I got a package on the doorstop yesterday. It was addressed to my husband, so I called him to see if it was o.k. to open it.
"Of course!" he said.
This is what I found inside....
My very own copy of Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice!
I'm so excited! Thank you, sweetie!
If you want the recipes for this challenge, please get a copy of this book.
You may be able to find some of his recipes online, but you will find everything you need in this book.
This week's challenge was to make cinnamon rolls. I haven't made cinnamon rolls in a looooong time.
I'm not sure. I guess I was tired of the middles of the rolls popping out and looking like wedding cakes.
The challenge also offered the alternative: sticky buns.
A.k.a 'stick-to-your-hips' buns...
Hmmmm. This is gonna be hard. Hard to choose.
Like choosing which child you love best...
I couldn't decide, so I made both!
Instead of doing a step-by-step post, I thought I would share what Peter Reinhart (P.R.) does differently, what I have learned, and would do differently next time.
Professional bakers weigh their flour.
I got this scale at IKEA for $6. It's not spot on, but it's close enough.
One of these days, I'll go digital.
Did you hear that honey? *hint, hint*
P.R. uses lemon extract in his recipe.
Oh, was that supposed to be a secret?
This lemon extract is in Lisa's doughnuts, and it is fabulous.
You must try it.
It also calls for your choice of milk or buttermilk.
I love the taste and lightness that you can get from buttermilk.
Don't have fresh on hand, so I used this SaCo cultured buttermilk blend powder.
It's a great food storage item to have on hand.
Man, this dough was loose.
Look how it just runs down the dough hook.
It's not sticking to my fingers, but even after adding another 1/2 c. to the weighed flour, I am definitely going to add more next time.
It was humid and stormy today, which made my flour humid...
I let it rest for 20 minutes in the bowl and then mixed it some more.
This time, it started to clear the sides.
Now that's more like it!
P.R. says that your gluten is fully developed when you take a small pinch of dough and stretch it.
It's called the 'window pane' test.
I'm not sure if this is what P.R. would look for, but I tell ya, it takes a contortionist to do this and photograph it by yourself!
For the sticky buns, it calls for a caramel glaze.
Glaze? This doesn't look like glaze to me.
Looks more like fluffy frosting.
You spread 1/4" of this 'glaze' onto the bottom of your pan.
Warning: look at the sides of this pan...it is NOT deep enough!
I had a sticky bun mess left in the bottom of my oven.
Note to self: Next time, get a deeper pan or line the bottom of the oven.
I love pecans with sticky buns.
You can also use raisins.
If you really, really want to.
I will definitely use more pecans next time. A LOT more!
Before you roll out your dough, lightly oil your surface.
But don't oil the top of your dough.
This helps keep your rolling pin from sticking to the dough and keeps your rolls 'together' instead of separating while
P.R. suggests rolling the dough to 2/3" thick.
Isn't that slightly higher than 1/2"?
I don't know.
Math eludes me.
P.R. says if you roll out your dough too thin, you will have a tough and chewy roll.
That's been my mistake in the past.
I like lots of 'swirls.'
These look a little thick. I'll roll them out to 1/4" next time.
They still look pretty and puffy, don't they?
P.R. says that the sticky buns need to bake on the lower rack of the oven.
He also says that the heat needs to reach through the 'glaze' and the tops will appear dark.
The bottoms will become the tops and tops will be the bottoms.
Verdict? The taste was excellent! The buns were soft, full of flavor and melted in my mouth.
The glaze? It was a little firm to the bite. P.R.'s recipe included corn syrup which probably saved me from a hard, crack your teeth consistency. I will probably add a little more butter next time.
As for the cinnamon buns,
they were a definitive winner for me.
I used P.R.'s recipe for fondant.
This is more like a glaze than a fondant, but I didn't care.
It works for me!
Next week: Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread