Caramel Buns

Caramel Buns

March 10, 2015

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.
Finished brioche 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.
The 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

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