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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tartine's Morning Buns - best eaten in the morning, every morning

I came across the famous Tartine Morning Buns when I was searching for croissant images of Tartine Bakery (as I was on my mission to perfect the croissant making, I figured I should look up to the bestJ).

Tartine Bakery is a famous bakery in San Francisco located in the Mission District. I don’t live in San Francisco, neither USA.Tartine is famous among artisan bread-making community for its holey grail Country Loaves. That’s why I came to know Tartine and bought two of their cookbooks.
The buns received rave reviews on the blogosphere and I was curious to find out myself how good they are. I just bought Tartine cookbook (the pastry version) recently and look forwards to Morning Bun recipe. However, the recipe wasn’t included in the book.  I managed to locate the recipe online on 7x7 website. The bun is an indulgence version of cinnamon rolls and made with laminated (croissant) dough. That’s perfect, another recipe I can try to keep practicing on croissants.  The rolls are filled with the mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Doesn’t that sound like a recipe for success, buttery flaky pastry filled with orange cinnamon sugar? Indeed, it was the success. It tasted soooo good, pure heaven. 
The buns were baked in muffin pan coated with butter and sugar, which gave the buns their sticky, caramelised bottom.

Don’t get me wrong; these buns were wonderful with flaky buttery pastry. But I had the feeling that sweet bread dough should have been used in the recipe instead of laminated dough. A close look at the actual Tartine's Morning Buns gave me that impression. The bun didn’t have layers of pastry. It was simply a bread bun. Moreover, baking laminated dough in muffin tins somehow limited its ability to expand. As a result, the pastry didn’t achieve its full flakiness potential and became slightly doughy, especially the parts that were sitting inside the muffin cup. If I am to make these Morning Buns again (which I’m sure I will), I will make them with sweet bread dough or brioche dough instead.
I made the buns at night and left them to proof at room temperature (about 7 hours at 8°C). The buns were proofed and ready for the bake in the morning, a perfect timing, Morning Bun for breakfast. What a great start for the day!

We had a great weekend eating away these heavenly buns (we had some helps from our neighbours finishing off these buns). They were best eaten on the day and would still be equally nice the next day when reheated in the 175°C oven for 5 minutes.
Recipe Note:
The filling recipe here has been halved from the one at 7x7 website. It was still plenty and enough for the recipe.
I used the croissant dough recipe from Bourke Street Bakery cookbook

Tartine Morning Buns Recipe

Makes 12 buns


1 quantity of croissant dough (finished with three turns)
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
1 tablespoons ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
60 g butter, melted
extra white sugar for coating muffin cups and for rolling finished buns


Combine brown sugar, ¼ cup white sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare a 12-muffin tin - Generously brushing bottom and sides of each muffin cup with melted butter. Put a teaspoon of sugar in each muffin cup and swirl around to evenly coat. Tap out excess sugar.
Toll out croissant dough into 5-mm thick, 15-cm x-45-cm rectangle, with the long side in front of you. Brush dough with melted butter, sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the whole rectangle—the sugar layer should be about 2-mm thick.

Starting with the long side of the dough, roll the dough tightly into a log, like a jelly roll. Cut the log into 3-cm discs. Fit each disc into the buttered and sugared muffin tins so that the swirl pattern is visible on top.
Preheat oven to 190C. Let rolls rise in a warm but not hot place (ideally around 26c room temp) for approximately 45 minutes . The rising time will vary depending on how cold your dough was to start and how warm a place they are put to rise. They should rise approximately to 1 ½ times their original size (the roll is proofed when the layers are very noticable). Place the muffin tin on a cooking sheet covered with parchment or foil to catch any drips while baking (very important, there was some drippings from caramel filling).
Proofed rolls have noticeable layers and very soft and wobbly

Bake for about 45 minutes to an hour or longer, depending on your oven. When done, the tops should be well browned and the sugar melted. 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 (it will be easier to clean later). Let the buns set for 5 to 10 minutes, then toss in a bowl with some sugar to coat. These buns are best eaten the day they are made. If eating the next day, heat them up first in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes before serving.

Submitting this post to the fabulous YeastSpotting.


  1. Room temperature = 8 degrees celcius? u dont mean 18?

  2. No, I didn't mean 18C. I mean 8C. I live in Melbourne, Australia. It is now in late autumn, winter is only few days away. Temp at night is below 10C and I prepared these buns at night.

    Generally, croissant dough needs to be fully-proofed. Usually, it will take about 1.5-2hrs to fully-proof at 24-26C.