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Food & Drink

Pastry burglar steals coveted Cruffin recipe from San Francisco bakery

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Cruffins regularly attract long lines outside of this San Francisco bakery. (Mr. Holmes Bakehouse)

In a world of Cronuts and ramen burgers mania, the recipes to highly-coveted food mashups may be worth some serious dough.

In late Feb., Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, a bakery located in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, reported that its recipe for Cruffins, a croissant-muffin hybrid with flaky layers, had been stolen from the shop. The thief didn’t stop there, carting away five binders containing over 200 recipes from the bakery’s kitchen.

“It couldn’t have been our employees because we have a surveillance system.,” Aaron Caddel, one of the shop’s investors, told SFGate.“ It wasn’t turned on, but they didn’t know that.”

According to SFGate, the bakery regularly attracts 50-foot lines for their selection of artisanal pastries that include donuts, mini tarts and other decadent treats. Like Cronuts, the Cruffin comes in several unique flavors like Strawberry Milkshake, Ferrero Rocher, and Peanut Butter with Caramelized Banana Creme. News reports of the theft have only drawn more crowds to popular bakery, according to the NY Times.

“If someone stole it, it’s got to be good,” Ashley Edwards, a restaurant manager waiting in line, told the paper. 

The strangest part of the story is that the alleged thief left behind several costly items that most burglars seek out, such as an iPad, cash and several computers.

Luckily pastry-chef and Mr. Holmes owner Ry Stephen keeps backup files of all store recipes and told SFGate that it was back to business as usual the following day. 

He told the NY Times that the stolen Cruffin recipe doesn’t actually go into detail about his signature dough-making technique which involves a lengthy process of “mixing it, buttering and folding it repeatedly, and then baking over a few days.” They also use a special butter imported from Isigny-sur-Mer, France.

The trick to their recipes is in the labor.

“Thirty percent of the work is in the recipe, 70 percent in the technique,” Caddel explained.

Though the team currently has no leads on who may be behind the theft, a London bakery Foxcroft & Ginger recently announced that they would be rolling out Cruffins. But Stephen doesn't think a thief would cross the Atlantic just for their recipe --or would it?