Fresh bread and fine pastries
Have you ever wondered what inspired Michelangelo to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel? What about the passion and dedication he possessed in all of his work? Like a great painter, Matt Boosalis of Boosalis Baking and Cafe is an outstanding bakery artist with the same passion and dedication to detail in all his culinary works.
Getting ready to celebrate its second anniversary, Boosalis Bakery is a unique and extraordinary place to visit. Matt, of Greek descent, has been able to follow his dream of opening one of a very few freestanding bakeries in the Dayton area. He learned the tricks of the trade from the Pastry Culinary Institute in San Francisco and various institutes in that area. He was also mentored by some of the finest bakers in California. When he arrived in Dayton, he noticed the lack of bakeries. He eventually found his home on Rt. 741 near Springboro where his dream of baking fresh bread and fine pastries is a reality.
All ingredients used at Boosalis are fresh and 100 percent natural. Real butter, fresh eggs and active yeast will be found in all the finished products. Starting at midnight each day, the ingredients are delicately mixed and given ample time to knead, fold and rise. Boosalis is equipped with an imported French oven that starts off with steam and then bakes the products to a crusty perfection. There is a moving conveyer belt that lifts to one of four oven shelves and slides the bread inside. It is state of the art equipment and rarely found in your grocery bake shop.
Boosalis also has an array of bread made weekly in the store. Every day you can expect to buy their 9-Grain, Cranberry Walnut or Baguette Bread. Baguette is a long, thin loaf of French bread. The bread was actually crackling when it came out of the oven. The crackling stemmed from the crust finishing the baking process outside of the oven, which sent a wonderful aroma into the entire establishment. The baguettes are light brown on the outside with a crunchy crust and soft middle. Other selections throughout the week include Asiago-Onion, Challah, Cinnamon Raisin, Herb Focaccia, NY Deli Rye, Milk, Honey Oatmeal and Ciabatta.
Ciabatta is an Italian bread made with olive oil. Matt makes his with 10 percent water and hand folds the dough three times within a two-hour period. The bread takes a long time to prepare and then it must stand for several hours for the active yeast to work. This process in turn will make the air holes inside the bread larger which makes the bread fluffy and light.
Croissants are another staple found at Boosalis. The crescent treats are made with yeast dough that is layered with butter, rolled and folded several times in succession, then rolled into a sheet, a technique called laminating. Matt uses European butter for all his croissants, which is made with two percent more fat and gives it that extra rich taste. You can find plain or chocolate croissants daily in the showcase.
Other items found in the showcase include homemade cookies, coffee cake, biscotti and brownies. The brownies are made with 62 percent chocolate and contain a fantastic flavor. Imagine the smell of opening a new can of baking cocoa and you’ll see what I mean. All the chocolate used at Boosalis is exactly of this quality rather than a cheaper, less satisfying chocolate flavored ingredient.
Financiers are also a daily option at the Boosalis. These French cookies contain an almond flavoring. Madeleine’s are a small sponge cake with a shell shape from a traditional molded pan. They are finger size servings that have a hint of lemon. Occasionally, even Palmiers are made. This is one of my favorite pastries and hard to come by. This French pastry is made from puff pastry that has no yeast. It is alternated in layers between the dough and butter. It is rolled out and takes on the shape of a palm or butterfly. None were available during my visits but I wait patiently for them to make their return.
Another great item on the menu are Scones, a small baked quick bread similar to a biscuit. Boosalis uses all cream in their recipes and no water, which produces a richer, thicker scone. You can choose from White Chocolate Cherry, Blueberry, Cranberry Orange Cream, Plain or the “Survivor” which has flaxseed and almonds inside.
In addition to delectable bakery and bread items, Boosalis offers breakfast and lunch options. Breakfast includes an egg and cheese croissant or French toast. There are a variety of sandwiches or Paninis to choose from and they use Boar’s Head meat. I recommend the Hunky Chicken Salad on the 9-Grain bread. I’m not much of a crust eater but this bread was so delicious that I didn’t even have to peel the crust off. I ate it all and could have had more! Seven Hills coffee (from Cincinnati) is served as well as a select number of bottles wine. Catering is also available.
As soon as you walk into this bakery, you immediately receive a friendly greeting and the staff is more than helpful while explaining the assorted items for sale and menu offerings. Many of the customers are frequent visitors and the staff knows them by name. It also should be noted that pepperoni and mozzarella cheese bread was made at a customer request. There is no set theme to the bakery and they bake what the customers want. The bread is made fresh daily and any leftovers are donated to St. Vincent de Paul.
My advice is to get in your car and make Boosalis a new daily or weekly destination. This small, local bakery truly deserves your support. You and your family deserve the fine detail and delicious baked items that Boosalis offers.
Boosalis Baking and Cafe is located at 9486 Springboro Pike, Centerville. Hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (937) 424-0636 or visit www.boosalis.com