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Cruffin Caper

Cruffin Caper

Though usually reluctant to parrot scandalous headlines, we couldn’t resist talking about a February burglary befitting the rabid food scene in San Francisco.

Since opening three months ago, Mr Holmes Bakehouse and its pastry chef owner Ry Stephen, 28, have caused quite a stir with his West Coast riff on the cronut: A cruffin, a croissant swirled into a conical muffin, baked (unlike cronut’s frying) and filled with pastry cream in lip-smacking flavors like caramel, strawberry milkshake and Fluffernutter. 

Instagram has been abuzz with the photogenic pastry and the pink neon sign brandishing the bakery’s motto, “I got baked in San Francisco.”

And now this: In the wee hours of Feb. 27, someone broke in and stole the cruffin recipe along with 230 of Stephen’s recipes, stored in black binders. The thief only had eyes for the recipes; all else was left untouched including money, baking equipment, an iPad and computers. Despite the caper, the cruffin show went on with doors opening only minutes late and all cruffins claimed by people standing in line.

Stephen, an Aussie who trained in Paris (like our Kevin), told the New York Times that the cruffin recipe would be of limited value to the thief since it does not detail his three-day process: Day 1 – making the dough; Day 2 – buttering and folding the dough; Day 3 – baking. In a funny fissure of the fourth wall, Times reporter Carol Pogash writes, “Nor does [the stolen recipe] say that the butter must imported from Isigny-sur-Mer, France (though this article does).”

The cruffin isn’t the sole expression of Stephen’s creativity: the menu at Mr Holmes (named for his mom’s cat, Sherlock Holmes) features a host of mouth-watering concoctions include his savory California Croissant stuffed with salmon, nori, ginger and wasabi, or as the Bold Italic gushed, “a magical sushi roll inside a croissant.”

While scandal is not something you’d wish on anyone – particularly a kindred pastry creative – we take solace in knowing business has spiked for Mr Holmes Bakehouse in the wake of the robbery. As one queueing woman recently quipped: ““If someone stole it, it’s got to be good.”