There are just five ingredients in a kouign-amann (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 Sydney?

It’s less about the ingredients, and more about the proportions. A kouign-amann 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-amann 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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Best Bakeries in Sydney

Flour and Stone Annexe

Cafe

This beloved bakery serves two distinct takes on the kouign-amann. The first is a chestnut kouign-amann, which is available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The second you can get on Fridays and Saturdays: a baklava number packed with walnut praline, pistachio, rosewater, honey syrup and rose petals.

43 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo

Staple Bread & Necessities

Shop

Staple is best known for its sourdough, but it's no slouch in the pastry stakes. You'll usually find a kouign-amann in the cabinet here (with different-flavoured options, such as a cardamom kouign-amann, available from time to time). "We call it the creme brulee of croissants," says owner James Partington.

Shop 1 20-28 Montauban Avenue, Seaforth

Tuga Pastries Alexandria

Cafe

You won't always find kouign-amanns at this Sydney-famous Portuguese bakery, now in Alexandria and Clovelly. So when you do see one, pull the trigger. You won't regret it. Tuga often tries different things with its kouign-amann, and past renditions have included special fillings and toppings – like this one filled with pistachio cream.

10 112 McEvoy Street, Alexandria

Lamin8 Patisserie

Cafe

There are over 20 pastries to try at this Lane Cove patisserie, and kouign amanns are a menu mainstay. They're classic and simple here: dense, buttery and topped with caramelised sugar.

Shop 11 115-119 Longueville Road, Lane Cove

Loulou

Restaurant

A coffee and kouign-amann in the morning is one way to experience this all-day French bistro and bakery. The other? Salade niçoise and chardonnay at lunch. You have a tough decision to make.

Bistro 61 Lavender Street, Milsons Point

Rollers Bakehouse

Cafe

Rollers' is renowned for its experimental croissants, but the kouign-amann is surprisingly classic: a disc of sugar and butter that's soft inside with a crisp, caramelised shell.

19 Rialto Lane, Manly

Brasserie Bread Cafe

Cafe

The kouign-amann here comes dusted with cinnamon, otherwise it’s a classic take on the Breton pastry.

1737 Botany Road, Banksmeadow