The past week has been a very hard week at work, lots of moving pieces, numerous changes on the fly created a slow moving tension headache that sort of came to fruition on Saturday.
Since this recipe needed at 2-day commitment, I decided that I was going to take a pass and leave it for our next catch up day. I was too tired and not in the set of mind to deal with 7-pages of instructions.
But, I could not leave it alone and late in the day I started to peek into our Facebook group to see how everyone was doing and started to see these comments:
“I just sampled the sticky caramel. OH MY WORD!!!!”
“OMG, these buns are so good I had to make a second batch.”
”..made them this past weekend. YUMMY. They lasted about an hour”
“The caramel pairs so well with your brioche recipe. Everything is in perfect harmony! That said, I feel like having another one now!”
Nothing like a good push by my fellow bakers to get off my butt and into the kitchen. The problem was that I started at 3:00 pm and when I read the recipe AGAIN for the 20+ time, I realized that this was going to take the rest of the day and well into the night.
No turning back now.
The Brioche dough starts with a sponge (starter), mixing water, sugar, flour, yeast and egg. Next step: covering the whole thing with a blanket of more flour, more yeast, some sugar and salt and then letting it proof for 1.5 to 2 hours. I should have stopped here and let it proof at room temp for 1 hour and sticking it into the refrigerator. But I, of course, read the steps wrong and let THAT opportunity pass. By the time I realized this mistake, my dough was in the stand mixer and on its 5-minute mixing step waiting for the butter to be added.
Rant side note: I appreciate Rose detailed instructions I do, but sometimes they can be so confusing, and organized in a way, that the flow just seems harder than it has to be. And this drives me up the wall! End of rant.
So here I was 6:00 pm and with my brioche dough all soft, elastic and sticking to everything ready for its third rise, another 1.5 to 2 hour. I sat with my family to watch a movie and promptly fell asleep and 3 hours later woke up to realized.. oh crap the DOUGH!
At this point in the recipe you had to chill the dough for 1 hour, deflate it, then chill for another hour before giving it a couple of turns and put back in the refrigerator to chill for 6 hours or 2 days.
I skipped it all of the above and put in the refrigerator without any extra 2 hour chill time or folding and told myself, it would be just fine and went ahead to sleepy land – where brioche was made by my fairy godmother by waiving her magical wand – BOOM! NO waiting around.
Sunday I woke up to annoying daylight time change, meaning my entire plan on staring these early so we could have them for breakfast flew out the window. I went back to sleep, wishing for that fairy godmother.
I stumbled into the kitchen at noon and became a rebel and cut so many steps short, I was sure karma was going to bite me back and the end product was going to be a disaster.
I opted out making the raisins+rum combo, instead I added more nuts to the filling and used pecans and walnuts. Since I had only dark Muscovado sugar and light brown sugar – I went half and half and figure it would be the right “color”. Instead of covering my rolled out dough with the beaten egg, I opted for covering it with butter – because, like bacon, we can never have enough butter on anything.
Rolling was pretty easy; the dough behaved like a dream - so much for all those skipped chilling times. I used a knife to cut them up and instead of using 2 round pans; I use a rectangle pan, which worked just fine because somehow, I ended up with 13 pieces instead of 12. Apparently I don’t know how to divide.
I let them proof their last hour, before sticking them in the hot oven and started on the soft sticky caramel topping, which happened with no major hand burns. I broke tradition – I make caramel quite a bit in order to make this and I always find a new way to burn myself. So this was a win for me.
I only made one addition to the caramel and added about 1 teaspoon of rum - my way of making up for not making the Caramel Bun Glaze.
We really like them; they were soft, gooey, and sticky. The brioche was soft, not to sweet, rich and light in texture. I did feel that they did not have enough filling, so the cinnamon/sugar was lost in the rich bread. There was not complaint from the other members of Casa P. Even my mother-in-law drove to the house after she saw the picture I posted in Facebook. Telling me she wanted to “taste” those things you posted on facebook.”
Would I make them again? Maybe, I just have to find a way to cut down the recipe to a 1-day affair.
You can check out the rest of The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers doing their stuff by stopping at the bake along blog.
Disclaimer: As previously noted, no recipes are shared in my Cake Bible posts, due to publishing restrictions enforced by the publisher of Rose’s The Baking Bible. But, you can support me and her by purchasing the book.