Sugar Rush: Cinnamon Toast at The Mill, San Francisco
I'm not sure I've ever filed "toast" under the dessert category until now, but that's the right place for the decadent cinnamon toast being served at The Mill, which recently opened on San Francisco's Divisadero Street.
The secret, said one toastmaker busy popping toasters in the back of the bakery, is "a good amount of everything": thick cut bread that's warm enough to melt tons of butter from McClelland's Dairy in Petaluma, a generous sprinkle of crunchy organic sugar and cinnamon, and a flurry of Maldon sea salt. (If you've never tried a touch of salt on your cinnamon toast, trust me: it's revolutionary.)
The bread itself is Josey Baker's country loaf, a half-whole wheat, half-bread flour bread made with a starter he received from a friend three years back. The bread process lasts about 36 hours, ending up in a steam-injected bread oven from Italy before being sliced, toasted, and topped. The loaf has a soft springy interior and nice crisp edges, and enough sourness to cut through the rich butter and sugar topping. (Around the corner from the oven, just past where you pick up your toast, you can see the flour mill for which this joint was named.)
If you're visiting The Mill with a friend, order up the dark rye toast with cream cheese for a non-sweet starter, and don't pass up a chance for a well-prepared Four Barrel macchiato. Loaves and assorted baked goods are also available to go.