March 03, 2014

Sticky Buns...Do I Dare?

Guess what! C’mon…look around. Is anything new? I’m sure you can figure it out Ok, here’s a clue – see the super-cool logo above? What about the matching one on my sidebar? Yes, by jove it’s true…I’ve gone and become a Daring Baker Speed Dating!

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got the email inviting me to join this band of culinary swashbucklers who have been forging a brave path through baking fears and challenges; tucking such tricky things as Crepe Cake, Gâteau St. Honoré, Bagels, Strawberry Mirror Cake, and Croissants, under their collective belt with panache and finesse. Could I really become one of them? Oh I hope so!

With more than a fair share of nervousness I waited for my first challenge, silently praying that it wouldn’t be in the Gâteau St. Honoré family…not for the first, please patron saint of baking! So I was happy and more than a bit relieved when I found out that this month’s challenge was…Cinnamon and/or Sticky Buns. Not that I had much experience doing that either!

The host of this round, and chooser of this challenge, is Marce of Pip in the City. You can check out the original recipe (for both the cinnamon buns and the sticky buns, each with its own topping) here.

So on with the challenge! Like ever newbie, ridiculously thrilled and shaking in her strappy sandals and flowered apron, I printed out the recipe and industriously read it over and over. I bought everything I needed, stocked in my little kitchen, ready for the blessed event of bun-making. I decided to make just the sticky buns, partly because with only C and I here I knew we couldn’t handle (eating-wise) a deluge of buns, and partly because I wanted to keep it nice and simple for my first challenge. There would be no overextending and pulling of any ligaments even before I was out of the starting gate! The only modification I made (which was one of the allowed modifications) was to substitute the raisins in the sticky bun topping to dried figs…leftover from my SHF cookies.

Like all yeasted recipes, lots of "waiting time” comes into play what with the first-rise and second-rise, but aside from that everything went pretty smoothly. From the feedback I was reading from the other Daring Bakers (yes, there’s a whole support network of bakers who can virtually hold your hand while you bake!), it seemed that everything was going well: recipe straightforward, dough a dream to work with, and buns absolutely delicious.

Same for me. Well, except for a tricky moment with the dough.

Like everyone was saying, my dough was also amazingly soft and pillowy. But it was too soft. So soft that when I rolled it up and cut it, I had to re-roll my buns because, soft as the dough was, I could not for the life of me get even close to a semblance of a tight roll. But I needn’t have worried because they came out gorgeously sweet and sticky! I quickly dispatched some off to my best friend, my mother low interest personal loan, and my brother, who all gave it the stamp of approval (my mother’s only comment though was that it was a bit too sweet but trust me, she says that about everything). C liked it too!

These were my kind of buns. The bun itself was really soft, the glaze a sticky-sweet glue the clung to the buns and gently permeated parts of it. And I loved the figs! Sorry raisins, but I don’t think we will be seeing you for as while

Whew! First challenge tucked under my belt. Perhaps not with as much panache and finesse as I had hoped, but give me time and let’s see what else I will dare to do

Now go check out the Daring Bakers Blogroll for a load of fantastic buns craniosacral massage!

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