Making pastry requires a repetitive, almost ritualistic approach.
"It's the same motions over and over again, but you can use it, once you're comfortable with it, to create this sort of magical experience," said Christina Wood, the chef/owner of Temple Pastries located in Seattle's Central District. "The most fun part of this job is trying to figure out how we can flip a normal pastry that everyone has seen on its end and create something totally new."
The menu at Temple Pastries morphs and changes based on what is in season and what flavor combinations spark Wood's imagination, but one thing that never changes is the process. It begins a full three days in advance, because the base of all the pastries is sourdough.
"I just love the taste of sourdough. I think it's great and it's more interesting than just throwing a bunch of yeast in something," said Wood. "It creates this connection between the baker and what they're making. It goes back to early humanity. It's a deep level of connection and I just like that."
Sourdough provides a deeply delicious canvas for all manner of sweet and savory treats, including what just might be Temple Pastries signature menu item, the cinnamon cream cheese cruffin.
"That's the one we have all year round," she said. "Not on weekends though. It's like a cinnamon roll, but crispy and not dry at all. It's everything you want a cinnamon roll to be in a croissant."
That cruffin pairs perfectly with a cup of Joe, so it only makes sense that Temple Pastries is a partnership with Broadcast Coffee. In fact, Broadcast roasts its beans right next door.
"I think it's hard to find a bakery that you love that also serves really great coffee. And then at every coffee shop, it's the same old pastries that have been sitting there since 4 a.m. when they got delivered. So it's really just the best of both worlds," said Wood.
For Wood, this was the perfect space to open her first bakery. She taught herself the basics of pastry, then moved from Florida to Seattle, sight unseen, working at Bakery Nouveau and Cafe Besalu before she felt ready to pursue her passion on her own.
"I really like the challenge and I like how regimented everything is. But, once you move past all the rules you can get really creative. I got my degree in business management and accounting, so I have that really linear thought process, but I'm a little too creative to be an accountant," said Wood.
And indeed, guests can taste that blend of technical skill and imagination whenever they visit Temple Pastries.
"I want [our guests] to be interested most of all. I want curiosity and novelty paired with 'oh, this is real craftsmanship'. The person who made this really cared about it."
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