Dawn of the Bread

Oh, heavenly carbs. The morning is looking up when one of these pastries is in the vicinity.

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris

1. The apricot Danish from Shorewood’s North Shore Boulangerie (4401 N. Oakland Ave.) is shaped from croissant dough, the center filled with pastry cream and an apricot. Owner Gene Webb likes to dust it with powdered sugar for contrast with the golden crust.

2. This brioche roll, a specialty of C. Adams Bakery at the Milwaukee Public Market (400 N. Water St.), is a substantial yeast-raised swirl that uses a not-too-sweet blueberry filling and orange glaze to great advantage.

3. The monkey bread at Blue’s Egg (317 N. 76th St.) is less a pull-apart sweet bread than a small, sticky Bundt cake. Do you want to “crunk it”? (That means adding vanilla-whiskey sauce.) Yes, you do.

4. In the mornings at The National (839 W. National Ave.), a pan of cooling scones might be resting on the glass case next to the cash register. An effective sales pitch, to be sure. A warm scone sliced open, slathered with raspberry jam and whipped cream? Morning light.

5. Bacon, cheddar cheese and stone-ground mustard come together to make the high-topped Breakfast in a Muffin at Rocket Baby Bakery (6822 W North Ave., Wauwatosa; and 2434 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.). On weekends, the muffin comes with a soft-boiled egg baked inside.

6. The s’mores doughnut from Holey Moley (316 N. Milwaukee St.) starts with a plain cake doughnut, which then succumbs to a layer of chocolate ganache, followed by a marshmallow squiggle and graham cracker crumbs.

7. This, THIS is no cinnamon roll. These are layers of flaky, cinnamon-sugar-sprinkled, peel-apart dough that gets more and more buttery as you reach the center. This, pastry-loving friends, is a Morning Bun, from Simma’s Bakery (817 N. 68th St., Wauwatosa).

8. We treat the “Queen” – kouign amann – with respect. This magical masterpiece from Brittany, France, is the wowy-zowy of gooey, buttery pastries. Amaranth Bakery & Cafe’s (3329 W. Lisbon Ave.) version is a marvel.

9. If one-upping the plain croissant with almond-cream filling is wrong, there is no right. Le Rêve Patisserie & Café (7610 Harwood Ave., Wauwatosa) also gives its almond croissant a coating of sliced nuts.

PLUS: Stone Creek Coffee’s Lab Series coffees offers nontraditional flavors intended for the daring drinker (10 locations). The roaster’s Pastry Lab Series is a bit adventurous, too. Starting in June, the SC Kitchen went off-the-grid with its Danish pastry offerings. Matcha cream, tomato quark, and pineapple feta were a few fillings Stone Creek offered. Look for more pastry lab experiments this fall.

‘Dawn of the Bread’ appears in the October 2015 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.