The best baked goods are like a bear hug of cozy feelings. Now, Hearth & Hug Bakery is open at the Boston Public Market for when you need to wrap yourself in a blanket of carb-y goodness.
You can thank Natalie Hug — a California Bay Area native recently turned Bostonian — for whipping up dreamy traditional and innovative pastries, breads, cakes, and pies that bring a surprising smile with that first bite. Surprising, too, is the fact that Hearth & Hug marks the first time a full-service bakery comes to the Boston Public Market, which features about 30 vendors from across New England. But Hug is certainly making up for lost time with her delights.
Drop in and start your day with a selection of croissants, muffins, and both sweet and savory scones (do get the cheddar and onion). “Our croissants are a favorite staple,” Hug says. “They’re made with a sourdough starter and a little bit of wheat flour, which makes them a little different. Any of them are good, but the ham and cheese is definitely my favorite.” On hand, too, are fresh loaves of white and whole-wheat bread, as well as focaccia and sourdough boule. The challah special on Fridays makes the weekend a little sweeter, and the Saturday special of garlic and cheddar beer bread is a perfect match for warming fall chili.
And of course, you couldn’t have a bakery without sweets. Goodies like Rice Krispie Treats, tea cakes and Madeleines abound. Hug focuses on both familiar flavors like chocolate chunk, oatmeal, and M&M cookies, but isn’t afraid to shake things up. “We try to branch out with fun and interesting flavors,” she says. “This week we’re trying out a white miso-coconut. The miso makes it rich and buttery without edging into savory, and really compliments the sweetness of the coconut. We don’t have it all the time, but it’s a regular in the rotation.”
She also remixes classic whoopie pies with different fillings and whips up dulce de leche coconut macaroons. Get ready for golfeados — or Venezuelan sticky buns — to become a new morning tradition, washed down with some bold java from George Howell Coffee, also at the market. Cacio e pepe cheese straws sing with savory flavor for anytime snacking, too.
Pop in to Hearth & Hug for a pastry party. Or better yet, head to the Harvest Party on October 12, when the Boston Public Market celebrates Hearth & Hug and the rest of its vendors, artisans, and farmers with a night of food, cocktails, beer, and live music. Proceeds from the event — with tickets starting at $50 — helps the market offer free public education experiences for the community, and supports over 40,000 acres of farmland across New England.