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 Pantry

Shop

This beloved bakery serves two distinct takes on the kouign-amann. The first is an apple and fennel kouign-amann, which is available on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The second is on offer on Fridays and Saturdays. It's a hazelnut kouign-amann, which is like the classic, with added hazelnut paste layered into it.

53 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo

Brasserie Bread Cafe

Cafe

Brasserie Bread also does kouign-amanns two ways. One comes dusted with cinnamon, the other is filled with chocolate.

1737 Botany Road, Banksmeadow

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

Shop

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

6/231 Clovelly Road, Clovelly

Rollers Bakehouse

Cafe

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

19 Rialto Lane, Manly

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

Iggy’s Bread of the World

Shop

Iggy's has only recently introduced a kouign-amann. It serves a classic take that's only available on Sundays.

145d Macpherson Street, Bronte

Loulou

Restaurant

An all-day bistro, bakery and "traiteur" (deli) serving a slice of French life north of the bridge. Pick up a coffee and kouign-amann in the morning, pop in for salade niçoise and chardonnay at lunch, and get a fresh baguette at any time of day.

Bistro 61 Lavender Street, Milsons Point