One of my favorite places to go for breakfast in St. Louis is KNEAD Bakehouse. I’ve written a little about the bakery before but in light of their first anniversary, I decided that I’d stop by and celebrate.
Before I get all nostalgic and tell you my KNEAD story, I’ll share some important facts. The bakery is going all out for its first birthday. A week from tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, it will kick off its birthday celebration with a bunch of special vendors and deals. Anyone who stops by the bakery will get 10% off on Saturday and Sunday. You can also buy mini birthday cakes from the pastry case, which I’m sure will be delicious and cute.
Aside from pastries and great deals, you can also browse wares from Red Lettered Goods, a hand lettered design and print company based in St. Louis. Holiday cards, anyone? You can also buy a bouquet of beautiful flowers for your home/apartment/office from Rudy’s Flower Truck. Red Lettered Goods will be at KNEAD on Saturday and Rudy’s will be at the bakery on Saturday and Sunday.
Okay, now to the memories. I came to KNEAD a little over a year ago in search of good doughnuts and pastries. St. Louis isn’t lacking for pastries and doughnuts but I had yet to find something truly unique. All that changed when I got to KNEAD.
KNEAD is different from other bakeries because it makes all its own bread for sandwiches and breakfast dishes. It also uses a special recipe for its doughnuts that calls for sourdough starter. This gives its doughnuts a completely different flavor profile. Instead of being completely sugary they have a little tang. The sourdough balances out the sugar and creates a doughnut that’s dense and a little chewy, but still fluffy and light. It’s basically heaven in a doughnut.
This morning I stopped by for breakfast and I went all out. I got the sour apple caramel doughnut (pictured above) which was one of the best pastries I’ve ever had at KNEAD. It actually tasted like an apple and it was studded with little caramel sprinkles that melt in your mouth. I’m getting emotional just writing about it.
After the doughnut, I decided to order the brioche French toast. It’s something I’ve been meaning to order for a while but I keep getting distracted by doughnuts and sandwiches. Sometimes, when you eat something truly delicious, you’re transported to a different world. You temporarily forget where you are and maybe even who you are. All you know is the thing you’re eating and how good it is. That’s what happened with me and this French toast.
It’s made with KNEAD’s brioche bread. The slices are just the right size, not too thick or thin, and they’re light and fluffy with a slightly sweet custard. They’re topped with a healthy amount of apple butter and a quenelle of mascarpone that cuts through the sweetness and balances out the sugary apples and custard. The dish is sprinkled with powdered sugar. If I could summarize fall and early winter in a dish, it would be this brioche French toast from KNEAD.
ANYWAY. I left the restaurant this morning feeling satisfied and slightly surprised that I could eat a doughnut and French toast back-to-back in one sitting. I guess you learn something new everyday.
Stop by KNEAD soon for breakfast. You won’t regret it. And definitely stop by next weekend for their first birthday celebration. It’s the perfect opportunity to try their pastries and to congratulate them on a job well done. I hope KNEAD is around for many years to come.