Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was picked by Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen. When I read the recipe and saw that it uses the same brioche dough as we made for the Brioche Raisin Snails I was thrilled and scared at the same time, the dough is fabulous, but if you don't have a Kitchen Aid but just a cheap hand mixer it's quite a challenge.
I decided to make the dough this time by hand because I think my mixer wouldn't survive another round with the brioche dough.
The dough came together by hand a lot easier than I expected, I had to use some elbow grease but I would do it again this way. You need only half of the brioche recipe, I used the other half for more Brioche Raisin Snails because my brother keeps asking me to bake some more.

I made seven buns, the rest I froze for a later date. We all thought that these buns were nice but way too sweet for our taste. When I make the remaining ones I won't use the pecan honey glaze but drizzle over the glaze that goes on the raisin snails.
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 dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle 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 glace 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 have 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.

Brioche Dough:
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.

Di of Di's Kitchen Notebook picked next week's recipe: French Chocolate Brownies.


Isabelle said...

your picture is so beautiful !

Bridget said...

Ooh, I love that spiral picture.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

those unbaked buns are perfect cinnamons spirals! i think that the "snail" glaze will be delicious on your leftover buns!!

chelley325 said...

Beautiful photos, especially the second one!

amanda. said...

Gorgeous! I love how many spirals you had!

Heather said...

I love your spirals! Perfect! Great job!

Engineer Baker said...

What a perfect way to dial down the sweetness! I hope the next batch is more to your taste.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Perfect spirals! They look delicious!

Jules Someone said...

Your spirals are gorgeous! I chickened out for this week, but now maybe I have to try them.

Rebecca said...

Lovely! When things are "too sweet" here, we throw a little ice cream on them. ;)

Judy said...

Next time I'll try just a simple glaze. The pecan honey stuff really overwhelms the taste of the brioche. Yours look great!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

Your sticky buns look just beautiful, as per usual! ;-)
I know what you mean about the buns being super sweet, and I think the brioche snails glaze would work just as nicely.

LyB said...

They were just perfectly sweet for me, I actually wish I had some more right now, all these sticky buns are making me hungry!

bakersbakery said...

I spotted your second photo on Tastespotting. Great job! :)

Anne said...

I love the photo of your spirals! Good for you making it by hand. I love the snails, too.

kim said...

love the spirals photo! i really liked the glaze myself, but then i have a ginormous sweet tooth, so i can definitely see where you are coming from.

Katrina said...

the unbaked spirals are so pretty and symmetrical! Great job!

Bumblebutton said...

What a lovely job! Yum

diva said...

these sticky buns are just divine. beautiful!

Jayne said...

Those are the most perfectly sliced spirals I've ever seen! Great job!

April said...

Oh my!! These look delish!

Madam Chow said...

These look wonderful, with those perfect spirals! Usually I don't like really sweet things, but these were an exception. I ate far too many of them!

The Kitchen Vixen said...

great pictures! your buns look lovely!

CB said...

Good idea about freezing and saving for later. I should have heeded that advice instead of eating all 15 by myself! Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Mara said...

very lovely spiral closeup!!! these things were so good, love your drippy picture...mmm.

Sarah said...

Your rolls look perfect...as usual!

karen said...

i have to give you props for making the dough by hand, i don't know if i would do that! :) these looks absolutely perfect!

Peabody said...

I love the picture of the dough with all the swirls of cinnamon goodness!

Shari said...

Your pre-baked swirls look perfect! Great job.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Liliana said...

Your sticky buns look great!! and good!

The Kitchen Vixen said...

What wonderful spirals! great pic!

BAKE-EN said...

Wow, you must have some seriously strong muscles after making the brioche by hand :) I'm glad to hear it wasn't that difficult. Great photos!

Garrett said...

Wow, those look so gooey when they're finished. They look great!

Linda said...

Your just-cut spirals are absolutely perfect! Beautiful pictures and delicious looking results!

Cafe Johnsonia said...

Yes--me, too. LOVE the spiral picture. (How did I miss this post last week?) You did a great job, Noskos!