New York’s five-time James Beard award-nominated bakery Bien Cuit will start serving its big crusty loaves to new customers at a Crown Heights location this week. The awning is going up and the ovens are going in at 721 Franklin (between Park and Sterling places), with plans to open to the public this weekend.
Chef/owner Zachary Golper and partner Kate Wheatcroft opened Bien Cuit’s original Boerum Hill location in 2011, winning praise for viennoiserie and naturally-leavened breads known for their signature dark char (for which the bakery is named). Bien Cuit’s “miche” bread, made from a blend of rye and wheat flours fermented for 68 hours, is something of a calling card. A West Village spinoff location closed in 2013, but a large Grand Central Market outpost opened in 2017. Bien Cuit also produces some baked goods at a Sunset Park facility to serve some wholesale accounts.
Golper and Wheatcroft’s new endeavor in Crown Heights expands Bien Cuit’s Brooklyn roots — and it comes not a moment too soon for the Thanksgiving rush. Seasonal pies like miso caramel pumpkin pie (with a gingersnap streusel crust) and smoked chocolate custard pie (with espresso caramel and homemade wood-fired marshmallows), will be available for orders at the new location, and are already on sale at the original Smith Street location ($42 for large, $10 for individual).
Bien Cuit’s expansion also marks another milestone for New York’s bread culture, which is enjoying a minor surge. New players, from small local upstarts like Williamsburg’s La Bicyclette Bakery to international exports like Bourke Street and Ole & Steen have brought lively loaves to the city within the last year.