Walnut Sticky Buns

5.15.2012


Wow.. Wow..
 
After composing myself a bit I can tell you today´s recipe is Pecan Sticky Buns (walnuts for me since I couldn´t find pecans) from our marvelous book, Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan, for our baking group Tuesdays with Dorie.
The recipe can be found in our hosts blogs, Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Cookies on Friday.
I don´t even know where to begin with this buns. This would´ve been one of the last recipes to make had I not joined this group, mainly because it came through as too sweet and loaded with unnecessary butter. I was so wrong. It is loaded with butter but it works so well. The dough flakes perfectly as a croissant or puff pastry would. It is sweet but absolutely balanced. I´m really speechless since I´m writing this minutes after finishing baking and tasting them.
Maybe the trick is in the amount; I ate maybe a third of one, so I have that buttery sensation without the heaviness, or headache a few hours later due to throwing my poor liver some extra work…
The contributing baker is Nancy Silverton and I have to admit she is one of my absolute top favorite bakers. She acted almost as my silent partner, made me love making my own croissants and baking bread with a sourdough, in spite of the work that is. I don´t know why, but I just clicked with her books more than fifteen years ago and faithfully followed her, bought most of her books and bake all the time from them. All the time.
So the fact that even I was skeptical about this recipe says a lot. Once again, she proved me wrong. These walnut rolls came out flaky, not too sweet and not too sticky that just trying to eat them is a problem.
They just let themselves be eaten. It was a mixture of licking fingers, layers unwinding, and buttery dough melting in my mouth. Did the rest feel this way? Because it seems I expected so little of these that they just blew my mind away. 
Before rising
This starts with my favorite dough, brioche. I already wrote about my love for it. I used this same recipe too many times to count. Brioche is easy to make if you pay attention to the details. The amount of time the dough needs to be kneaded, those 15 minutes, are essential to the texture of the baked brioche. If you decide to skimp the results will show that. Just when you think your mixer is about to collapse, you probably need 5 more minutes. Then the butter has to be soft but cool and not greasy. The resting period in the refrigerator is necessary to achieve a good flavor. And finally, it should be worked quickly and kept cold. I also use half bread flour and half pastry flour (here they are called 000 and 0000) and it´s amazing how improved the final dough turns out.
The dough is first rolled into a rectangle and more butter is added before folding it in three parts. This is done three times; then it goes to the fridge to relax. It took me two stays in the refrigerator in order to roll it again into a decent sized rectangle, large enough to fill, because it just resisted and didn´t stretch as much as I needed. Ahhh, the joys of baking with yeast..
For the filling I used cinnamon sugar I had left from the rugelach. And I still have some even though I used it a couple of times for this bread also. It´s like the never-ending story of the rugelach sugar.
The rolled and filled dough goes into the freezer to firm up a bit so that it´s easier to cut it. I used a silicone round mold that worked perfectly. A lot of butter has to be slathered in the bottom; it really looks as if a layer of buttercream has been added. Then brown sugar is sprinkled, then nuts and finally the buns.
After a few hours they are fluffy (but they don´t double) and go into the oven to bake until golden. When I took them out, the layers had puffed perfectly. It was really exciting to see, even before unmolding them and biting into one.
This recipe is not fast or for the starting baker. It requires a bit of experience in my opinion. Thanks again to our fellow blogger who looked up and posted the link to the video with this recipe. The written recipe was published here
Since I still have the other half of the dough I will try new fillings, like orange, bittersweet chocolate and pistachios. 
After the rise, before going into the oven

Right out of the oven


23 comments:

  1. Very lovely! Walnuts absolutely worked.
    This recipe definitely had me in my element- I love that we are getting to make all of these bread recipes. This was a lovely dough to work with, I thought. I was also dubious about the amount of butter - but it did all work out in the end.

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  2. Paula, you wrote a wonderful post and took great pictures. Sure sounds like you enjoyed not only preparing your Walnut Sticky Buns but also eating them quite a bit.

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  3. I agree I had my doubts about the recipe.. but it all came together so beautifully!! you are right just like a croissant.. the butter not too overpowering neither the sugar.. am so glad I gave it a go... otherwise would have probably never tried it!!

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  4. Hi Paula,
    I love your photos.
    I've cheated on the butter and luckily the brioche turned out fine (it needs more salt and sugar, though). I did not like the sticky topping, but will remake the modified brioche. With this recipe we surely gained experience (and probably weight!)

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    1. The amount of butter was kind of scary...

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  5. Paula, Simply gorgeous looking sticky buns! I thought of using walnuts…but found a bag of pecans hiding in my freezer. I love making brioche…and I’m getting much better at it thanks to Dorie! Great job!

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  6. looks lovely! nice and flaky!

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  7. Paula, since I didn't make these...I will vicariously enjoy them here! :D
    Will definitely make these this year...

    ~Carmen
    TWDBWJ member
    http://bakingismyzen.wordpress.com

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  8. Looks perfect!! I'm almost about to bake them, I was REALLY late on this recipe!!!

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  9. So beautiful! I bet they were just as yummy with the walnuts - fabulous job! :)

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  10. I completely agree, I was in love with these but not expecting it. Your description of eating them made my mouth water! They look perfect.

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    1. It was so unexpected I guess it was double enjoyment!

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  11. Paula - another wonderful post! I grew up with pecan sticky buns and love them. Must try the walnut version!

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    Replies
    1. This is actually the first time I ever had some! Walnuts was just a necessary change since pecans were nowhere to be found..

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  12. Beautifully done, Paula! I wish I had made a couple with nuts...so yummy looking!

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  13. These look absouletly wonderful!
    There's nothing better than cinnamon buns...especially when they're homemade. =)

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  14. Sticky buns are the best, I can have an endless amount, I also love the nuts on top, walnuts and pecans are my all time favorites!!

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  15. These look deliciously flakey, and smart to use the leftover sugar-nut mixture! Yes, thanks, it's nice to be doing the TWD bakes again!

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  16. Me gustan las nueces mejor que las pecans. Los bollos ven muy bien!

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  17. These were absolutely fabulous! I have made them once before, actually, but had forgotten how complicated they are to make.

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  18. Those are gorgeous. I have Nancy Silverton's books (and some Dorie Greenspans; though not this one). They are so inspiring but I need to get using them more. I keep seeing this recipe on the web thanks to all the baking with Dorie folks--looks so delicious.

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  19. Hi:

    I'm trying to subscribe to your blog via e-mail and feedburner says there is "no feed available.

    birds@realwest.com

    ReplyDelete

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