Best Bakery - 2012
Empire Baking Company
Dallas doesn't exactly have a reputation as a baking town. A sea of sandwich shops selling hoagies on flaccid rolls, a dearth of bagels and a general lack of Old World bakeries have cast the city in a negative baking light. The folks at Empire Baking Company are trying to change that image, though, crusty baguette by crusty baguette. Forget the soft, lifeless bread you find at most grocery stores and get ready to embrace bread with personality. Their baguettes sport a crisp dark brown crust that takes real work to get through, but grab a knife and take a look inside the loaf. See all those irregular holes? Smell that complex bouquet of grain that's not hindered by too much yeast? This is the bread that artisans in Europe have spent centuries perfecting. That this much quality comes from the hands of Chris Cutshall makes the bread even more amazing; he's trained as a chef, not a master baker, and he produces the best loaves in Dallas.