New production facility and cafe Seylou Bakery & Mill swung open its doors last month in Shaw, becoming the first and only D.C. bakery to operate an in-house mill.
Baker Jonathan Bethony oversees the breadmaking, milling the grains, fermenting the starter, forming the breads, and baking them in an imported wood-fired oven. He co-owns the new bakery/cafe with his wife, Jessica Azeez.
Making classics with whole-grain flour, Seylou pastry chef Charbel Abrache’s got an airy whole-wheat croissant, millet canelé, sorghum brownies, and millet chocolate chip cookies. The breads are vegan and some pastries are gluten-free.
Read on to hear what the public is saying, less than two weeks in:
The Quick Carb News: Facebooker Sean Murphy says he popped in on opening day and “picked up two barley-oat cookies and a half of a pain au levain. The cookies were wonderful and the bread is just on a whole different plane than any bread you've had previously. The depth of flavor and the crumb are really exceptional.” Yelper Trevor S. describes the breads as “simply amazing! Hearty, earthy, wholesome, healthy and delicious.” [Facebook, Yelp]
The Sticker Shock News: Yelper Larry W. says, “Seylou's prices seem very high: I paid $9.50 for one loaf. But to my perhaps very unusual way of thinking, it's very good value.” Yelper Austin G. says his “only complaint is the price. My brownie, for example, was small and cost $6. If you want to splurge, it is worth it from time to time as Seylou creates some of DC's best breads and baked goods.” [Yelp]
The Constructive Criticism News: Yelper Bill G. calls it “more of a take out place, limited seating. Friendly, helpful staff. Constructive comments: 1) Accept cash 2) Offer sleeves for coffee cups.” And Yelper Rick S. tried the canele and says he “could taste the wheat grain (yum), but it seemed to overpower the little bit of filling inside, making for a more bread-y of a pastry than I am accustomed to.” [Yelp]
The Horse Bread News: Washington Post writer Jane Black reports that one particular offering’s “ingredient list might not make your mouth water: field peas, sorghum, millet, mustard seed and camelina, an oil seed similar to flax. And yet, it is delicious ... It has a wonderfully chewy crust and an extraordinary, deep flavor — a mix of earthiness from the grains and tang from its sourdough leavener.” [WaPo]
The Must-Order News: Instagrammer @molliechen had an “insane whole croissant and sorghum flour brownie. Facebooker Franziska Boelke says, “Their Mischbrot is out of this world. Made me think of Germany.” Instagrammer @smaturu says “FYSA @seyloubakery scones are subtle and delicious!” [Instagram, Facebook]
The CEO Street Cred News: Instagrammer @ann_yang calls Bethony “the Steve Jobs of bread according to @chefdanbarber — congratulations @seyloubakery THAT IS A CROISSANT PEOPLE — whole grain everythanng with a whole lot of heart.” [Instagram]
The Welcome Neighbor News: Espita chef Rob Aikins writes “had quick pick me up before brunch service starts @espitadc With outstanding whole-wheat pastries from our new neighbour @seyloubakery bakery this morning. The croissant and pain au chocolat were out of this world.” And Yelper Alla G. says the “space is beautiful and a welcome addition to Blagden Alley. The layout is cute — with both a coffee car/seating area and a traditional bakery and mill area.” [Instagram, Yelp]