2020: THE YEAR OF BAKED GOODS

When we look back on 2020 a decade from now, it will likely just be a stressful montage of face masks, hand sanitizer, and the inside of your home. There will be one thing that sticks out fondly, though: your sourdough starter.

Who could have predicted that baking bread would become the way many of us coped with spending months at home? Humans are funny — but if it comes down to learning to bake bread or learning a Tik Tok dance, we’ll take the former any day. If you’re looking for some baked goods from somewhere other than your own kitchen (and since you’ve likely been out of yeast for weeks anyway), here’s a hit list of spots we think you need to get to before we all emerge from our homes for the summer.

Madeline’s Croissant. We have a theory: the best croissants are the ones that make a crummy mess as you eat them, and these ones do just that. Order for Thursday pickup by calling the shop directly or placing an order online — we’re thinking these would make a perfect Mother’s Day brunch addition.

Pink Box’s Portuguese Egg Tarts. It might seem strange to get Portuguese pastries from an Asian bakery, but trust us on this one. If you can get them when they’re warm, then you’ve really hit the jackpot.

Five Points Bakery’s Baguette & Seeded Fougasse.  We can never pick between them, so our answer is usually to buy both.  The baguettes have a chewy, perfectly crisp exterior — and these may be fighting words, but we think these are the best baguettes in town. Bonus: their new bakeshop/cafe features Espresso a Mano coffee and expanded sammie menu too.

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We are closely monitoring the news regarding COVID-19 and we wanted to give you an update about the measures we are taking here in the bakery to keep our staff and community healthy. . As a food business we already take many precautions around the prevention of illness including frequent hand washing, sanitizing of surfaces, and the exclusion of employees who are sick. . We have increased the frequency with which we clean and sanitize common areas and we continue best practices around hand washing and hygiene. . If you are shopping with us, we'd appreciate if you do not lean over our retail counters or put your personal belongings on them. . During our high volume weekend times, please enjoy this early spring weather a few minutes longer to avoid crowding our small retail space. And while we will miss seeing you, please do not shop at Five Points if you are ill. . We will continue to monitor and follow guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control, as well as local and state public health authorities. . Thank you for your support and cooperation!

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La Gourmandine’s Tarts. Tarte tatin, raspberry, lemon… we love ‘em all. Things are sure to get backed up here around Mother’s Day, so if you’re planning on ordering, we’d suggest doing it soon.

350 Bakery’s Biscuits & Scones. We’ve been dreaming of a Saturday morning trip for one of their breakfast sammies with hot honey, but until things return to normal, we’ll settle for curbside pickup on Fridays. If you haven’t yet visited this teeny South Side bakery, we’d suggest a sweet or savory breakfast ASAP.

Dianoia’s Pignoli Cookies. There’s not much that the gluten-loving and gluten-free crowds can agree on, but these appeal to both. With almond flavor, pine nuts and a taste that’s sweet, but not too sweet, these are perfect as dessert or with your morning Chemex.

Bitter Ends’ Whole Wheat Donuts. We were so excited to see that our fave Bloomfield breakfast spot is available for Mother’s Day pickup, but if you want to snag some, be aware that quantities are super limited. Head to their website to place your order for their whole wheat donuts in funky, herby flavors, and make sure to wear a face mask for pickup from 10-noon on May 10.

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Sunday Flavor: Celeriac Rainbow 9-2 Amen

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Mediterra’s Mt. Athos Fire Bread. The name may seem intense, but that’s all the more reason to try out Mediterra’s flagship bread. It’s made using a germ-restored wheat sourdough that gives the bread its dark color, and it’s a super flavorful, crusty alternative to your usual French loaf — or that homemade bread you’re probably pretty tired of baking. You can pick one of these giant loaves up at their beatuiful Sewickley cafe or Market Street Grocery, Whole Foods and soon-to-open farmer’s markets across the city.

Pigeon’s Bagels. They’re selling out in minutes (no joke), so if you want to snag a dozen bagels from everyone’s favorite Squirrel Hill bagel shop, we’d suggest hitting their website the second the order form launches each morning.