I bookmarked the recipe for these decadent buns the from the moment I got Flour. I always put it off – brioche takes time, and there are multiple parts, and it just seemed like a lot of work and pre-planning. I thought maybe Thanksgiving weekend would be a good time to try them, but was still on the fence until the day before Thanksgiving, when I scored some fresh yeast. The recipe says you can use dry or fresh yeast, but I had it in my head that I needed fresh – and everyone seemed to be out of it.
Fresh yeast aquired from a local independent market, I set out to make the buns. I originally planned on making the caramel on Wednesday and the brioche on Thursday, but quickly realized I could easily make everything on Wednesday so the dough was ready to roll out and proof for the second time on Thursday. The caramel in the recipe is easy to make and can be done up to a couple of weeks ahead. I made the cinnamon sugar filling and set it aside, and made the brioche in the stand mixer using the dough hook. I don’t know if it was the fresh yeast or if this is just the best brioche recipe I’ve ever made, but it was an object of beauty. Pliable and soft, easy to handle with just the right amount of stretch. It poofed up great in the refrigerator overnight, rolled out great on Thursday, but the buns looked a little lonely in the pan. It only makes eight, and they nestled into a 9×13 without even touching.
The second proof is supposed to be for a couple of hours on the counter, but I just stuck the formed buns in the refrigerator overnight, and Larry took them out about a half hour before they went into the oven the next morning. the original plan was for Brian to stay overnight with us as usual, but he had to go into work late Thursday night (boooo) so there we were, with eight sticky buns – the obvious solution was to throw together an impromptu neighborhood brunch (well, just Assana and Dan and Chris). So much fun! I threw a bunch of bacon in the oven and we dug in to the buns. They were amazingly good. The caramel is rich, not too sweet. I used Italian chestnut honey in it – not a delicious honey on its own, but it was terrific in the caramel. These are an absolute must for the next breakfast get-together we have, and we love the idea of having a casual, post-holiday breakfast.
For the recipe, go here.
- Sticky Sticky Buns (Flour, p. 84)