I sneaked a peak into the "back room" of the PanOli bakery this morning as I waited for the flour and yeast creations to arrive in the front shop area.
I sneaked a peak into the "back room" of the PanOli bakery this morning as I waited for the flour and yeast creations to arrive in the front shop area.

I discovered the PanOli Bakery (French bakery under the Baja sun) based on a tip last November from our friends Jane and Sharon. Ever since, it has been a regular stop almost every morning we are in Loreto, Baja California Sur. I love their breads and desserts which not only make great breakfast and after dinner treats, but are also the perfect gift when making house calls to friends in Loreto Bay.

Today, on our way to the nursery in town to pick up two more plants for our courtyard area, we passed by PanOli and was disheartened to see it was still closed. On a few occasions, when we visit the bakery, we are met with disappointment. No aromas of fresh baked goods, a gate and door that is shut. It happens rarely, but is not unusual for places to be closed with no apparent reason in Loreto since many are family-owned operations.

For example, I have visited Galeria “La Media Luna” across from ADWA (where we purchased a wonderful mattress on this visit) on three occasions this trip, during the business hours posted, and was met with a locked door and no shop owner in sight. There is a sign which instructs one to ring the doorbell, but the door bell is detached from a set of hanging copper wires. Clint, being the supportive spouse, has even tried to use some of his “handyman” moves to fix the door bell so that yours truly could press it and find another source of possible home furnishings in Loreto. Alas, no avail. (Hector, if you read this, please fix the door bell so I can ring it. Mucho gracias!)

After picking up plants from the nursery, I decided we should pass by PanOli just one more time. To my absolute delight, the doors were open. Knowing this was not the case a few moments ago, I was certain I would be their first customer of the day and get the most complete selection of the morning batch. As I zipped in, Silvia, one of the owners of this charming bakery, told me that it would be just a few minutes before the breads were out of the oven.

Alas, euphoria! This would be the first time I visited when the bread was just coming out of the oven. This is “fresh” bread at its pinnacle of freshness. How would it taste? What would it be like?

Cinnamon rolls coming out of oven at PanOli.
Fabián, Silvia's husband and co-owner, pulling out some fresh rolls from the oven.
Cinnamon rolls ready for the oven.
Hand-crafted cinnamon rolls ready for the oven. The dough looks so tender and smooth like a baby's bottom.
Cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven.
Fresh from the oven, cinnamon rolls. I snatched up 2 of these. One of them went missing already by the time we reached our Casa del Lagarto Azul in Loreto. Both Clint and I declare innocence. All I know was both Clint and I were licking icing sugar from our fingers.

I picked up a baguette, a few buns and two cinnamon rolls. After seeing the cinnamon rolls being created, I had to test one out to tell you what they tasted like. Yes, dear reader, the sacrifices I make.

Chatting with Silvia at PanOli
Chatting with Silvia at PanOli. I must learn Spanish. At least the words for all the baked goods created here.
Buns at PanOli
These buns are some of my favorites. They stay fresh for a couple of days and will go with any spreads, cheeses or sandwich meats.

With two brown paper bags full of warm goodies, we made out like bandits back to our bright red rental car. As Clint drove, I peered into the bag with the warm, soft cinnamon rolls and started to tear one apart. One bite and the fate of those little rolls were sealed.

For the rest of the trip back to Loreto Bay, Clint and I just munched on a cinnamon roll and muttered how it is the best cinnamon roll we have ever had. They were light, fluffy and had just the right amount of butter, cinnamon and icing sugar.

It was not like many of the cinnamon rolls we have tasted recently which are swimming in butter and sugar. The butter and sugar, all sticky sweet leaves nothing to crave, little for the imagination, the expression of the cinnamon roll is literal, over explained.

The cinnamon rolls created by Fabián and Silvia are clouds of flour heaven with a delicate, dreamy silver lining of cinnamon, butter and icing. One bite and they draw you in, enveloping your senses with comforting warmth. The finish leaves you craving for more. Your mind starts to form its memory of the perfect cinnamon roll only for the next bite to surpass expectations.

Yes, the fresh cinnamon roll experience is a must try when in Loreto, should you be so lucky. You need to go early, when the cinnamon rolls are coming out of the oven. Then prepare to eat them on the spot. Only then, will you experience the perfection I’ve just described. All other cinnamon rolls will seem vulgar in comparison.

PanOli in Loreto
One of the most welcome sites in Loreto, a open door at Pan Oli's
Love cutting these baguettes up and serving with cheese from Dali Gourmet which is just next door.
Carot cake at PanOli's
Carrot cake. Looks moist and delicious. I have yet to try.
Loni Stark is an artist at Atelier Stark, self-professed foodie, and adventure travel seeker who has a lifelong passion for technology’s impact on business and creativity. She collaborates with Clinton Stark on video projects for Atelier Stark Films. It’s been said her laugh can be heard from San Jose all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. She makes no claims to super powers, although sushi is definitely her Kryptonite.