Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TWD: Honey Pecan Sticky Buns!

This week for Tuesdays with Dorie, Madam Chow of Madam Chow’s Kitchen chose Honey Pecan Sticky Buns for our recipe of the week. These rich and delicious rolls are made from brioche dough that is made ahead first and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, rolled and then cut. The resulting roll is rich, buttery and reminiscent of a French pastry.

The dough is quite time consuming but the result is a very tender, buttery loaf that I think tastes quite similarly to a croissant. My husband loved them, probably due to the large amounts of butter in both recipes! The taste is tender and almost melts in your mouth. I actually defied Dorie and split the recips in half. I don't think it made a difference in the overall end product, but getting the dough to release from the stand mixer was a little difficult. So half of my half became sweet rolls and the other a mini loaf of brioche. Just enough to satisfy!

These were quite good and rich, but I didn't think they were amazing. That is probably due to the fact that I don't really care for butter. Gasp! Probably because I grew up on margarine! Gasp! Now as an adult I prefer butter to margarine, but it's not a love relationship! If company were coming I would think about it, that is if I could find a quicker brioche recipe.

Next week with TWD Di’s Kitchen Notebook has chosen…French Chocolate Brownies on pages 92-93.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Makes 15 buns

For the Glaze:
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

For the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)
Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).

To make the glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissovle the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out asbest you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinle over the pecans.

To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To shape the buns: On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glae recipe accordingly).

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.

Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns ahve doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.

Getting ready to bake: When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.

The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or buttered foil. Be careful - the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

What You'll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough (this recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):

2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

What You'll Need for the Glaze (you would brush this on brioche loaves, but not on the sticky buns):
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (After this, you can proceed with the recipe to make the brioche loaves, or make the sticky buns instead, or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)
The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.


Jess said...

You lost me at "don't care for butter" - just kidding. The rolls and loaf look beautiful - I think I might bake my leftover dough into a nice loaf like yours!

Christine said...

Not caring for butter saves you a lot of calories! Your loaf and buns look delicious.

Engineer Baker said...

*gasp* don't care for butter? Then again, I like it, but sometimes these recipes are really over the top...

LyB said...

You can't rush brioche! Your sticky buns look delicious!

Rebecca said...

Oh, I WISH I didn't care for butter. Quit bragging! ;)

April said...

Looks delicious!

Bumblebutton said...

Not quicker, but a lot simpler--maybe my grandma's sweet dough recipe would work better for you. See my posting if you are interested. But, it absolutely has butter--what's up with that whole thing?!!! Nice job!

PheMom said...

Good job! It is an alarming amount of butter, but it just works! Glad you tried them!

ostwestwind said...

Normally I prefer margarine, but in baking butter is a must!

Your buns are scrumptious!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Madam Chow said...

I WISH I didn't care for butter! They look wonderful, and I loved the description of the texture of the dough.

The Kitchen Vixen said...

I didnt think they were that great either;) Your buns and loaf look great!

Amy said...

Your buns and loaf look amazing.

mimi said...

defying dorie! phew, glad it still came out great! they look really delish.

Jayne said...

I wish I wasn't so nuts about butter! Your sticky buns and the brioche loaf look beautiful!

Linda said...

Delicious looking buns and loaf!

Mara said...

i was raised on margarine too, and used to prefer it, but over time that changed.

it's funny how some people loved these and others were like 'meh'...can you send me your buns? hehee. your loaf looks amazing!

lemontartlet said...

Your buns are so cute!

Garrett said...

I also grew up with margarine, but I think that was due to the scare years ago that butter was supposedly going to KILL YOU. Now I have no problem playing with it :-) Your buns came out very tasty looking.

Jaime said...

great job!

it sure seems like a lot of butter but when i figured it out, i think there is only something like 1 tbsp of butter per sticky bun, so not too bad, in my opinion :)

Di said...

I generally love butter, but it was almost too much for me in this recipe. I think in the future I'll try a less rich dough for the sticky buns and save the brioche for a plan loaf or rolls.

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I'm sure by time you've baked your way through BFMHTY you'll be a butter loving fool! ;-) The crust on your brioche looks gorgeous, perfectly golden and delish!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

I'd give anything for a slice of that bread right now...