September 30, 2007

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice?

When first learned of this months' Daring Baker challenge, I had a feeling the double entendres would fly on post day. So far today, Barbara's title and Stacy's are among my personal favorites. A latecomer to the party again this month, it's been my great pleasure to leave various iterations of "nice buns!" on ninety-some blogs as I wait patiently for MY dough to rise. Curious what my brothers and sisters in baking are up to? check them all out here.

I had a bit of a scare with the dough. I carefully measured all of the ingredients by weight, creamed the butter, salt and sugar, blended in the egg and lemon zest. So far so good. Then I added the flour, yeast, and milk and patiently waited for my dough to form a ball. Okay, perhaps *not* so very patiently. Five minutes later, no ball. John agreed that the dough was too wet, and we added approximately a half cup more flour before it came away from the sides of the bowl and formed a ball. Switched to the dough hook and let my mixer do its magic. Ten minutes later I had exactly the silky smooth soft dough I'd heard about from those daring bakers who didn't wait until the last possible second to bake their buns.

I spent the two hour proofing time reading other cinnamon roll reports and drooling over the accompanying photographs... hoping my midnight snack buns turn out half as tasty as the others look.

Once risen, I divided my dough in half, dedicating half to a future project and half to cinnamon bun goodness. We were offered the choice of cinnamon and sticky. I opted for cinnamon because I'm picky about nuts in baked goods, and I've been making my grandmother's sticky bun recipe since I was old enough to stand up and hold a rolling pin; choosing someone elses -- even if it is very good -- feels tantamount to sacrilege. Bun assembly was fairly straightforward, and I stashed them in the 'fridge while we headed out to a Sunday afternoon football party with John's high school friends. We'd proof them the final time and bake them when we returned -- a true midnight snack!

At 10:30, after two hours in a proofing oven, my buns had risen to glorious heights and were ready for baking. Heating the oven to 350 took no time at all, and we were quickly enveloped by the scents of sugar and spice and everything nice...

Eighteen minutes in the oven and my buns had baked to a delightful golden brown. I assembled the fondant while they cooled a bit -- choosing to halve the recipe since the most often repeated 'complaint' among the bakers was that it produced an excessive amount. I then transferred my cinnamon scented bounty to cooling racks and drizzled them with the sugary goodness. I'll admit that we didn't wait an additional twenty minutes to bite in, or I'd never make my midnight deadline and my coach would turn back into a pumpkin. Cinderelly? Cinderelly? Bippity Boppity Boo! Oh...Er... oops... sorry, wrong story.

These were absolutely worth the wait, and I'll definitely be repeating them in different forms and flavors. Just sweet enough to be satisfyingly sinful, without they cloying heavy sugar aftertaste of many commercial versions.

This month's adventure into the world of baked goods has been brought to us by Marce of Pip in the City. She's posted the recipe from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice in all its glorious detail here.

Resources used:
King Arthur unbleached bread flour
Clover-Stornetta Organic butter, whole milk
Penzeys' Extra Fancy Vietnamese Cassia Cinnamon

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37 comments:

Ilva said...

You sure posted that in the last minute! he he! 11:59! Now I'm hungry again and no more buns at home....

Meeta said...

Way to go Dolores. These look yummy!

Paz said...

Yum! Very nice!

Paz

Quellia said...

Yeah! You made it!
Talk about a great bed time snack!

slush said...

I love making my bins at night too. Something about the yeasty smell and tasty treat before bed that I just love.

And yes, those are some hot looking buns! Great job!

KJ said...

Better late than never. I'm all for midnight snacks, everything seems to taste better. You did a great job on your buns.

breadchick said...

YEA! Super job on these this month and squeeking in under the wire too! I'm way impressed.

Deborah said...

What a wonderful midnight snack!! I might try that - but I don't know if I'd be able to sleep with that cinnamon-y smell drifting through the air!

Peabody said...

Barbs title totally made me laugh too.
I agree, totally worth the wait. In fact, I'm probably making them this weekend!
Your buns look hot Dolores :)

Hilda said...

They look wonderful, and I totally empathize with not being sure about the dough getting to the perfect consistency, since I'm yeast-retarded to start with, the whole thing was a big experiment. Oh and those titles made me laugh too.

Mary said...

Who says they're just for breakfast? The cinnamon buns are a great midnight snack. Nice job Dolores!

Baking Soda said...

Oh Doloros I know what you mean; seeing your buns make me want even more! Let's do a virtual pyjama party some time and snack on midnight buns.

Glenna said...

mmmmm....they look sooooooo good! I can smell the warmth from here!

Marce said...

hahaha you sure know how to arrive fashionably late, Dolores! Your buns look terrific, yes, i´m no longer blushing at phrases like that. And they definitely make great snacks anytime of the day.

The Cooking Ninja said...

those looks yummy. :) I made them before but none turned out as good - they were pretty hard and dry but my significant other was so sweet to try to eat as much as he could to prove that they were delicious. :p

Ivonne said...

Such a funny post, Dolores! Your buns turned out great!

Dharm said...

Good one Dolores! Well done - the buns look great! Double Entendres huh? Well, I just love your buns...!! HAHAHAHAHA

marias23 said...

Very tantalizing close-up there!

joey said...

Great job! These look great :)

Brilynn said...

I'm looking forward to baking these again too!

Aoife said...

Here's to last minute baking! They look delicious!

Lis said...

Fantastic, Dolores!! I just came back from lunch - not even remotely hungry and then I read your post and look at your photos.. and now I want a plate full of cinnabuns!!

Well done, as always honey!

xoxo

Mehgan said...

Oh yum, those look so good!!

Amy said...

They look great! I definitely need to make more for a midnight snack. :)

Anh said...

YUmmy! I love it... :)

Julie said...

Ooh, I love King Arthur's and Penzey's!

Hooray for making good use of rising time! =) I sometimes check on my dough every five minutes when I'm baking a new recipe, or even an old, touchy one.

Nazca said...

Mine was a bit of a last minute job too, great to see I'm not the only one who worked well under pressure! :-)

Tartelette said...

Cinnamon buns for a midnight snack?..Yum! Totally, loudly Yes!!!
You did a fabulous job!

Andrea said...

I understand the feeling that using a different recipe than the family traditional recipe is sacrilegious! Your midnight snack buns turned out quite lovely!

Elle said...

Delicious lookng buns and I'll bet that they made a wonderful midnight snack before you turned into a pumpkin :)

kellypea said...

My goodness, but you're diligent! Good on you! We're swamped in pecan bars about now, and I'm sending them out in droves. But I'm dreaming of cinnamon rolls. And sticky buns. Ahhh....

Belinda said...

Dolores, I don't know how I missed reading this post...but I'm glad I caught up to it! The buns look wonderful, and I am ready to make them again! :-)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Like the little resource note at the end.
You have a proofing oven!! Wow! I did read that right!
These are great buns but I personally liked the stickies the best. I did really enjoy these buns. Yours look pretty fab!!

sara, the wine makers wife said...

Holy crap, if I could make these my husband woul dthink I was a goddess. @_@ WOW!! Soo awesome!!

Half Baked said...

Great job Dolores! Glad you got in under the wire:)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great cinnamon buns! They look ever so scrumptious!

Cheers,

Rosa

BC said...

Great buns!