My baking partner is currently busy with her newly expanded family, but I decided to not let that slow me down on the baking front while we are on hiatus from our baking project. I have been making cinnamon rolls and caramel rolls for a few years now using the sweet bread recipe from my mother-in-law. It's a good recipe, but lately I have been wanting to branch out and try a new one. There are so many recipes for sweet dough out there and I figure why just settle on the only one that I have ever made.
For Christmas or my birthday one year, I received the book Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. I had requested the book after reading a lot of positive reviews. It's a huge book that has many, many wonderful recipes. But since I have owned it, I have barely made anything out of it. I don't know if I was intimidated or what? I decided to make her recipe for Pecan Honey Sticky Buns.
What I discovered is that in order to make these, you need to make the brioche recipe in her book and use half of it. I thought - no problem! I'll make the dough on Friday night. It needed to sit overnight, and then I would bake the sticky buns the next morning. However, the dough for the brioche requires a lot of rising and punching down and I was ready to start the dough at 8 pm. Yeah - with a little baby that still gets up in the middle of the night, I decided I would have to postpone the recipe for a day. I just couldn't stay up until 11 or 12 making the dough.
I started the dough yesterday evening. The recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter! My word! I was a little impatient to start, so I don't think the eggs were fully at room temperature (they had only been out for about 40 minutes). I am not sure if that would impact the dough or not. It took a long time to mixer with my stand mixer - I thought I was going to wear out the motor! It's a very wet dough. Then it needed to rise until it doubled. Mine took longer than 60 minutes, which surprised me given how warm it was yesterday. After that you stick in the fridge and punch down every 30 minutes until it stops rising - about 2 hours.
This morning I got up at 6 with Eddie. In between playing with him, I got the rest of the stuff ready to complete the sticky buns. When he went down for his first nap, I actually rolled out and assembled the rolls. Then they had to rise for another hour and 45 minutes or so. One of the things that I don't love about this book is the fact that while some of her instructions are very clear and precise, other parts are just matter of fact and vague. I was to dissolve brown sugar in butter and honey for the glaze. But the recipe didn't give an approximate amount of time that it would take to do this. And I wasn't sure what the consistency would be or if it should be at a boil. I did my best and moved on to rolling out the dough.
Since I only used half of the dough for the buns, I decided that I would make a loaf of the brioche and then freeze it. The rest of the recipe was super simple for the bread. I am going to use it to make French Toast one of these weekends.
The sticky buns were finally ready to eat 10:45 this morning! Uncas and I were starving! They were pretty good. Really good, but with all the time and work to make the dough, I can't really see making these on a regular basis. At the same time, I won't say that I will never make them again - Uncas said that these sticky buns were better than he has ever had from any bakery. One of the things that I'll have to remember for next time is that you can make part of the recipe it ahead of time and freeze.
With this recipe down, I plan on moving forward to try other recipes for a sweet dough. Next weekend I plan on trying to make some homemade apple turnovers from this cookbook.
The finished products: