Loaves & Fishes: Flour Water Salt’s New Locale

left: New York style cinnamon swirl coffee cake; right: Robert VanKeuren

PHOTOGRAPHY BY VENERA ALEXANDROVA & GARVIN BURKE

Life’s too short for low-quality calories,” says Robert VanKeuren, owner of Flour Water Salt Bread, a bakery that opened in Cos Cob last fall (its flagship is in Darien). “If you’re going to have a croissant or donut, it should be amazing, something you’re dreaming about a few days later.” Sure enough, this is the case with just about anything you can savor at Flour Water Salt: These are carbs well worth the splurge.

left (clockwise): Kouign-Amann, a salted caramel croissant-muffin; Personal cake of caramelized bananas, walnuts and dark chocolate chunks; Sourdough croissant; Cinnamon roll made with naturally leavened croissant dough and topped with orange-infused icing.

The new Flour Water Salt occupies the front of Fjord Fish Market’s new location, next door to the former Fjord space. The two companies had already been partners for four years, with Fjord selling baguettes, cookies and other goods baked by Flour Water Salt. When Rob was looking for a place to open in Greenwich, he says, it was natural for him to reach out to Fjord. “It’s been a great relationship,” says Rob. He started his baking business in 2017 and has expanded to a staff of 15 with a large commissary kitchen. “We have similar clientele, people who don’t mind paying a little more for a top-quality product.”

Among the most popular items in Flour Water Salt are the coffee cake (a New York-style cinnamon swirl made with brioche dough that’s like an upscale version of Entenmann’s); Kouign-Amann, a salted caramel croissant-muffin hybrid; croissants; chocolate chip cookies and the sourdough bread. That bread has a following. It’s made using a long- fermented, three-day process, baked on the dark side for maximum flavor, and it’s also low-glycemic so easy to digest. This sourdough is the choice of local restaurants; L’Ostal in Darien uses it as a vehicle for paté. The shop also carries fresh-baked baguettes and other varieties of sourdough bread and brioche.

right: Sourdough bagels

In addition to the fresh-baked pastries such as cinnamon rolls, cardamom buns, bomboloni, chocolate croissants, bagels and sandwiches, FWS has a freezer case where you can pick up some favorites at half price. Also in the freezer are take-and-bake croissants, cinnamon rolls and bake-at-home sourdough pizzas, all options for that fresh-out-of-the-oven experience.

Flour Water Salt serves Sey coffee from Brooklyn with espresso drinks, lattes and cappuccino. Teas from Kettl (try the matcha latte) are available as well. You can order a bagel toasted with one of the housemade cream cheese “schmears” and enjoy it at the bar space or sit at one of the outdoor tables in season. The shop also carries select condiments and dry goods such as Fine & Raw hazelnut spreads, Divina preserves and Le Beurre Bordier, an imported French butter. Keeping only the freshest items in store, FWS donates daily to Food Rescue, where the breads and pastries are very well appreciated.

“Food lends itself to nostalgia and memories,” Rob says. “This is a business that allows me to be creative and learn constantly and try to do the same thing a bit better every day.”

left: Morning bun style pastry made with croissant dough. It’s rolled with a filling of cardamom, orange zest and dark brown sugar then baked and rolled in cardamom sugar.

FLOUR WATER SALT BREAD

160 E. Putnam Avenue, Cos Cob
flourwatersaltbread.com

HOURS
Tuesday–Saturday
8 a.m.–2 p.m.

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