A fresh batch of Dough'sants from the oven at Bailey's won't last until lunch.
Bailey's General Store Bakery Manager Ginny Wagner started her latest batch the night before. She rolled croissant dough over donut, folded it, rolled it again, let it proof or rise, and deep fried the final product. And for the finishing touches, she glazed the warm pastries and filled half with homemade vanilla pastry cream.
What makes the early morning shelf at Bailey's General Store is the island's version of the Cronut. Total preparation time: Three hours.
Bakery manager Ginny Wagner with the newest batch of Dough’sants at Bailey’s General Store on Sanibel.
Unlike Chef Dominique Ansel's New York-based bakery that developed the Cronut, which features flavors like rose-and-vanilla, lemon-maple, and blackberry, Bailey's Dough'sants only come with plain and vanilla filled. For now.
This delicious pastry has become a national sensation where desperate customers wait in long lines and brag about being one of the exclusive few to have tasted the sweet, textured hybrid.
Wagner's inspiration to create the Dough'sant came as she watched television one night in July.
"There was that big craze in New York, and my husband said, you could make that," she said.
The next day she started experimenting at the bakery and figured out the recipe, on the first try. They first called it the Bailey's Cronut but decided to switch to the Bailey's Dough'sant to avoid any trademark issues.
Now, the Dough'sants are so popular they can't keep them on the shelf.
Each day Wagner makes 200 Dough'sants but they sell out by 10 a.m. They retail for $2.99 each, cheaper than the $5 Cronut, and Wagner said the customer is getting their money's worth based on the ingredients and labor to craft the pastry.
"We sell out everyday," she said. "They are coming from Naples, Bonita Springs, Punta Gorda, they call our service desk and ask if we are serving them."
Customers come and go all day, inquiring about the pastry as Wagner brings them out front on an industrial-sized baking sheet. They ask where they can find them, how do they make them, and how do they taste?
A mother and daughter from Spain bought two after they read about the pastry in the newspaper, and another Bailey's customer from New York City, named Nellie, hadn't tried one until she traveled more than 1,000 miles to vacation on Sanibel Island.
"We haven't had one because you have to go there really early in the morning and it's a maximum of two per person," she said.
Not only has Cronut fever caused long lines and a limit two per customer, but it even spurred a black market where the pastries are going for as much as $40 on the street.
Of course, islanders are in a unique position to enjoy the Dough'sant, because they don't have to contend with those types of conditions on a daily basis. They only have to arrive early enough to get one before they sell out.
"It's nice that they are liking it," said Wagner. "The locals are loving it."