Tartine Bakery in the Mission District of San Francisco has a real special place in my heart. It took me nearly a year to get there after moving to the Bay Area, but once I stepped foot inside and got my taste buds hopped up on one of their famous Morning Buns, I was a fan for life.
Everything I’ve tried in Tartine has been life changing: from the bread puddings to the loaves of bread. If it weren’t for the hour plus lines, I would go each and every time I went to the city. It’s a special treat now when I can get my hands on something from there, so I set out to try to recreate some of my favorite tastes from there.
A morning bun takes your mom’s cinnamon rolls and elevates them to new levels. Instead of having thick, dense pastry wrapped around cinnamon and sugar, you have croissant encased with even more butter and ooeey, gooey cinnamon sugar layers. It’s what a cinnamon roll set out to be.
(Apologies for my lack of step-by-step photos. I got overwhelmed while making the buns that I completely forgot about documentation. I hope the end product is enough to sell you on making these yourself!)
Recipe adapted from 7×7:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges (or you can use lemon, or none at all)
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (you can also add a pinch of nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice)
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
extra white sugar for coating muffin cups and for rolling finished buns
Prepare a 12-muffin tin by greasing it with melted butter. Add in sugar in each and swirl around. Throw out the excess sugar.
Step One, Mix:
Combine brown sugar, white sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
Step Two, Roll:
Roll out croissant dough into 1/4 inch thick rectangle. Brush dough with melted butter, and sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the whole rectangle. Roll rectangle into a cylinder. Cut cylinder into 12 discs. Put one in each muffin tin, with the swirl facing up.
Step Three, Proof:
Let rolls rise in a warm place for roughly 45 minutes, or until they get 1 1/2 times their original size. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fifteen minutes before you’re ready to bake.
Step Four, Bake:
Place muffins in the oven, and make sure to have a pan with parchment paper below the muffins to catch any drippings (I would have burned my oven had I not done this). Bake for about 35-45 minutes, or until nicely browned with melted sugar.
Remove pan from oven and immediately turn buns out onto a clean baking sheet or work surface. Place pan in sink and cover with hot water (you’ll thank me when you’re trying to wash that pan..).