There are just five ingredients in a kouign-amman (just pronounce it “queen ah-mahn” and that’s close enough). Flour, salt, yeast, butter and sugar. That’s it. Doesn’t sound like much, right? So why is this pastry from a sleepy Breton town in northern France showing up in cake cabinets across Melbourne?

It’s less about the ingredients, and more about the proportions. A kouign-amman is about 30 per cent sugar and 30 per cent butter – the dough’s only really there to keep the whole thing together – making it one of the sweetest and fattiest pastries out there.

Take a slab of butter, place it in yeasted bread dough, roll out and fold it repeatedly, then cover it with a mixture of sugar and salt. As the kouign-amman bakes, the butter steams the dough on the inside, which separates it out into airy layers. On the outside, the sugar and salt combine to make a glossy, crisp, caramelised exterior. The result is a muffin-sized miracle of crunch, fluff, salt and sugar.

It’s buttery, it’s sweet and it’s dangerously good with a coffee. So head to one of these bakeries and give one a try. Your mornings might never be the same.

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Lune Croissanterie

Cafe

Of course Lune, Australia’s most famous croissant-maker, also has a kouign-amann in its repertoire. Here the dough is formed into a spiral, different to the more common puck- and muffin-shaped creations found across Melbourne. All shapes have their charms, but we appreciate how easy this is to crunch through and devour.

119 Rose Street, Fitzroy

Wild Life Bakery

Cafe

In typical Wild Life fashion, these kouign-amanns have an exquisitely textured exterior, consisting of star-shaped pleats caramelised to perfection. While you're here, make sure to pick up a loaf of sourdough too.

90 Albert Street, Brunswick East

All Are Welcome Northcote

Cafe

Bortis Portnoy’s Northcote and Thornbury bakeries specialise in lesser-known Eastern European baked goods, but this dense, knobbly puck is also a hit. If you find most kouign-amanns overwhelmingly sweet and fatty, this breadier, less-intense entry could be for you.

190 High Street, Northcote

Monforte Viennoiserie

Shop

This tiny bakery, from a former All Are Welcome pastry chef, has only been open since September, but Carlton North residents are pretty bloody enamoured with it. (One Broadsheet editor can’t stop thinking about its croissants). This cinnamon-spiked kouign-amann, meanwhile, is one of the darkest and most caramelised we’ve come across, which is a plus if you like a deeper, almost toasty flavour.

585a Canning Street, Carlton North

Ovens Street

Shop

This lo-fi operation bakes an eclectic range of goods, including sourdough and paczki (Polish doughnuts). The kouign-amann, available Wednesday to Sunday, is a stand-out, perfectly balancing caramelised crunch with moist, buttery interludes. Order ahead or come early – this spot is very popular with locals and Ovens Street only makes about 20 kouign-amanns a day.

19 Ovens Street, Brunswick

Agathé Pâtisserie

Shop

Less of a puck or disc and more of a slightly squished ball, Agathé's kouign-amann (which is available online) goes heavy on the exterior sugar, resulting in a brittle shell that's ready to crack under the pressure of your teeth. Pastries rarely sound this good.

322-326 Coventry Street, South Melbourne

Cavallini

Cafe

It might have quite an Italian-sounding name, but this patisserie does excellent pastries from across the culinary canon. The kouign-amman here is a ripper: a shimmering little pastry with enough crunch and sugar to leave any sweet tooth satisfied.

354 Queens Parade, Clifton Hill

To Be Frank

Cafe

Kouign-amanns aren't a constant at this backstreet bakery. When they're on, though, you'd be wise to seek one out. In contrast to the crisper entries on this list, this version is almost gooey, dripping with darkened sugar.

1 4 Bedford Street, Collingwood