Dig This... with Stu Helm
photo by Stu Helm on Instagram @stuhelmfoodfan
French Bread + Croissant = Culinary Ecstasy
I was recently put in charge of buying bread for a nice dinner that my girlfriend Dawn was cooking for friends. Actually, the truth is that I put myself in charge of buying the bread because I absolutely did not want anyone else bringing inferior bread to this dinner! Yes, I am a bread snob, and I know where to get the best bread ever, and that place is The Rhu.
The Rhu is owned and operated by James Beard nominated Chef John Fleer, who also owns Rhubarb and Benne on Eagle. All three venues are excellent, but it’s The Rhu, and head baker Chef Kaley Laird, who have me utterly hooked on their bread, and very specifically their laminated baguette, which is like a cross between a very crusty croissant and a loaf of French bread. Let that sink in for a minute.
In baking terms, “lamination” means layers of butter and dough, which is how a croissant is typically constructed. Chef Laird uses this technique to build her amazing baguette, which makes it insanely crusty on the outside, though not hard or sharp, and incredibly rich, moist, decadent and buttery on the inside. It is to die for.
PRO TIP: Wrap this bread in foil, and heat it up in the oven up before serving, and you and your guests will die a thousand deaths of culinary ecstasy together. Yes, it’s that good!
I served it warm to our dinner guests and they oooed and ahhhed, asked where I got it and asked what makes it so dang good. They told me the bread is a super-star, that I was a hero for buying it and that you will impress the heck out of anyone if you introduce it to, guaranteed.
Try their galettes — flaky, rustic pies filled with a seasonal local fruit.
Also, I don’t do any task without a food-reward, so I ate a galette while I was on my bread buying mission. A galette is like a little rustic pie, and again, Chef Kaley makes my favorites in Asheville. Very hearty, filling and delicious, sweet but not too sweet, and of course made with locally sourced fruits, regional cheeses and other impeccable ingredients.
If you haven’t been to The Rhu yet, you have to go — it’s required eating. All of their breads are great, and yes, I’ve tried them all! Likewise, their line of sweet treats are all great, so reward yourself with a galette while you’re at it, or a fig rhuton or an oatmeal cream pie or one of their award winning chocolate chip cookies. See you there!
Find all the food specials, new menu additions, events and more from The Rhu by checking out their Dig Local Profile.
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