Sunday, April 27, 2008

Stickin' to My Buns

In all the bread-baking lessons I've given the Renaissance Man so far, I've let him do very little of the actual work.

Why? Maybe I'm just a control freak in the kitchen and have to do it all myself, or maybe I'm just too used to cooking on my own wavelength instead of adapting to someone else's speed (like I used to do when the fair Titania and the lovely Phoenix were around to cook with me).

Whatever the reason for my previous reluctance, I determined that the next time we baked bread together, I would make sure that he got his chance for some hands-on education.

He got that chance today.

In making cinnamon rolls a little while back, he expressed interest in making "sticky buns" at some point in the near future. I'm not a big fan of sticky buns that are so sticky and caramel-laden that your mouth feels like it's being glued shut, but I did remember a delectable recipe for pecan rolls in the Tassajara Bread Book that I thought would satisfy us both.

Well, I didn't take that book with me when we headed into the kitchen, but he still had my copy of Uprisings sitting around, so we took the same cinnamon roll recipe and adapted it to make the pecan rolls.


After making him mix the sweet roll dough while I added ingredients, I nudged him ever so firmly toward the bread board and encouraged him to knead the dough. While his technique differs slightly from mine, it proved more than effective because he ended up with a firm but tender ball of dough that we let rise on the board.

I whipped up the filling -- doubling the amount of butter, substituting some brown sugar for half the honey, and adding a lot of cinnamon -- and once he had rolled out the dough, he smeared the filling over it in a thin layer before rolling it all up into a tight log. (For a beginner, he's really very good!)

In the meantime, I covered a greased baking pan with thin slices of butter, a generous sprinkling of brown sugar, and handfuls of chopped pecans. As he sliced the roll of dough, I set each roll on top of the mixture, nestling them all together cozily.

Half an hour or so later, we slid the plumped-up rolls into the oven and waited for that seductive fragrance to lure us back for the finished product.


And oh, my, was it ever worth the wait! While they could have used more butter on the bottom of the pan for just a touch more stickiness, they certainly had plenty of sugar and pecans to make anyone hungry.

Dare I confess it? We ended up eating warm, fresh "sticky bun" pecan rolls for dinner. Nothing else -- no vegetables, no fruit, nothing. And we were so, so happy.

I told the Renaissance Man in no uncertain terms that I was very proud of his first solo outing as a bread baker -- and that I expected him to make more again soon.

And you'd better believe I'm stickin' to my guns on that.

3 Comments:

At 5/03/2008 11:57 AM, Blogger cv said...

That sounds like a balanced dinner to me!

You almost have all the 4 food groups of the south!

Salt
Sugar
Grease
Alcohol

 
At 5/03/2008 12:13 PM, Blogger justagirl said...

Oh my god those look DELICIOUS! I made sticky buns for breakfast a few hours ago. Here's my recipe: Bang can on side of counter. Place buns on cookie sheet. Bake. Drizzle with icing. Eat. :D

 
At 5/05/2008 7:14 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

cv, does it count if the yeast in the dough has a slightly alcoholic aroma? Besides, who can deny that we got a fair amount of our daily carbohydrates balanced by the protein of the pecans??? :-)

Oh, justagirl, I remember making sticky buns just like that! But I gotta tell you... these are just a tiny, teensy bit better. Just a little! (It might be the company!) ;-)

 

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