Saturday, October 4, 2008

Maple Pecan Crumb Buns

I had a few days off in a row which got me to thinking about sweet yeast baking again. Something that would take a little more time and effort so that I didn't end up baking three kinds of cookies, and a pie... oh crap! that's what I did end up baking on top of two sweet yeast yummies from my Carole Walter Great Coffee Cake book. Ah well. I tried.

And of course the readers are wondering where is the blog evidence (blogidence?) of all this baking? Two of the cookie recipes were repeats so no need to blog about them. One was new, and I even took pictures so I may get around to posting eventually. The second sweet yeast pastry was a chocolate pecan twist thingy -- but it was slightly overdone which was kind of disappointing and squelched my urge to blog.

But these crumb buns... these are excellent. So excellent in fact that after taking pictures and trying a bite I told Chris that I had to blog about them and immediately ran upstairs.

The base of the buns are a simple rich and slightly sweet pastry dough -- something that the book offers at least 6 or 7 uses for including the aforementioned chocolate pecan thingy as well as cinnamon buns, sticky buns and even the woven apricot almond strip that I have made before. The base dough makes enough for two yummies and while I chose the chocolate pecan thing, Chris chose crumb buns.

The buns are simplicity themselves. Once the dough rests on the counter for an hour or so after spending the night in the fridge, you divide them into nine balls and place the balls in a buttered 9x9 pan. Leave them in a warm place to rise for another 45 minutes or so, then brush them with an egg wash and cover them with your favorite crumb topping before baking for 25-30 minutes.

I was going to use the base crumb topping in the book, but while trying to find the right page my eye caught on the maple pecan crumb topping recipe and that was what I ended up using because I love maple. The book also wanted these baked for 30-35 minutes, but with the apricot strip and the chocolate pecan strip I overbaked them -- so I pulled the buns out after 25 minutes. The bottoms and edges are golden brown but they might still be the barest, teensiest bit underdone... but I don't care because they're not overdone which makes them crispy and annoying.

For the base dough, the book gives you two choices, a simple sweet dough, which is what I used for the apricot strip, or a rich sour cream dough which is what I used for the buns. Both are good, but of course the rich version has a little more flavor and that's going to be my choice from now on.

makes 2 pounds of dough, enough for 1 large or 2 medium coffee cake
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 F)
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Rinse a small bowl in hot water to warm it. Add 1 tbsp of the sugar and the warm water to the bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Do not stir. Cover the bowl with a saucer and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Stir it briefly with a fork, cover again, and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until bubbly.

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix on low speed the 3 cups of flour, remaining 3 tbsp of sugar, and the salt. Add the slightly firm cubed butter and continue to mix until meal-size crumbs form, 2 to 4 minutes depending on the temp of the butter. Stop the mixer.

Using a fork, in a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sour cream and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the flour, along with the dissolved yeast, and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix on low speed for another 30 seconds, or until smooth dough is formed. NOTE: this is a soft dough.

Lightly butter a medium bowl for storing the dough. Empty the dough into the prepared bowl, smoothing the top with lightly floured hands. Spread a thin layer of softened butter over the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The dough may be kept in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

For the Crumb Buns:
1/2 recipe (about 1 pound) Rich Sour Cream Dough
1 small recipe streusel
1 large egg lightly beaten with tsp water for egg wash
powdered sugar for dusting

Remove the dough from the fridge 1 to 1 1/2 hours before shaping.

Generously butter a 9x9 inch square pan. Lightly knead the dough a few times, then divide it into 9 equal pieces, rolling each piece into a ball. Arrange the balls in the pace, three across and three down, trying to space them evenly. Flattent hem slightly and let them rise for 45 minutes in a warm place or until the balls start to touch.

While the balls are rising, prepare the streusel.

7 tbsps butter
1/2 tsp maple extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cpu brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

melt the butter in the microwave or a small pan. add the maple extract and stir, then let the butter mixture cool. in a small bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients except the pecans. once the butter is cool, pour it into the flour mixture and until small crumbs form. add the pecans and mix. let the streusel stand for 10 to 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350.

Brush the tops of the ubns with the egg wash and sprinkle the crumb mixutre heavily over the dough. Press it slightly into the dough and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the streusel is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool. Place aluminum foil over top of the pan and invert -- making sure to cover the top well to hold the struesel in place -- then invert again onto a plate or rack. Cover the tops heavily with powdered sugar and serve.

1 comment:

burkie said...

these look like a fabulous variation of sweet rolls. i'm gonna have to make 'em myself!