This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe is for Pecan Sticky Buns. I’m one of the hosts this week along with Lynn of Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat . I’ve hosted TWD twice before, but that’s when the host selected the recipe. I didn’t get to choose this recipe but still got to explore making this with the other Tuesdays with Dorie bloggers. Make sure you check out all of the links left by the bloggers for this week’s recipe.
This recipe takes a bit of time and wasn’t the best recipe to bake as Seattle was experiencing an early bit of summer. 80 degrees outside means that it’s about that inside, too! I made this over two days, and it really took some time. I didn’t think that any of the steps was particularly difficult, although I did worry about my mixer giving up, but I have made brioche before and it turned out just fine. I made the brioche and froze half of it, because I figured 7 of these super rich rolls would be plenty.
I liked trying the technique of rolling out the dough, dotting with butter, and rolling again. I guess it is good practice for the day when I make puff pastry. I didn’t cut corners on this recipe at all so I used the full amounts of butter. Perhaps you could cut down on the butter. I thought that you could taste the butter more than the “bread” of these rolls. I loved the caramelized sticky topping and I could eat that by the spoonful! I liked these, but would likely make a slightly less rich version next time. Still these were very tasty when warm from the oven.
½ cup warm whole milk (100 – 110 degrees)
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 large egg
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Put the milk, yeast, egg, and 1 cup of the flour in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Mix the ingredients together with a rubber spatula, mixing just until everything is blended. Sprinkle over the remaining cup of flour to cover the sponge.
Rest. Set the sponge aside to rest uncovered for 30-40 minutes. After this resting time, the flour coating will crack, your indication that everything is moving along properly.
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups (approximately) unbleached all-purpose flour
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Add the sugar, salt, eggs, and 1 cups of the flour to the sponge. Set the bowl in the mixer, attach the dough hook, and mix on low speed for a minute or two, just until the ingredients look as if they’re about to come together. Still mixing, sprinkle in ½ cup more flour. When the flour is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 15 minutes, stopping to scrape down the hook and bowl as needed. During this mixing period, the dough should come together, wrap itself around the hook, and slap the sides of the bowl. If, after 7-10 minutes, you don’t have a cohesive, slapping dough, add up to 3 tablespoons more flour. Continue to beat, giving the dough a full 15 minutes in the mixer—don’t skimp on the time; this is what will give the brioche its distinctive texture.
Warning. Be warned—your mixer will become extremely hot. Most heavy-duty mixers designed for making bread can handle this long beating, although if you plan to make successive batches of dough, you’ll have to let your machine cool down completely between batches. If you have questions about your mixer’s capacity in this regard, call the manufacturer before you start.
Incorporate the butter. In order to incorporate the butter into the dough, you must work the butter until it is the same consistency as the dough. You can beat the butter into submission with a rolling pin or give it a kinder and gentler handling by using a dough scraper to smear it a bit by bit across a smooth work surface. When it’s ready, the butter will be smooth, soft, and still cool—not warm, oily, or greasy.
With the mixer on medium-low, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. This is the point at which you’ll think you’ve made a huge mistake, because the dough that you worked so hard to make smooth will fall apart—carry on. When all of the butter has been added, raise the mixer speed to medium-high for a minute, then reduce the speed to medium and beat the dough for about 5 minutes. Clean the sides of the bowl frequently as you work; if it looks as though the dough is not coming together after 2-3 minutes; add up to 1 tablespoon more flour. When you’re finished, the dough should still feel somewhat cool. It will be soft and still sticky and may cling slightly to the sides of the bowl.
First rise. Transfer the dough to a very large buttered bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 2-1/2 hours.
Second rise and chilling. Deflate the dough by placing your fingers under it, lifting a section of dough, and then letting it fall back into the bowl. Work your way around the circumference of the dough, lifting and releasing. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 to 6 hours, during which time it will continue to rise and may double in size again.
1 recipe Brioche dough
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
Divide the dough in half and keep one half covered in the refrigerator while you work with the other.
On a lightly floured work surface (cool marble is ideal), roll the dough into a rectangle that’s11 inches wide, 13 inches long, and ¼ inches thick. Try to work quickly, because the dough is so active that even the warmth of your hands may be enough to get it rising again. Dot the surface of the dough evenly with half of the softened butter and fold the dough into thirds, as though you were folding a business letter. Turn the dough so that the closed fold is to your left and then toll it out again, taking care not to roll over the edges—you don’t want to crush the layers you are creating by folding and rolling.
Chilling the dough. Fold the dough in thirds again, wrap well in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes so that it can relax. Repeat the rolling, folding, and chilling with the second piece of dough and the remaining butter.
¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl and keep it close at hand.
Remove the first piece of dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured work surface, roll it into a rectangle 11 inches wide, 13 inches long, and ¼ inch thick, just as you did at the start. Using a pastry brush, paint the surface of the dough with the beaten egg. Leaving the top quarter of the dough bare, sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar and half of the chopped pecans; spread everything around with your fingers so that the filling is evenly distributed. Very lightly roll the rolling pin over the dough to press in the filling. Starting from the base of the rectangle, roll the dough up into a log.
Chilling the dough. Wrap the log in plastic and freeze until firm, 45 minutes to an hour, so it will be easier to cut. Repeat with the second piece of dough. The sticky bun logs can now be double-wrapped and kept in the freezer for up to a month. If left to freeze solid, the rolls should be allowed to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before you continue with the recipe.
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
42 pecan halves
While the logs are chilling, prepare the pans. You’ll need two 9-inch round cake pans with high sides. Using your fingers, press a stick of butter evenly over the bottom of each pan; sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter.
Shaping the buns. Remove a log of dough from the freezer and, if the ends are ragged, trim them. Using a long sharp serrated knife and a gentle sawing motion, slice the log into seven 1-1/2-inch-wide slices. Lay each slice on one of its flat sides, press the slice down with the palm of your hand to flatten it slightly, and then, with cupped hands, turn the slice around in the work surface two or three times to reestablish its round shape. Press 3 pecans, flat side up, into the top of each slice so that the nuts form a triangle. Holding on to the nuts as best you can, turn the slices over in a prepared pan, placing the buns in a circle and putting the last slice in the center; the seams of the buns should face the outside of the pan. Repeat with the second log of dough.
Allow the pans of sticky buns to rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until the slices rise and grow to touch one another.
Baking the buns. Arrange the oven racks so that one rack is in the middle of the oven and the other is just below it and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the pans of sticky buns in the middle rack and slip a foil- or parchment-lined jelly-roll pan onto the lower rack, at the ready to catch any drips. Bake the buns for 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown. As soon as you remove the stocky buns from the oven, invert them onto a serving dish. (If you leave the buns in the pan for a few minutes, the sugar may harden and they’ll be difficult to unmold. If this happens, soften the sugar by putting the pan over a flame or in a pan of hot water.) Serve the sticky buns at room temperature or just slightly warm—never serve them straight from the oven, because the caramelized topping is dangerously hot.
Storing. Sticky buns should be served the day they are made.
Recipe from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan , pages 190-192