Monday, May 26, 2008

TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

This weeks selection was made by Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen; she choose Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. I was looking forward to making this over the Memorial day weekend.

While this recipe was time-consuming with all the rest and rise times it seemed pretty simple to me. I made the full batch of the Golden Brioche bread, but decided to make half of the sticky buns. I had trouble incorporating the butter. I still had big lumps even the next day. I am not sure what went wrong, but there was not enought glaze and that bread part did not taste pleasant at all. I will try this recipe again using the glaze, but I am not sure about the Brioche. Maybe I will try it again, but it seemed like a lot of work for it not to turn out.

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 as 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 glaze 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.

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 egg1 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.)


Christine said...

I am so sorry that it didn't work out for you. Please try it again it is worth it!

Engineer Baker said...

That's sad that it didn't work out - were you using a stand mixer to incorporate the butter, and was it at room temp? Mine took a while to incorporate, but if yours was the least bit cold those cold bits wouldn't really work into the dough.

Rachel said...

Oh bummer! I'm sorry it didn't work out. Try it again if you can. They are YUMMY.

April said...

Sorry that it didn't turn out for you. It really is worth the try again.

LyB said...

It was a lot of work for it not to turn out, that's too bad really. I hope you figure out what went wrong and try these again, they were delicious.

ostwestwind said...

Bummer it didn't turn out, but give the recipe a second chance. It is worth every effort and minute.

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Mara said...

oh so sorry it didn't come out...i agree re: the room temperature butter, mine came together easily BUT ended up breaking my KA mixer...haha. the end result IS worth it though hehe.

Madam Chow said...

I can't figure out where it went wrong for you, but let me assure you that when it works, it is sooo worth it. My husband is not a fan of sticky buns or pecans, and he loved these.
Madam Chow

Sharon said...

My butter was at room temperature. I think I went wrong in a few places....
First - I used margaring *gasp* I know, but I had a lot of it.
Second - I would bet that it was salted, which would explain the not so great taste.
Third - I probably didn't mix it well enough, but I was worried about overmixing.
After reading a bunch of other blogs I think I will definatley have to try this again...soon.

Bumblebutton said...

Sorry it wasn't your favorite--I have had trouble with the butter before, so I used an alternate recipe with melted butter instead.

The Kitchen Vixen said...

that sucks. was the butter room temperature? I hope you have better luck next time.

Lori said...

What a bummer. It IS a lot of work for it not to turn out. Try again... they are so good.

mimi said...

so sorry it didn't work out for you! maybe try a different brioche recipe, that might have better luck!

Linda said...

Sorry to hear that the dough didn't work...I hope you'll give it another is definitely worth the effort!

Garrett said...

It definitely took a very long time for my butter to get fully incorporated. It's absolutely worth it to try it again, if you can get it right.

Shari said...

Too bad they didn't turn out. They're worth another try. Sticky and yummy.
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

You really have to take your time incorporating the butter into the dough and it really takes FOREVER...but it is well worth it. I would add a knob or two of butter and then let it go for a good 5 minutes, so the whole exercise can take at least a good half hour.

Di said...

I'm sorry that this recipe didn't turn out the way you hoped it would. I think you're right that the salted margarine was the problem. In a smaller quantity it might not have been an issue, but there's so much butter in this recipe that the substitution would make a big difference. I do hope you give it another try.

Jaime said...

sorry to hear it didn't turn out for you. please give the recipe another try though b/c it was soooo worth the effort, in my opinion. i'm not sure where you went wrong but my guess would be that the butter was not room temperature. the first time i made the brioche snails i was worried i let my butter get too soft b/c dorie says it should be room temp but still firm - turned out just fine. so i think it's better to err on the side of warmer rather than colder w/the butter in this recipe. GL next time!

Jayne said...

You should definitely try this one again - it's worth the effort. And that 4-part photo you posted? Adorable.