Tuesday, May 27, 2008

NOT Cinnabon

I was afraid this recipe was going to fall short of my expectations due to the fact that no matter how hard I tried I couldn't help but compare it to Cinnabon, and Cinnabon it was not. Cinnabon causes me to have mouth orgasms this recipe thought it was good barely got a tingle out of me. Cinnabon you have ruined me. Damn you and your delicious ginormous fluffy rolls you are the devil! This weeks Tuesdays with Dorie recipe was Pecan Honey Sticky Buns (I made them into cinnamon buns as well) chosen by Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen.

I embarked on this journey of yeast with much trepidation to say the least. I am yeast virgin, and much like an innocent new bride viewing her grooms anaconda for the first time on her wedding night I was VERY nervous. I had visions of dough rising uncontrollably out of my mixing bowl, and sucking in everything in its path. This was craziness! What was I doing?! I'm too novice a baker to attempt to make dough! Then my ego kicked in, and I was ready to take on the world. YOU WILL NOT DEFEAT ME EVIL, EVIL YEASTY DOUGH!

As I start to dissolve the yeast my nostrils are immediately assaulted by this gross yeast smell, and I begin to wonder if this is normal. Those of you who have done this before, is it normal for the yeast to smell like swamp ass? If not please leave me a comment and let me know what brand of yeast you used because the one I used is funky. I make sure it is sufficiently dissolved and toss in the rest of the ingredients and my stand mixer goes to work. After tediously tossing in a million pieces of butter this thing is shaking like a stripper on a Saturday night. I have to hold it down with both hands just so that it doesn't fly off of the counter. The dough is done after what seems like an eternity and I cover it and let it rise and slap it down a few times and refrigerate it overnight.

I remove my chilled dough from the fridge and begin to shape the buns. I had a bit of trouble with this part because I have no idea how I'm going to make my ball of dough into a 16" square, but I attempt to anyway. And after a fight with the rolling pin and a few words that I am too much of a lady to repeat I came out the winner. My dough was far from square, but it was what I had to work with. I also think the 16" measurement has to be off because my dough was super thin. Much more so than Cinnabon, so if you crazy people want to try this recipe one day I suggest you eyeball it, and roll until you achieve the thickness of dough you desire because the 16" was too thin for my tastes. Filling the dough and cutting the buns was a snap and it was the part I enjoyed the most because at this point they actually resembled cinnamon/ sticky buns.

Aren't they adorable! Can you believe I had to let them rise AGAIN for an hour and 45 minutes more?! Soooo annoying!

Here are the sticky buns (and some festive red, white and blue memorial day sprinkles) when they came out of the oven...

Here are the cinnamon buns...

I had several issues with this recipe. The main one being this was more trouble than it was worth. If I had died and gone to heaven at the first bite of this creation I would have given up Cinnabon for life, but truth be told I will not be boycotting Cinnabon anytime soon. Hell, even Pillsbury is better and much less work. Maybe my life is too busy to enjoy this recipe, but I was more annoyed than anything that I had to sacrifice so much time slapping this dough down and it letting rise and slapping it down again only for my taste buds to be greeted with just OK cinnamon buns. Will I try this recipe again. Meh. Probably not, but at least I can say I'm no longer a yeast virgin. My yeast cherry was popped, but it kinda sucked. Almost exactly like having sex the first time.

Make sure you check out the Tuesdays with Dorie blogroll to see everyone else's treats.


Stay Sweet;)XOXO
Stay Sweet;)

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Makes 15 buns

For the Pecan Honey Glaze:
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar; 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces; 1/4 cup honey; 1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

For the Cinnamon bun frosting:
Source: Good Eats n' Sweet Treats (Awesome blog!)

1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened; 1/4 cup butter, softened; 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar; 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar; 3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar; 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon; 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)
Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).

To make the pecan honey 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 cinnamon bun frosting: Beat together cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt.

To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together 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 a 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 you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly).

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) 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 one another.

Getting ready to bake: When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

(Obviously for cinnamon buns you wouldn't pour the glaze into the pan. You would just bake them, and frost them when they come out of the oven. Also I don't know if my oven runs hot or what, but 30 minutes was too long for me. Mine were done in about 15-20)

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 away 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 silicone mate or buttered foil. Be careful - the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

Golden Brioche Dough (this recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):

2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons); 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water; 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk; 3 1/3 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

What You'll Need for the Glaze (you would brush this on brioche loaves, but not on the sticky buns):
1 large egg; 1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche: 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 into 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-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

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 the 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 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.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the 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 uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (After this, you can proceed with the recipe to make the brioche loaves, or make the sticky buns instead, or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)
The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)
Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.


Bumblebutton said...

Well darling, at least you know what you like!

Karen said...

I stumbled upon your blog and wanted to share a cinnamon roll recipe in case you wanted another try at giving yourself a mouth orgasm :)

I've made these several times and they are WELL worth the wait. This weekend when I made them again, I doubled the filling and it resulted in an gooey, cinnamon-y mess of amazingness.

Oh, and I also think yeast smells like ass!

CB said...

So... you didn't like it? I can't tell b/c you're a little cryptic about it? HAHA! Bummer you weren't a fan. and yes, yeast does smell like swamp ass to me too. I will be laughing about that comparison for the rest of the day!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Christine said...

Ah you didn't like them? Oh well! The pics look great!

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I hate the smell of yeast too. We had fruit flies last year and I read that yeast would get rid of them so my whole house smelled like yeast for weeks. Barf.

I'm sorry to hear that you weren't a huge fan of these. Hopefully next week will be better to you.

Lori said...

Another one to try is from taste of home, it has vanilla pudding in the mix.

Swamp ass... well yeast smells... yeasty... I guess it could be fowl at times.

Mara said...

ha ha i love your posts!!! i actually did have mouthgasms when i ate these...so much so in fact that they are all gone in less than 24 hours. but it was a lot of work for sure. the double rising and refridgeration overnight is definitely time consuming. in the future i'd make a bigger batch then freeze already split portions so i could just do the 1-2 hour rise then bake.

btw i LOVE cinnabon too. so bad.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

i'm so sorry, but this cracked me up! does this mean you'll no longer put out for dorie? maybe next week's recipe will be worthy of make-up sex.

Chris said...

You all are killin' me with te ass smelling yeast. Ha! Sorry you weren't a fan, but at least you did it. :)

LyB said...

But, you didn't make the sticky part of the sticky buns! That's the part that gives mouth orgasms, the sweet, sticky, caramel part! :)

Anonymous said...

I love both your cinnammon buns and your sticky buns! Great job... and I think your yeast does smells kinda weird xD!

Rebecca said...

Pillsbury is so not better than these. WTF? ;)

Natalie said...

Ah, I like the yeast smell (even if it does smell like ass LOL). It means bread or rolls or something good...

Madam Chow said...

Sorry you didn't like it, but at least you've tackled yeast, and whole world of wonderfully yeasty goodies awaits you now!

The Kitchen Vixen said...

Karen- Thanks so much. I'll have to try that recipe.

Rebecca- LMAO! Are you going to fight me for their honor;)

Ha! It wasn't that I didn't like them. I like them well enough. I just didn't think they were great or worth all the effort. I would definitely eat them again...if someone else made them for me;)

Dianne said...

LOL Exactly! You nailed it right on the head! :)

Cecilia said...

My yeast dough smelled like beer. Is that what swamp ass smells like? If so, then you and I are using the same brand of yeast.

I know it was a lot of work and patience (!!!), but at least your work paid off. The buns look great.

Garrett said...

I love that patriotic sprinkle touch

Sharon said...

I agree yeast smells funny. At least yours turned out. I am going to attempt another go this weekend. I didn't beat the batter well enough and I used margarine. Going to fix those errors and try again.

Shari said...

The sprinkles are cute! Too bad they don't measure up to Cinnabon!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog

eatme_delicious said...

Sorry to hear that this recipe was a disappointment for you! But as you said, you now have some experience with yeast so you can have more yeast adventures. And yea yeast does have a weird smell - that's normal!

Linda said...

I love TWD...we're all challenged with recipes we wouldn't normally try and there is no requirement for us to like everything made! I like your honesty...and yes, yeast does smell like ass!

Jayne said...

Hey, at least you made these. I remember Cinnabon, but I haven't had their cinnamon buns in years... And yeast? Smells like... yeast. You want to smell something horrible? My husband brews beer - and while it's fermenting, there are some FOUL smells in our basement.

April said...

To be honest, I don't think that anything compares to a cinnabon!!