Best. Sticky buns. Ever.
Though veteran baker Linda Cermak says her buttery, caramel-topped buns are a bit sweet for her taste, we’re a whole lot in love with her amazing patisserie, Red Bird Bakery.
Hidden away in a Santa Rosa industrial park, the small bread, pastry and cake shop Linda operates with husband Isaac is a dream that the former Della Fattoria bakers have leveraged their savings, their house and their lives (baking starts at 2a.m.) to open.
Having tasted through literally everything in their shop — from the aforementioned sticky buns to yeasty cinnamon rolls, crackling croissants (again, some of the best we’ve had in Sonoma County), coconut shortbread cookies, and freshly baked baguette and round boule — there’s no doubt that there’s something extra special happening in their kitchens, which an added pound or two around my waist can attest.
Literally part of the Della Fattoria family (Linda was married to the owner’s son) the couple have honed their craft to a science, questing for the perfect crumb and crust. One of their secrets? French butter. Made with a higher butterfat content and slightly fermented, or cultured, it makes all the difference in the flavor of their pastries. Another? Isaac won’t sell any loaves of bread he isn’t happy with, which by most standards would still be excellent. That’s how serious they are.
It’s well-worth searching out the Cermaks at their Santa Rosa bakery, or finding them at the Saturday morning farmers market at the Veteran’s Building, the Petaluma evening market or the Tuesday Novato market—all of which are at least 5,500 miles closer than Paris.