It won’t be long before San Diegans realize they have greatness in their midst with Crystal White, a young but experienced baker who worked alongside Na Young Ma at L.A.’s Proof Bakery and both Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt at San Francisco’s famed Tartine Bakery before relocating south. White’s been popping up at Ironsmith Coffee Roasters in Encinitas while working to find a a permanent San Diego home for her personal bakery brand, Wayfarer Bread.
White’s range was evident on the coffee bar’s countertop, including ham & cheese croissants with Gruyere skirts, Aussie inspired ANZAC cookies, loaves of flax spelt bread, and best of all: morning buns. I’ve enjoyed morning buns many times at both Proof and Tartine, but White’s taken the form in seasonal, even more satisfying directions. I fell hard for the version loaded with apricot jam and cream. A flaky, pull-apart coil was coated with granulated sugar, caramelized in all the right places, and sweet-tart from the aforementioned filling.
I asked White for her keys to morning bun success, and she credited managing time and temperature “to get maximum flakiness,” quality butter, as much filling as possible, and lining pans with sugar to get a crunchy caramelized bottom.
Since my visit, several seasonal variations on her morning bun have included plum cream, quince & rose, apple butter, and pumpkin & Calvados cream. She’s also added a Friday morning pop-up at Bean Bar in San Diego’s East Village.