Obama Buns from the Bakehouse

Excerpt from Ari’s Top 5 enews

Our best breakfast pastry? Saturdays and Sundays only

When something is special, I will go a really long way to get it. We only make Obama Buns on the weekends and it’s worth coming by the Deli 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. And to be clear, the Obama Buns are one of our—in my opinion—best Bakehouse pastries ever.

What’s an Obama Bun? Basically, it is a sweet roll, topped with a bunch of pecans and a compellingly good caramel. Great as is, or taken over the top when halved, brushed with a bit of butter, and grilled! If you love a good sweet roll, don’t miss this marvel! Put it alongside a cup of the Guatemala coffee we’ve got this month and you’ve got a very special way to start your Saturday or Sunday.

In the 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.

Obama Buns are definitely the all-time favorite food of my friend Melvin Parson, the man behind the very marvelous We the People Opportunity Center in Ypsilanti—he’s eaten one nearly every weekend for as long as I can remember. One morning, many years ago now, 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.” Anything else I should tell folks? “Keep making! And don’t ever stop!”