These buns are made from brioche, which is also a major improvement over the regular sweet dough usually employed for sticky buns. The brioche needs to be made at least one day before making the buns, but there's enough room to stretch the making of the dough and buns to fit a busy toddler's schedule.
The dough starter can do most of its work during a 24 hour refrigerator rest after one hour on the counter. I did this after the child's bedtime.
|after 24 hours in the refrigerator|
In the late afternoon I mixed the dough, which takes about 7 minutes. The best part is that you don't have to wait for the refrigerated starter to come up to room temperature--you can pull the bowl from the refrigerator and set it directly onto your mixer stand and get going. The dough then needs to double in bulk--in the past the microwave (turned off) with a cup of boiling water has been a great place to proof bread but it was busy being used as a microwave this time. So I turned the cooler, which has been lingering in the house since the Young Sir's birthday party, into a bread proofer with two cups of boiling water. Vicki reminded me Dorie Greenspan's husband fashioned their cooler into a bread proofer and that's where I got the idea. Thanks, Vicki and the Greenspans!
|rise up, my friend|
After 90 minutes the brioche had actually done a little more than doubling, and was ready for the first hour of refrigeration. In the middle of that hour I needed to put the child to bed, so I asked Mark to degas the dough at the proper time. This kind of freaked him out because he had no idea what I was talking about, but relaxed when I told him he just needed to stir it down with a lightly greased spatula. After that, the dough goes back into the refrigerator for another hour.
After the second hour of chilling, the brioche gets patted out, given a couple of business letter folds, and then put back into the refrigerator to ripen. Brioche can be left to ripen for up to 2 days, but I pulled it out about the next morning to get them buns made. We wanted caramel buns!
|after chilling, ready to roll|
The dough is rolled out to a 13x12 rectangle, which is just barely a rectangle, now that I think about it. The whole thing is brushed with egg and the filling sprinkled on.
The filling is a mix of light muscovado and white sugar, pecan bits, and raisins soaked in rum. I used golden raisins because that's what we had. Next time I will do as Jenn did and double the cinnamon and the pecan bits.
|not enough crunchy pecans! not enough cinnamon! plenty of raisins.|
Then the whole thing is rolled up like a giant sushi roll.
This is divided into 12 rolls, 6 per pan. At this point bakers have a choice to refrigerate the rolls for up to 14 hours, making them a mostly do-ahead brunch option. They would need about a 2 hour rise before baking the next day. Or, bakers can opt for semi-immediate gratification and let them rise immediately for about 1 hour and then bake them off!
|ready to refrigerate. or rise. whichever.|
It was about time for the child to wake from his morning nap, and we decided the day was too pretty to wait for buns, no matter how promising, to rise and bake, then cool while caramel is made and etc. So I stuck the pans in the refrigerator and we took Eliot to meet some goats and a couple of chickens. And eat pasta.
After dinner, and while my husband put Eliot to bed, I took the rolls out and let them do their final rise on the stove while the oven preheated. It only took about 90 minutes to be ready to bake.
Then they bake and after they come out they are lightly glazed with the reduced rum raisin soaking liquid.
|i think i have a hot spot in my oven|
|just caramelled. night shots aren't very pretty|
|day shot. hopefully that looks a bit more appetizing|
And a couple shot of the insides.