Morning bun – $2.50
By most accounts, the morning bun was actually created right here in Madison at the long-closed and long-missed Ovens of Brittany. In its original form, the morning bun is croissant dough rolled in brown sugar and cinnamon and twisted up a la cinnamon roll. 4 & 20’s twist on the classic eschews brown sugar, opting instead to roll the dough in granulated sugar.
When baking, the sugar partially melts onto the exterior of the bun, leaving a pastry that is both crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside. The almost shellacked sugary exterior makes the pastry a trick to eat with your hands, but you’ll want to lick your fingers if you do. Like the typical morning bun, the interior of the pastry is filled with an addictive cinnamon sugar goo, but unlike a typical morning bun, 4 & 20’s version is just as sweet on the outside. The question is not whether to order, but which side to attack first.
Glazed strawberry orange scone – $2
When yearning for baked goods, scones are not typically what first comes to mind. 4 & 20’s glazed strawberry orange scone attempts to change that. Sweet as a muffin but texturally akin to a buttery biscuit, the bakery’s massive scone delivers a playful spin on the cranberry orange scone found everywhere else. Luckily, they chose to leave the dryness at the other bakeries. The strawberry is subtle, but it works for those who prefer not to be overwhelmed by synthetic flavors in the morning. The glaze makes the scone just sweet enough to pique the interest of those who typically opt for less dense breakfasts.
Cherry pie – $3.50
4 & 20 chose their name for their pies (four and 20 blackbirds baked in a pie), and taking a peek into their display case shows why. The pies are perfectly constructed, with lattice tops that would make your home economics teacher green with envy. When served, not a crumb of the flaky, firm and made from scratch crust stuck to the pan.
Unlike store-bought cherry pies, a bite of the inside of 4 & 20’s version revealed actual cherries, not cherry filling. The pie was so chock full of cherries that several actually tumbled out while taking a bite. This fruit-and-crust approach to pie utilizes fresh fruits and leaves out preservatives, but it also leaves out sweeteners. The cherry pie may not be quite sweet enough for those used to canned pie filling, but will be spot on for those who describe desserts as “too sweet.”