I keep thinking we are making cinnamon rolls or cinnamon buns because of the photo on page 473. I've made cinnamon rolls several times and that photo reminds me of it (sans the mason jar in the middle). But no, we're making caramel buns, which is basically sticky buns, or a fancy cinnamon rolls is how I think of it. We first make a brioche a day ahead. Anything that uses brioche is fancy, especially Rose's brioche. It's airy and soft and has a very nice taste. I've made the version in Bread Bible several times in a loaf pan.
I never like sticky buns. They are also super sweet and hurts my teeth. But I love these so much. So now I can say: I only like RLB's sticky buns.
My version of this is not really Caramel Buns but Hard Candy Buns, as my caramel has essentially turn into toffee. Yummy toffee but toffee nonetheless. My first caramel attempt was burned. I was too impatient of waiting for my 1/2 recipe of caramel mixture (water, sugar, corn syrup) to turn amber so while it was boiling I did other things in the kitchen. By the time I realize it was amber it was really dark amber starting to burn so I started over. Attempt #2, I was still impatient but decided to knit next to the stove. This trick works (I feel like I'm ECL's son who needs to be distracted by other objects like cereal, except mine is yarn and pointy needles). Less distracted now, I didn't time my heavy cream correctly - how is one supposed to keep 1 tablespoon of heavy cream in boil-mode at the exact moment the sugar mixture turn dark amber? By the time I got around to it my caramel is already 380-400'F. Added cream, then butter and it was continuing to cook since it was so hot, by the time I poured it onto the measuring cup it was pretty thick. And by the time it cooled it was toffee. Not soft sticky caramel anymore, though it is hard to tell from the picture. I had to nuke the toffee a couple of times (17 seconds total) just to make it pour-able onto the buns for the photo shot. The rest of the caramel toffee went to trash as they have become rock-hard.
I need to get better at caramel making. It annoys me that this is the second recipe we made that uses caramel and I botched it both times. I made 1/2 recipe of the buns and caramel and will be making another 1/2 recipe this week to practice. Also, I promised the owner of my local yarn store that I will bring caramel buns and since 2 of these has hard toffee on top they are not worthy to be given away (I don't want to send folks to the dentist). Wish me luck on my redo... :)
The only modifications I made to recipe is I use the full amount of pecans and cinnamon. I like strong cinnamon flavor so I always up the amount. No high altitude baking adjustment this time. The dough was a tad dry but it might be because I forgot to cover the pan in foil after removing the mason jar.
Step by step photos - Brioche:
The day before baking, make the brioche. Flour, yeast, water, and 1/2 egg.
Add the flour mixture then let it ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
After 2 hours.
Add the egg then mix on low speed until all the flour is moistened.
Moist and sticky!
Like the book said: mass around the dough hook.
Place in a quart pot that's been coated with non stick cooking spray.
After 2 hours of rising in a warmed environment. The dough then went into the fridge for an overnight rest.
Step by step photos - Buns:
Soak raisins in hot water and dark rum for 1 hour.
Toast the pecans and add brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon. I used the full amount of pecans and cinnamon.
Place the dough on a floured surface.
Rolled out to a rectangle. This is about 7 inches wide by 14 inches long. Brushed with egg all over. Now
Sprinkle with sugar pecan mixture and marinated raisins.
I used a serrated knife to slice these as all my dental floss collection has a minty flavor to it.
After 3 hours rising.
They baked for 8 minutes with the mason jar filled with boiling water. Then an additional 10 minutes after the jar was removed. I completely spaced out and forgot to cover them with foil after removing the mason jar.
My "reward" - though challenging to eat with the toffee on top, was gone in seconds.
Click here for a full listing of all the recipes we are baking.