Well I feel so behind lately. The Seattle area has been having beyond weird weather for us lately and the city is not adjusting all that well and neither am I. Now I am from cold weather country, and snow and ice are usually not a problem. The problem is that up there in the Nordic tundra you have appropriate clothing and more important appropriate vehicles to drive in. Currently we drive a Ford Focus(we only have one car because hubby takes the bus to work and we are trying to be more enviro-friendly). Anyway, Ford Focus plus ice equals driving in a zig-zag when I am trying to drive straight. So the grocery store I have not been to and so my staples are getting quite depleted. I saw the other day on Cooking is Medicine that she made cinnamon rolls from Baking: From My Home to Yours. She said her brioche was a little dry(the loaf she made, not the buns) and so I had to give it a try myself. I chose to make the pecan sticky buns because I have to reach my goal of 16 pounds gained and this will help me get there quicker Now, the recipe calls for 3 sticks of butter. Some people squawk at this idea, where I don’t even bat an eye. Three sticks of butter just equals darn good to me. I didn’t find this to be dry at all(both the buns and bread I made for dinner that night). The sticky buns were over the top and I did eat half the pan.
When our crazy weather decides to clear up I see ecliars and cream puffs in my future.
Golden Brioche Loaves
make dough one day ahead then shape and bake the next
2 packets active dry yeast (4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch while milk (I used skim)
3 3/4 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
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 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 to keep you from being covered in flour! Turn the mixer on and off in a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (you can peek), then remove the towel, increase mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two. At this point you will have a dry, shaggy mess (it’s true).
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 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 a 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 (This made my heavy kitchen aid mixer “dance” across the counter, so you may want to listen and be available to steady the mixer).
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40-60 minutes. Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap into the bowl. Cover the bowl with 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 covered dough in the refrigerator overnight.
If making Brioche loaves: Butter and flour 2 8.5 X 4.5 inch loaf pans. Pull dough from the fridge and divide into two equal pieces. Cut each piece of dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3.5 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until dough fills pans.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake until loaves are well risen and deeply golden, about 30-35 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto cooling racks. Cool at least one hour.
For the Glaze
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup pecans
For the Filling
1/4 cup sugar
3 TBSP packed light brown sugar
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
3 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche, chilled and ready to shape
Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan(a Pyrex 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 you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.
To Make the Filling: Mix together the sugars and cinnamon 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 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 to you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can.
With a chef’s knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the rolls if they’re very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch-thick buns. 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 each other.
Getting Ready to Bake: When the buns have almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F.
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 way 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 silicon mat or butter foil. Be careful-the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.
Source: Adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan