Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pecan honey sticky buns

A Tuesdays with Dorie event


First of all thanks to Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen for choosing this delectable treat for TWD:


While everyone might declare their own sticky bun recipe as the best, Ms Greenspan's uses a rich brioche dough so hers is just slightly more special. Incidentally, this is the same brioche dough that was used for Brioche Raisin Snails, my first TWD event. The picture below shows the base dough, a brioche Nanterre below it and the snails on the right. (Click on the image to enlarge).


A benefit of being a TWD member is the opportunity to build on techniques learned from previous events. For instance, after learning that a filled roll of dough is impossible to cut neatly if it is warm, I made sure this time around to chill my raisin and cinnamon sugar filled brioche log prior to cutting it. Also, recalling as well how unflavoured dental floss worked well for this task, I employed it again.

I froze most of the sticky buns and placed eight pieces in an 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan that was filled with honey caramel and pecans. After a couple hours rest, these were touching each other and starting to surge up. These turned a deep golden brown colour in the oven with the hot caramel bubbling up the crevices between each stick bun. Click on the image below to enlarge.


Sticky buns need to be unmolded right after being taken out of the oven.

This is one of those moments that is truly rewarding to a home baker: to be the first to see how these golden rows of filled brioche are crowned with praline and enrobed in rich honey caramel. Soon its aroma - cinnamon, earthy and floral notes - wafts and entices.

At the same time, this is also one of the most trying moments for a home baker. The buns are burning hot and a steely will is required to wait for these to cool.



I love these sticky buns. The size is modest - probably about a 2-inch square - not gargantuan as are most store-bought varieties. What perfect excuse to reach for just one more piece. Honey provides far more complexity than just the one-note sweetness of sucrose. The crunchy sides and pecan praline crusted top contrast very nicely with the soft brioche, which was neither dense nor overly bready. All at once, this gooey treat is warm and spicy, buttery and sweet.

Notes:
  • When baking with raisins, it is always best to use a plump batch. Plumping a dried out bunch is easy - steep in hot water for five to ten minutes, then drain well. This has the added benefit of leaching off excess sugar, allowing more of the raisin's flavours to come through.

  • Cutting with dental floss. Slip a piece of floss under the filled brioche log, then make an overhand knot. As you pull the floss with a quick, smooth and strong manner, the log will be cut very neatly.

  • Here's a secret: because of all the sugar and spice involved in sticky buns, you can take shortcuts with the brioche dough. Try this quick and easy brioche recipe by Nick Malgieri. I'm sure Ms Greenspan wouldn't mind that I'm endorsing her good friend. Now, of course, if a brioche loaf is desired, nothing beats the multiple, long slow rises in developing aroma and flavour.

31 comments:

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, those buns look mighty gorgeous! Scrumptious!

Cheers,

Rosa

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Terrific! I love the bar shape and they look scrumptious.

Mary Ann said...

they look so tasty and I love the information you included-I learn alot from your posts!

bakersbakery said...

You're right, being a member of TWD is an excellent learning and skill building opportunity. Your buns look delish!

LyB said...

I love your idea of baking them in smaller batches. They look delicious!

Engineer Baker said...

Thanks for the link to a quick brioche - great idea! And I love all your tips!

Jess said...

Thank you for the quick brioche link - I'm learning a ton from everyone this week!

Bumblebutton said...

I, too, learned a lot from the brioche snail recipe. Your dough photo highlights just how lovely it should be!

ostwestwind said...

The versatile dental floss ;-), I like your bar shape, looks great!
Ulrike from Küchenlatein

glamah16 said...

Julius,
These look so good. I want to join this group but my current weight wont let me. Amazing!BTW,Congrats on the Med School acceptance.

Julie said...

Wow, those do look delectable!!! I really wish Americans celebrated brioche more!

mimi said...

i love how your present your buns in that rectangle shape, very lovely. and i love your write-up, great reading as always!

Christine said...

Wow these look so yummy! Great job!

kim said...

lovely light in your photos! the buns look delicious :)

rainbowbrown said...

Bravo on the pan choice. They look just grand all long like that. Good show.

Marie said...

Great looking buns Julius! Well done!

Madam Chow said...

Glad you liked this week's pick! And thank you for the link to Nick Malgieri's recipe. As usual, your results are wonderful!

April said...

I would love to have one of these for a mid afternoon snack! They look wonderful!

Peabody said...

I loved these buns too.
I agree, if you are making sticky buns you can go for the quicker brioche. But since I make the whole batch I go for the gusto.

Mara said...

lovely shape and pictures...those pecans look scrumptious!!! i love plump raisins, i tend to soak mine in hot water and rum. yum!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

they look divine! very helpful "notes", by the way.

Jayne said...

Beautiful job! And what a great post to read, as well!

PheMom said...

Beautiful work! All the pictures are wonderful!

Di said...

I like the idea of baking the smaller batch in a loaf pan. I used an 8-inch square pan for my 8 buns, and I had trouble getting the middle ones to cook through. I think the loaf pan might solve that problem. I love reading your notes, too.

Shari said...

They look perfect!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Anne said...

Those look amazing- I love your tips. Awesome photos, great job Julius!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

These really were just heaven, weren't they?!

rainbowbrown said...

psst, I tagged you for a meme. Look at my blog to see it.

Linda said...

Great minds think alike...I also had great results from using a loaf pan, and it was the perfect manageable amount. I'm definitely interested in the shortcut brioche method, so thank you for sharing.

Your blog is a real treat to read every week!

Heather said...

Thanks for the quick brioche recipe! I'll have to give it a try soon! Your buns look delicious!

Jaime said...

how did i miss your post last week? your sticky buns look spectacular! love all the process photos