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.