Our best breakfast pastry! Saturday and Sunday only!
by Ari Weinzweig
We only make these on the weekends, but it might be worth coming to the Bakehouse, Deli or Roadhouse on a weekend morning just to eat one. You wouldn’t be the only one making a special trip—the Obama buns have a LOT of very, very loyal fans. They are one of our—in my opinion—best Bakehouse pastries ever. Sweet rolls, topped with a bunch of pecans and a really career-alteringly good caramel. Great as is, or even better brushed with a bit of butter and grilled!
In the beautiful new Zingerman’s Bakehouse book, Amy and Frank write: “They are delicious, rich sticky buns. The dough is full of tasty butter, and the topping is made special with a mixture of honey, Muscovado sugar, and an abundance of pecans.” They also share the story of the name:
“We originally called them ‘Bama Buns’ because of the pecans and their connection to the South. But when Barack Obama became president, well, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pair the two so…we added an “O” to the name.”
They’re definitely the all-time favorite food of my friend Melvin Parson, the man behind We the People Growers Association in Ypsilanti (you can read about Melvin in Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 4, the Power of Beliefs in Business—go to page 289 if you want to skip straight there). Melvin eats them nearly every Saturday and Sunday morning. You might have seen us sitting at the back table at the Deli’s Next Door Café and talking while he savors his sweet roll and we sip coffee.
The other morning, I asked him what he likes about them. “Well,” he started with a smile, “I like the name. I like that they’re made by you guys: by Zingerman’s, at the Bakehouse. I like the taste of the pecans. They always taste fresh. Just the right amount of dough versus sugar…the topping that’s put on ‘em is great. They’re the perfect size. I’ve eaten so many Obama Buns, they’re a comfort food for me. It’s my treat to myself.”