A Loaf Affair
Forget the witch kitsch: This sweet Salem bakery has plenty of its own charms.
Salem may be best known for its historic witch hunts, but fans of hand-formed boules and crusty baguettes may soon edge out the wicca buffs here. The new A&J King Artisan Bakers, run by Andy and Jackie King, is turning out loaves, pastries, cookies, and cakes that, if you don’t live nearby, are well worth a road trip.
When you make yours, be sure to arrive early for the still-warm breakfast pastries. The buttery sticky rolls banished every memory of food-court Cinnabons. A slightly dry brioche à tête didn’t go over as well, but that was a small demerit in light of the tender apricot-ginger scones. As for breads, a baby boule of sourdough was tangy and complex, and even more so the following day. And the darker, thick-crusted pain au levain stayed delicious even after being frozen, thawed, and recrisped in an oven. All in all, if you’re a devotee of oven-fresh treats, A&J is bound to cast a spell.
48 Central St., Salem, 978-744-4881, ajkingbakery.com.