Ah Caramel Buns, how we loved thee. We also loved the Monkey Dunkey Bread. This is the tale of two sticky buns all made from the same brioche recipe. Marie had scheduled the Caramel Buns, but somehow I managed to get Monkey Dunkey Bread stuck in my head. I had just slipped my Monkey Dunkey Bread into the oven and happened to check the Facebook group to read Raymond's post on Caramel Buns. Huh? Caramel Buns - no way! It was particularly annoying because as I was forming all those faffing balls and dipping them in the caramel sauce, I was pining for the caramel buns. So, I made the Monkey Dunkey Bread and then because the posting was amazing for the Caramel Buns, they were made the following weekend.
The brioche is amazing. I love this dough. This dough made me feel like I was some kind of amazing baker. My affection for yeasted doughs is growing (ha ha ha such a lame and unintentional pun!).
The brioche has a starter of water, sugar, flour, yeast and an egg. This is mixed together by hand (my choice) and then the dry ingredients of more flour, sugar,yeast, salt are sprinkled over the top and allowed to ferment for about 2 hours. By that point the liquid has bubbled up through the dry mixture and it emits the smell of yeasty goodness.
The bubbly yeasty mess goes into the mixer and with the dough hook two more eggs are added.
Onto this shiny pretty relaxed ball, we add butter. Brioche is definitely not for the faint hearted.
Once the butter is beaten in and it is all soft and glossy, the dough is left to rise until at least doubled in size.
|Must remember to oil the plastic wrap.|
A living breathing mass in my "proving" cupboard. Definitely one of the joys of baking. That sticky mass took about 1:45 to more than double in size. Then it was into the fridge for an hour to chill, then out to be stirred and deflated before back in for another hour to chill again (less sticky this way)
|Artfully staged for the wrong recipe...|
After the two one hour rests in the fridge it was shaped into a rectangle, given a few business letter folds with 90 degree rotations before finding its way back into plastic wrap and put in the fridge for an overnight rest.
Let's assume I didn't mess up, and instead went straight into the right recipe... the caramel buns required the brioche to be rolled into a rectangle and sprinkled liberally with a raisin and toast pecan sugary cinnamony mix. Amazing. But no photos, so you will have to take my word for it.
Then the rectangle is rolled up like a swiss roll and with non minted dental floss sliced into twelve 1 inch slices before one last prove and then baked. Clever Rose has us place six coiled up buns around a jar of water in a cake tin. This held the buns shape and added steam into the oven.
|Twelve, but not for long|
The final gilding of the lily was an incredible caramel sauce and more toasted pecans. Those twelve not so innocent buns didn't hang around for long. As Isaac was eating his second bun, he sighed heavily and said with a pained expression "I just can't stop eating this caramel." It is so hard being a child of this household. The torture.
These Caramel Buns (and the Monkey Dunkey Bread) were worth every last minute. I do kind of like this baking where it takes snippets of time which are easily woven into the to and fro of everyday life. Not one of the steps to get to the end product took more than 12 minutes, even though from start to finish it was more like 24 hours. Time makes these amazing, not hard graft. And the best thing is that everyone thinks baking like this is some dark art of the impossible. Shhhh! Don't tell them it is all Rose's doing.
|Did I really make that?|