Let us now praise the morning bun.
Heartier than a croissant but less sticky-gooey than a cinnamon bun, the crackly, sugar-coated morning bun pulls apart into beautiful, chewy layers. The smell is enough to get us out of bed when everything about a cold, dark fall morning is telling us to stay under the covers.
California eggs | Breakfast plate
Perhaps we should say that they're our latest obsession again. San Francisco's Tartine Bakery was our first introduction to the form and remains the ideal. Props too to the hulking caramel-and-walnut creation at Standard Baking Co. in Portland, Maine.
The latest bun we tried and loved is another California iteration. It's at West Hollywood's Salt's Cure, where chefs Chris Phelps and Zak Walters--two scruffy dudes who love to butcher and bake--are taking the classic farmhouse breakfast to a loftier place (see the recipe).
"Our food is classic American," explains Phelps. "We wanted to remind people of how great simple food can be."
Simple, but not simplistic. Even the coffee is ground by hand. The place is something straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting with R. Kelly on the stereo.
The secret of their morning bun is the orange zest, which gives the sugar coating an aromatic burst of flavor. (Phelps prefers tangelos for their balanced sweetness.)
When a new batch is pulled from oven, the smell turns just about every head in the restaurant.