Thursday, April 8, 2010

Double Take: Caramel Sticky Buns

The latest selection for Double Takes was breakfast themed: Caramel Sticky Buns. Due to plans to head home for Easter, I planned to make the sticky buns as a treat for my sister and brother-in-law who recently moved into their first house!

The recipe was straightforward. Prepare hot roll mix. What? What’s hot roll mix? Apparently rather than just writing a recipe there is a mix available at the store. The mix I used contained 2 1/3 c. of flour mixture and a yeast packet. It called for one cup of warm water. The yeast was less active than my normal experience. There are a few recipes for the mix online but the quantity to use was typically unclear. One recipe stated 3-4 cups while another used 3 1/3. I was not impressed with the way the bread turned out so I’d recommend going with an alternate yeast bread recipe. Anyway, enough of that rabbit trail. The dough was rolled to a 15 x 11” rectangle. Covered with cinnamon and sugar and rolled up from one end.

Rolled Dough coated with Cinnamon and Sugar

For small buns, it should be rolled from the long side facing you. For large buns, it should be rolled from the short side facing you. Dental floss was recommended to slice the dough.

Slicing the Dough

The dough was placed on top of caramel sauce (for which there was a recipe), allowed to rise until double, and baked about 15 minutes.

Rising Dough

Done! (Left is the inverted roll, Right is the Caramel side)

The caramel sauce was the third caramelized sauce (out of four) that I made last week. However, its preparation was slightly catastrophic. I decided to try preparing the bread and caramel sauce at the same time. I started the caramel sauce, got it to a point at which I just needed to glance at it periodically, and turned to the bread. This was going well but I had noted when I started that the pot might be a little small. I should’ve changed pots then but I didn’t. As I turned to check on the sauce, I noticed the caramel sauce was boiling over the top of the pot forming molten lava on top of my sister’s brand new oven. I rushed to the pot to remove it from the eye and turn off the heat. However, my sister heard my surprise and ran into the kitchen. The response was not good. However, together we scrubbed the oven an hour and 5 minutes until it was spotless. Then I finished the caramel sauce. Ugh. It wasn’t the recipe’s fault. However, it was the longest cooking caramel sauce I’ve ever made and I don’t feel convinced that the extended cooking time yielded a better flavor or texture than stopping after cooking 8 minutes.

Notes: In the future, I suggest making the caramel sauce prior to the pastry, rather than simultaneously. I strongly suggest using a large pot for the caramel sauce. Not a stock pot, mind you, but not the smallest pot in the cupboard. Further, if you plan to make this the night ahead, undercook the caramel sauce. If the caramel is made by the recipe, it restricts the bread rising in the refrigerator.

Taste test: Too sweet to eat. Seriously. My sister, brother-in-law, and I could hardly eat them. I wanted to trash them. I followed their measurements for filling the rolls and it could’ve had ¼ the cinnamon and half the sugar. The pastry flavor was unimpressive. The caramel sauce was good but it couldn’t save the pastry. In the future, I plan to return to a recipe I’ve used previously for cinnamon rolls.

Sticky Bun Recipe: 2/10; Caramel Recipe: 7/10; Overall Taste: 3/10

Check out Mel's take over at Fabulously Fun Food.

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