CARAMEL BUNS

 

March 10, 2015

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Confession time. I'm an Alpha Baker, a Bread Baker and an Executive Cookie Maker who is following Weight Watchers. Yes, it's true. I cannot go through all this without allowing myself one of everything that I bake, so I make allowances as I go. So far, I've lost 8.6 lbs in 4 weeks. Not bad, all things considered. I have to admit though, these Caramel Buns have me very concerned. Brioche, cinnamon, raisins, and brown sugar is a very dangerous combo. I forget my name at one sniff. The night before I baked them, I worried that I'd lose control. Then I considered, maybe I should allow myself the insanity; jump off the wagon with full intention. Let go. Wait! I said. Calculate it. Maybe they won't be so bad. For anyone who knows the Points Program, 1 Caramel Bun (with the caramel) is 9 points. I'd survive 1, mind you, 3 Caramel Buns would equal my entire day's worth of food in points. I had two and lots of salad for the rest of the day. My husband ate the rest, and still weighs 162 lbs (soaking wet).

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Instructions

SPECIAL CARAMEL BUN EQUIPMENT

BRIOCHE DOUGH STARTER

  • It's always interesting for me to watch dough starter become dough starter. I just love the way it eats its way through the blanket of flour. It's cool. That's all.

Dough starter.
Dough starter.

BRIOCHE DOUGH

  • I think Rose's term to describe this brioche dough is apt: unmercilessly sticky. What a perfect description in just 2 simple words. Once the butter was added, I have to say my goal was to outsmart the brioche dough. How do I get the dough to release itself from the bowl with as little protest as possible. Were my fingers the answer? No. Was that huge, strong spatula the answer? No. Was a wooden spoon the answer? No. No. The answer turned out to be the oldest utensil in my drawer: a stiff plastic spatula that came with my food processor 20 odd years ago.

Sticky dough.
Finished brioche dough.

  • I just showed the spatula to the dough, and it nearly jumped into the proofing container. There, I won.

Finished brioche dough.
Finished brioche dough.

  • LET THE DOUGH RISE: It took about 2 hours for the dough to double in size

Pushing the dough into place.
Pushing the dough into place.

  • My goodness, the dough went through quite a transformation. It was so silky smooth and cooperative. I took out the rolling pin, but didn't need it at all. I just pushed the dough into place. Made two envelope folds.

The first envelope fold.
The first envelope fold.

Pushing it into another rectangle.
Pushing it into another rectangle.

he second envelope fold.
The second envelope fold.

Rounding the corners.
Rounding the corners.

  • and wrapped it loosely in plastic wrap and laid it in a ziplock for the overnight.

MIS-EN-PLACE FOR THE CARAMEL BUN FILLING

  • The next day I mixed together the caramel bun filling, and soaked the currents. Really simple.

The filling without the pecans.
The filling without the pecans.

Soaking the currants.
Soaking the currants.

  • Then I wrapped the pans in tin foil. Got out two mason jars.

Pans are prepared.
Pans are prepared.

  • Toasted the pecans.

Toasting pecans.
Toasting pecans.

  • Cracked the egg for the wash. When I was ready, Rick grabbed the camera, and I took the dough out of the fridge

Dough just out of the fridge. It continued to rise in spite of the cold.
Dough just out of the fridge. It continued to rise in spite of the cold.

ROLL AND FILL THE BRIOCHE DOUGH

  • What could I do to make myself happy, since I was feeling so denied. I played the Sonza Happy list with the Jackson Five (Oh Baby Give Me One More Chance), and the B52's (Loveshack. Love the Loveshack). I rolled the dough this way and that, working it toward the correct size.

Getting started.
Getting started.

Rolling.
Rolling.

Making sure the dough isn’t sticking.
Making sure the dough isn’t sticking.

Now it’s the right size.
Now it’s the right size.

Washing with egg.
Washing with egg.

  • and sprinkled the sugar and currant mixture (then I forgot the pecans!)

Sprinkling the filling.
Sprinkling the filling.

  • Rolled the dough

Starting the roll-up.
Starting the roll-up.

Pressing the roll together.
Pressing the roll together.

  • and pushed it to fit 12".

Rolling the dough.
Rolling the dough.

  • I kept pressing the roll together with my hands and pinching the long end so that the roll wouldn't come undone. It felt really good in my hands, but I had to stop playing with it.

Pressing it to 12 inches.
Pressing it to 12 inches.

CUT THE CARAMEL BUNS

  • With my trusty serrated blade, I cut 12 even pieces,

Pastry can smell fear. No fear here.
Pastry can smell fear. No fear here

  • and placed them in my pans.

Filling the pan with sticky buns.
Filling the pan with sticky buns.

  • I fully intended to let them rise and bake them that night, but I realized they might not survive long enough for the caramel sauce, so I set them back in the fridge and called it a day because what I really wanted was a drink to wash away the can't-have-the-six-caramel-buns-I-want blues.
  • The next morning, I set them back in the 80 degree oven to rise. They puffed up and filled the pan.

Just before baking.
Just before baking.

After baking. Final internal temp was 207 degrees.
After baking. Final internal temp was 207 degrees.

Making the caramel. Love this stage.
Making the caramel. Love this stage.

OMG. This is what I live for. I gave in. I ate two, then went to dance Tango. Caramel Buns–have mercy The Finer Cookie
OMG. This is what I live for. I gave in. I ate two, then went to dance Tango. Caramel Buns–have mercy The Finer Cookie

TAGS:  THE BAKING BIBLE   brioche   cinnamon       LABELS: Alpha Bakers 

Comments

12 Comments

Paul   2017-01-08

I have never been a bun man, yet . . . there is merit in this swirl, this maelstrom of insulin rushes. The amber gold of salivating desire. And, like love, the caramel has an native surface rigidity, concealing a soft inside, a test of one's sincerity. Are you subtle enough to challenge the illusion of difficulty, keeping faith with your hard earned experience that beneath the crust you'll find the texture of divinity? Only by the touch of your tongue can you enter this savory vortex of culinary love. Who needs the recipe?

Angie   2017-01-08

I love your candid approach... like we're talking face to face... only you can't hear my replies. I feast on your conversations as much as your photos and food. How in the world did you lose 8 pounds while baking all these incredible sweets? I've gained just by looking at the pictures! I've got much to learn from you! Amitié, Angie

Milagritos   2017-01-08

Thanks for your lovely welcome! Your buns held their shape beautifully, they look so gorgeous. In terms of consumption, I look forward to eating more of these buns in the future. I ended up eating half a bun as my family tore into them within seconds of serving them. You've got to be fast or you lose! See you next week!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

You only ½? You're amazing.

Michele   2017-01-08

You are on Weight Watchers, Kim?? You are AMAZING!! You are doing GREAT!! Your buns look delicious!!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Yes I'm on WW. I hope my buns look delicious in ten pounds or so.

Patricia Reitz   2017-01-08

I loved the line about the dough being unmercilessly sticky - SO TRUE! And I also found a rigid plastic scraper to be the best tool to get that sticky dough out of the mixing bowl. Lovely photos, and by the way, you have very photogenic hands. Just saying. Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a nice comment. Until next time. Patricia @ ButterYum http://www.butteryum.org/roses-alpha-bakers/2015/3/9/tbb-caramel-buns

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thanks Patricia.

orins goodies   2017-01-08

If i was a beginner, I had no doubt after reading through your demonstration, that i can make it.I always enjoy your walk through demonstration, and they came out so good looking!

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Thank you Orin. That's really nice to hear!

evilcakelady   2017-01-08

i well may need to join WW before this bake-through is over! my husband and I have polished off four buns each n the last 24 hours. they are hard to keep away from! beautiful photos. the dough was really lovely to work with, once it was over being sticky and difficult.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Hi Jen, WW is the downside of the Alpha Bakers. Keeping focused in the presence of these Caramel Buns is the worst.

faithy   2017-01-08

Interesting to see that your dough looks on the dry side! Mine was like super soft and almost wet. I think I also have to lose some weight after eating all the caramel buns

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Gosh, humidity can be such a game changer. Currently, the house is very dry.

Monica Caretto   2017-01-08

Don't you love it when the dough just behaves? I think I have the same spatula you have that came with my mixer years ago.. wonder where it ended up at? Since we will be making this brioche recipe a couple of times, better be prepare and show who is boss. I actually was only able to eat 1, I made sure to give the left over all away.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

Monica, it's amazing how the dough transformed into something so cooperative. You only ate one? You are a strong woman. Your final pic is absolutely gorgeous. Very, very, very nice.

Terri   2017-01-08

You are amazing! You only indulged with two. They look divine and I'm sure the fragrance from the buns baking in the oven was overwhelming. Nothing like a cinnamon bun ..... the best bread creation ever. Love the blog, Kim! The photos are superb.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

I only indulged in two, but there must have been a mouse in the container because some of them had a bite missing (and then they went back in the container). Thank you Terri for your nice words. You've been a doll!

Vicki   2017-01-08

Omg Kim!!! I'm dying with laughter! I haven't had this good a laugh in I don't know when. I'm on Weight Watchers and gained this week so out the door these decadently delicious things went after eating two of them and nothing else but tea today. How healthy is that? I'm too lazy to calculate out the points and would probably fall over if I knew. Your rolls look so delicious and great pictorial.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

You're on WW too! You are a better woman than me. I can't go a day without eating. Thanks for your nice words!

George Baker   2017-01-08

Lol! Loved the intro. I'm an "Alpha Baker" too by name alone mind you and ferocity aside, I'd say your baking chemistry, no, artistry, is trumps me ten fold and I'm happy to follow! (As well as your writing) I have try try these, not for my restraurant, not for the public- just for me, we, the interior space I occupy in my Baker mind. Loving this blog so far Kim. Keep going! Marvelous.

Kimberlie 2017-01-08

George! How I love hearing from you! Thank you for keeping track of my blog. Yes you do have a "baker" mind!

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CARAMEL BUNS

Ingredients
Instructions

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