Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tuesday With Dorie : Pecan Sticky Buns

Here is another recipe from Baking with Julia.. Pecan Sticky Buns..

Close up of the buns, fresh out of the oven.. 
I started baking this buns on Friday around noon and pulled the tray out of the oven exactly at 3.30 am Saturday.. It takes a long time to prepare them with all the waiting times for chilling and rising of the dough.. I halved the whole recipe, since we don't need 14 buttery sticky pecan buns for two of us.. And also using +5 sticks of butter for the whole recipe was unacceptable to me.. 

I was going to tell the process step by step - and started to do so - but it was taking forever with all the 'do this and rest the dough for xx minutes/hours' again and again.. So, I decided to only highlight the changes and mistakes I made compared to the original recipe..

- I halved the brioche dough recipe and made no alterations in the ingredients.. The only thing that did not go as planned was that the flour coating on my sponge did not crack as obviously as the one in the book. It worried me for the rising of the dough for the next steps, but everything went well with rising so my yeast was alive.. This brioche dough part alone takes like 10 hours preparation time, all the waiting times included..

- I do not have a stand mixer.. I used hand mixer for making the dough.. Thankfully my hand mixer survived this heavy duty..

Instagram by Ferda
- You laminate already buttery brioche dough by dotting the rolled out dough with butter.. I decreased the butter amount by 1/4 stick here.. 

- I made couple of mistakes during rolling the dough with the fillings.. Firstly, I did not brush the top of the rolled dough with the egg, which lead to it opening up while baking.. Secondly, I did roll it from the long side (long side of rectangle being in front of me), which gave me skinnier and taller rolls when cut into pieces..

- I decreased the amount of butter smeared on the baking pan by half (from 1 stick to 1/2 stick).. I can not even imagine how buttery it would be if I used the full measure.. 

- The last stage before baking is rising of the rolls in the pan, and mine did not rise enough to touch each other (the book says it should).. I assume it was because I rolled them from the wrong side of the rectangle.. 

- Finally, I baked it 5 minutes less than the recommended time, because the top was getting dark.. This resulted in no caramelization of sugar and butter on the bottom of the pan, the brown sugar stayed grainy rather than becoming a glaze.. 

Overall, these pecan sticky buns are tasty.. But not delicious, heavenly or out of this wold type of tasty that I would go into this much effort for them again, or consume this much butter for them.. I expected a softer and tastier dough, and more caramelized topping from them..

For the recipe please visit blogs of this week's hosts, Lynn and Nicole : Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Cookies on Friday, or buy the book: Baking with Julia..

The recipes that are going to be baked in June are not decided yet.. I hope they will be much lighter than May's recipes, and use a lot of summer fruits..

Thanks for stopping by.. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesdays With Dorie : Hungarian Shortbread

For some reason I did not realize this recipe was due today, but thought it was for next Tuesday.. When I realized last night that it had to be posted today, I was not sure that I would make it on time, because I had other plans for today and also I was trying to eat healthier until the weekend in order to compensate all the goodies I savored last weekend :) Then, my sense of responsibility kicked in, and I couldn't let myself be late for this one.. The result, my diet did not go well with 2 sticks of butter in this treat.. It was worth it though..

I was really excited to try this recipe from the moment I went through the recipes when I first got my Baking with Julia book.. Simply because I love rhubarb and I love a dough that does not need special treatment and rolling.. And this recipe is perfect: you make the dough with a mixer, divide into two,  freeze both, then grate the frozen dough before you bake.. Just perfect :) 

Baking with Julia version of Hungarian Shortbread has home-made rhubarb jam sandwiched in between two layers of shortbread.. I was a bit scared of the amount of butter that was used in the recipe - whole recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter.. I halved the recipe to decrease the butter consumption (I know it is the same amount of butter per slice, but it just did not feel right to consume 4 sticks of butter for one recipe) and baked it in 8x8 inch square pan instead of the recommended 12x9 pan.. It smells delicious while baking, and tastes divine.. Melting in your mouth, buttery, soft and crumbly shortbread with sour, not too sweet rhubarb jam in between.. The jam can be substituted with any other type, just make sure that it is a tangy one to compensate sweetness of the shortbread.. 

The recipe is very straight forward and easy to put together.. As mentioned, it has the easiest dough process with such a great result.. Preparing the rhubarb jam takes like 15 minutes.. Mine was a bit watery after 10 minutes simmering, which was recommended time by the book.. So, I boiled it a bit more to get rid of the remaining water.. Still, I was not impressed with the taste of it, it tasted kind of bland to me by itself (within the shortbread it worked perfectly).. I did not follow the book's instructions about dusting the shortbread with confectioner's sugar right after taking it out of the oven, but waited the dish to cool down before dusting.. I did not want my confectioner's sugar to melt and disappear over the hot shortbread.. 

Conclusion: I loved how this recipe tasted.. It is definitely a keeper.. And is open to variation in terms of filling.. Couple of hours after baking, photographing and tasting my product, I was thinking why my shortbread was thicker than the pictures from other Tuesdays With Dorie bakers' blogs and my jam layer looked thicker, then I realized that although I halved the dough recipe I prepared rhubarb jam with the full measure, and used it all.. Well, it tastes good, that is what matters, right :)

For the recipe please visit blogs of this week's hosts, Lynette and Cher : 1smallkitchen and The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler, or buy the book: Baking with Julia..

See you in two weeks with Pecan Sticky Buns.. Another recipe with tons of butter in it.. Looking forward to trying though.. It uses brioche dough, and baking brioche is in my to do list for a while now..