Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie—Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Pecan Honey Sticky BunsPecan Honey Sticky Buns are a delicious brioche version of cinnamon buns. I made brioche for the first time earlier this year and wrapped it around sausage. But I think this cross between a pastry and a bread is much better suited to cinnamon buns and breakfast treats!

A good cinnamon bun is hard to come by in these parts. They're often covered in a too-sweet icing, have an artificial, almost tinny taste, usually don't have any raisins, and taste more like biscuits with cinnamon sprinkled here and there.

I used to love coming home after school, opening the door, and smelling the sweet scent of homemade cinnamon buns. My mom's (and my aunt's) cinnamon buns are still one of my favorite treats. For awhile, there were cinnamon bun cafés popping up everywhere (Cinnamon Inn and DJ Cinnamon are two places I remember going to on Sundays after church) where the cinnamon buns tasted almost as good as homemade. Now, they’ve been replaced with Starbucks or other trendy coffee shops.

Variations
I followed Dorie's instructions and made a full batch of brioche dough using my stand mixer. And, even though Dorie recommends not cutting the brioche dough in half, I did and threw it in my bread maker on the sweet dough setting to see what would happen. I also wanted to compare this version of cinnamon buns to the ones I usually make using my family's cinnamon bun recipe.

The results?

• Brioche with the stand mixer: This sticky bun turned out perfectly. The crumb was tender and rich. They were tall and bursting with sticky goodness. These were one taster's favorite, and commented how they melt in your mouth. It must be all the butter!

• Brioche with the bread maker: These buns didn't rise as much, and the dough was more chewy, but I liked them a little better than the ones with the stand mixer. They were closer in texture to the cinnamon buns I'm more familiar with. One taster couldn't tell the difference between this bun and the one made with the stand mixer. And how easy it is to just throw it in the bread maker on the dough setting!

• My family's cinnamon bun recipe: Guess what. This was my favorite. I think this is because it's what I grew up with. Brioche wasn't on the menu at my house in my formative years.

More Playing Around
I also tried smearing Dulce de Leche instead of butter on some of the sticky buns. And on another batch I spread both Dulce de Leche and melted chocolate for a real decadent treat. Both turned out to be a nice variation, although the Dulce de Leche didn't taste significantly different from regular cinnamon buns.

Recipe
You can find the recipe for Pecan Honey Sticky Buns at this blog Madam Chow’s Kitchen or in the book Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. To see how the rest of the TWD group fared with this week's recipe, click here and then click on each blogger!

Aunt Joyce's Recipe for Buns, Bread, or Cinnamon Buns

Makes 4 loaves or 80 small buns

1 cup warm water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 packages or 2 tablespoons yeast
3 cups warm water
1 cup warm milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons salt
1 egg, slightly beaten (optional)
16 cups flour, plus more if needed

Mix water, sugar, and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes.

Heat water and milk, and melt butter. Mix the water, milk, and butter. Ensure that this mixture is not too hot to kill the yeast before mixing it with the yeast mixture. Stir in the sugar, salt, and egg. Stir in the flour. Turn out onto a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic.

Put dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled in volume (about 1½ hours). Punch down, turn out onto lightly floured board. Cover and let rise 20 minutes. Form into loaves, buns, or cinnamon buns. (If making cinnamon buns, follow Dorie's recipe for the glaze and filling, adding raisins if you like.) Let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

Bake at 375˚F for 25-30 minutes for loaves.

Tasting Notes
For variety, I would make this brioche version again, especially since I found out it works in my bread maker as a half recipe! I think chopping up the nuts would be better so that you don't get a whole mouthful of crunch. The amount of cinnamon and sugar and butter rolled up in the bun was perfect (especially with the addition of some raisins). And the delicious, sticky mixture of honey, sugar, and butter poured in the bottom of the pan is definitely worth repeating. Maybe a little less honey next time would be slightly better. Now, what to do with 6 dozen cinnamon buns and a freezer full of stock!

Recipe for Next Week (June 2)
French Chocolate Brownies on pages 92-93 chosen by Di’s Kitchen Notebook.

Cinnamon Buns with Chocolate and Dulce de Leche

My mom's (and my aunt's) cinnamon buns are ...

See Cinnamon Buns with Chocolate and Dulce de Leche on Key Ingredient.







35 comments:

bakersbakery said...

Thanks for sharing your aunt's recipe. I'm definitely starring it in my google reader! :)

LyB said...

OK, chocolate and dulce de leche?! Those are some creative variations!

Rachel said...

Even though these were amazing, I agree that family recipes always win out. Thanks for sharing!

Rachel said...

Family recipes can't be beat. Thanks for sharing! (Love your pics!)

Engineer Baker said...

Family recipes are always winners, aren't they? Great variations - chocolate sounds AMAZING.

Bridget said...

Brioche wrapped around sausage sounds amazing! I'll have to keep that in mind.

bakingwiththeboys said...

It is hard to beat a family recipe. Thanks for sharing yours. You can never have enough cinnamon buns.

ostwestwind said...

Brioche wrapped around a sausage sounds like the French version of "Hot Dog" to me, just haute cuisine :-). Your versions sound interesting...

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

rainbowbrown said...

I love all the experimentation you did. Glad to hear you got so much variety out of it. Great job.

The Kitchen Vixen said...

I didnt think Dorie's buns were better than my tried and true Cinnabon either. I'll have to try your Aunt's recipe. Thanks for sharing! Awesome pictures.

kim said...

love your photos! thanks for the alternate recipe, it is definitely going on my list! (i grew up with pillsbury's... that's my secret family recipe for ya ;) )

Lori said...

thanks for sharing the recipe. I have on as well, need to make it and post it. It has vanilla pudding in the mix.

Christine said...

I am going to have to try your aunt's recipe! Thanks for sharing it! Love your buns and the variations!

Liliana said...

Your Sticky Pecan buns look delicious!

Thanks for sharing your aunt's recipe...have to go dig out my breadmaker from the 'use once in awhile appliances' storage.

Heather said...

Your pictures are gorgeous! Your recipe sounds divine!

steph- whisk/spoon said...

while my mum is a great cook, i don't think she ever made us cinnamon buns. i don't have a family recipe, so thanks for sharing yours...i bet they are amazing!!

mimi said...

dulche de leche and melted chocolate, wowzers that must have been some bun! i love that you tested out the different methods, and so nice the family favorite still wins!

Tarah said...

Beautifully done!

PheMom said...

All such super yummy ideas! You know you had me at chocolate, but DDL too? Now you are speaking my language!

Rebecca said...

Your pics are so lovely!

Mara said...

i love all your variations, shari...and the photos are great, look at that puff side view!! i will have to try your family recipe.

Sydney said...

This may have just inspired me to figure out how to use my breadmaker that I desperately needed a few years ago. looks yummy!

Tartelette said...

What a wonderful interpretation on the theme! Well done again!

Patricia Scarpin said...

They look very beautiful! But I'm with you about certain family recipes.

Chris said...

Yum! The recipe and the chocolate and dulce de leche...so fabulous! As I head to a catered lunch with icky food...wish I had some of these right this moment.

CB said...

What a fun experiment. I love my bread machine so I might have to try it myself and see what I think too. Love all your pictures. Great job!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Madam Chow said...

Thank you so much for sharing your family recipe - one can never have too many sweet roll recipes!

Andrea said...

I just love you experimented with both the bun and the fillings. Dulce Leche as a glaze (maybe added after the bake) may have some promise....

Jacque said...

Mmmm, my hat's off to you for all of the varieties. I crown you Cinnamon Roll Queen! LOL

They look de-LISH, and lovely photos.

I was planning on pulling out "grandma's recipe" and trying it next week. I agree, these were good, but not as good as what I grew up with.

Garrett said...

Lovely looking buns! And always love to see the variations, finding out what works best.

Donna said...

Very nice buns you have there!
I agree about family recipes. Can't beat 'em!

Jaime said...

wow, dulce de leche?! fabulous!

Linda said...

I really enjoy reading about your creative variations...family recipes are always the best...they're made with love!

Jayne said...

Beautiful photos, as always! And the dulce de leche - yum!

Anonymous said...

Hi there

Have looked over your blog today searching for ideas......dont worry, LOLOLOL, mine is in hebrew.

Your blog is very elegant and pleasant. It was nice being here :-)

Elinoar Moore
Tel Aviv, Israel