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Friday, August 13, 2010

Baker and Banker Bakery's Focaccia Pizza

Posted By on Fri, Aug 13, 2010 at 7:25 AM

click to enlarge Focaccia pizza ($4.50). - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Focaccia pizza ($4.50).
Friday, August 13, 2010

Focaccia pizza: You brace for something dense or dry, seeping oil, capped with rubbery cheese. Not at the hands of Lori Baker. At Baker and Banker Bakery ― the restaurant's two-week-old pastry shop annex ― focaccia pizza becomes a bouffant expression of technical skill. You wonder how Baker and her staff get the dough slab so airy, so filled with irregular air chambers, so elastic.

click to enlarge Fluffernutter cupcake ($3.50). - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Fluffernutter cupcake ($3.50).
And the pizza part: tomatoes with the bright acidity of San Marzanos, a thin mantle of mozzarella that skirts any notion of goo.

Of course, ordering focaccia pizza from a pastry chef's case is sort of like opting for the salmon at a steak house. Good as it is, it'll never be as lovable as Baker's Fluffernutter cupcake, finely textured vanilla cake plugged with peanut-butter buttercream, crowned with soft, shiny meringue. It sheens your upper lip on first bite, a ballerina's tutu turned edible.

By the way, co-owner Jeff Banker says to expect sandwiches in coming weeks. Brisket on house-baked challah; others, too. "We're only getting started," he says.

Baker and Banker Bakery: 1701 Octavia (at Bush), 351-2500.

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