Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TWD - Pecan Sticky Buns

You've heard of the five stages of grief?  Well, at the risk of sounding a tad bit like a baking drama queen, that's what I went through with these sticky buns.

Denial - "I did not just use 5 sticks of butter to make these sticky buns.  I did not just spend 12 hours making these sticky buns."

Anger - "I used 5 sticks of butter and spent 12 hours making these sticky buns and they are no better than this?!  They have so much butter, it's running down my childrens' faces as they eat the sticky buns.  This is not buttered corn on the cob, these are sticky buns!"

Bargaining - "If I could somehow just suck some of the butter out of these rolls, they would be good. If only I had trusted my instinct that 3-1/2 cups of flour cannot support 5 sticks of butter..."

Depression - "I thought I was a better baker than this; but these aren't any good.  They have an oily taste with all that butter.  I gave some of these buns to my neighbors.  They will think I have jumped the shark with these sticky buns.  My baking life is over."

Acceptance - (next morning when I was really hungry and the butter had soaked into much of the brioche).  "These sticky buns are not that bad. I do love the layers that are reminiscent of puff pastry. I did learn something about laminating and making a sponge.  I bet if I were to try these again and cut out about half of the butter, these would be good. That's why I joined TWD, to learn new stuff and challenge myself."

So far so good.  This was a wonderful brioche dough and I found it easy to work with.

In hindsight (and after watching the BWJ video), this is where my trouble started.  My pieces of butter are too big which caused big chunks of butter to melt into the buns as they baked.

Can you hear the menacing music?  Trouble ahead!  The butter pieces are too big!

Out of the oven.  Little do I know of the trouble that lies in the bottom of the pan - the butter bath!
Ready to eat.  For me these were better the next day, when the butter had a chance to seep into the brioche dough and wasn't as overwhelming.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

TWD- Hungarian Shortbread

Those Hungarians.  So clever.  Who would have thought to use a cheese grater to make a dessert?  Makes you wonder if there was once a shortage of cheese in Hungary and a housewife felt bad about the cheese grater her kids had given her for Christmas that never got used, so she decided to grate some shortbread dough into a pan? Whatever the reason, I loved this recipe.  I mean really, really loved it, can't wait to make it again, loved it.

I was excited from the beginning when I saw the recipe had rhubarb.  Growing up in Ohio, rhubarb was a rite of spring.  But living in Texas, I never see it.  Luckily a fancy super market sells it frozen in one pound bags.  I was skeptical of how thick the shortbread looked in the picture, but once I tasted it, thickness was not an issue.  It just meant more of the yummy buttery flavor to sandwich the tart rhubarb.