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morning buns

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Ever since my friend Dana introduced them to me in culinary school I have been hooked. She would pick them up from Tartine in the Mission district in SF. The soft and crisp flakes gave between my teeth with the scent of butter in every bite. A sprinkling of sugar within the laminated dough made pastry chewy, but not teeth-sticking, and sweet, but not Voo Doo Doughnut Apple Fritter sweet.

This morning after church I walked a few blocks up to Ken's Artisan Bakery on NW 21st in Portland, OR, for a coffee and a pastry. If there are ever morning buns, you bet yours I'll order one. Ken's morning buns are modest and perfect in size. Instead of being baked in a muffin tin, the sliced, rolled dough must be placed on a baking sheet. They were shaped as if the spiral of dough rose and then toppled to the side a bit, almost snail-shell in shape.

With my first bite a subtle taste of orange zest complemented my cup of Stumptown coffee. It was not an overpowering orange, like when using candied orange peel. The orange colored shavings flecked the white pastry while the crust was caramelized to a crisp chestnut brown. Plenty of butter made for a tender and...not moist, but....appropriately damp pastry. Let's just say I didn't need to chase each bite with a sip of coffee.

I relished Ken's morning buns and will certainly return.

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  1. SEA: Ok, now you've got a Seattlite's mouth watering. Any SEA hounds have a tip in this direction??

    1 Reply
    1. re: mrnelso

      Columbia City Bakery. Morning buns are particularly big in California, but CCB in Seattle does a great one. Flaky croissant dough wrapped with cinnamon and sugar and a bit of apple jam. These are baked in muffin tins. When they bake the sugar at the bottom crystallizes into delicious stickiness. And then they are sprinkled on top with cinnamon and sugar.
      The pecan sticky buns are also heavenly.

    2. I got hooked on morning buns in Berkeley and so far have looked in vain for them here. Clearly, a roadtrip to Portland is in order....

      1. Could you tell me where to find a recipe for morning buns like you are talking about?? I found one but it was just a plain roll, not like you described.Thanks for your help!!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Barbarainnc

          see my posting for a recipe suggestion

        2. doesn't Macrina have good morning buns in Seattle?

          1. The Tartine cookbook may have a recipe for morning buns. It is a gorgeous book with many pictures. It is not yet on my bookshelf, but will be soon. Tartine is a French bakery in the Mission in SF. Check it out next time you there, but go at odd times to avoid the line.

            Morning buns are as Sophie described on March 18th. It is basically croissant dough with a light dusting of cinnamon and sugar between the layers, rolled up, cut and baked. I do enjoy the sticky bottomed buns that are so common with morning buns.

            1. Baker and Spice in Hillsdale makes a similar thing they call a Katie Bun. It is pretty tasty and has currants.