding bread and savory baked goods.
Fuji Bakery in West Queen Anne
This Japanese bakery doesn’t look like much from the outside, but their baked goods are outstanding. They even took trouble of labeling their croissants as made with European butter.
For discussion’s sake, I haven’t covered all of the bakeries in Seattle. There are many that I haven’t tried; however, I’ve been to the top-rated ones from various sites, and blogs, and the Seattle magazine.
If you know any bakery and would like me to try it, please let me know in the comments section below.