This week's TWD was chosen by Madame Chow of Madame Chow's Kitchen....and she went all out with choosing one of the most visually decadent items in the book, the Pecan Honey Sticky Rolls. Just looking at these things made me schedule a trip to the dentist.
The recipe was intimidating to me, because I have never made brioche from scratch before. After reading the TWD P&Q where gals were saying their stand mixers were jumping around on the counter, my mouth was a big wide open O of shock. TWD organizers offered us the option to do an alternate, but since I did that last week...I wanted the challenge this time around.
So I got all my supplies..jeez who knew that yeast expires so quickly?? I feel like I am always buying it. The dough came together quite easily actually, even though my KA mixer that has not been serviced...EVER...decided right at the time I was going to turn it off anyway that it was DONE and just stopped mixing. It is totally stuck now, so I have to take it into the local KA service center. Hopefully, it's not totally dead (though a new green one would look SO fab in our kitchen!!)
I used the awesome trick that another TWD gal posted about helping your dough with the environment for rising, warm a mug of water in the microwave to create a humid warm environment then put your dough in there to let it rise. Just don't turn it on accidentally.
My dough rose quite nicely using that tip. Slapped it down...put it in the fridge, punched it down a few times, that rise was crazy...and then let it rest overnight. Actually a little longer than overnight, like well into the afternoon of the next day due to time constraints. I was afraid it would be a little dry, but it was perfect.
Now for the interesting part. After reading the Pecan Sticky Rolls recipe I realized most of the hard work was done with the dough itself. I decided to make slightly less than the 1/2 recipe that Dorie called for as knowing there are 3 sticks of butter in that loaf makes it easy for me to not want 15 of these things floating around my kitchen.
Froze about 2/3 of the dough. The glaze calls for whole pecans but the visual was so MUCH to me in the book, that I ended up using diced pecans and walnuts and less than what was listed. I broke out this beautiful jar of Filoli Wildflower Honey that I had purchased a few months ago from Filoli Gardens...this beautiful private garden we have our here...we go every year and they have their own bees and make their own honey. I didn't measure out the sugars and cinnamon and all that and just went with what I thought looked good.
Popped them in the microwave humid environment for almost 2 hours so they could puff. They were looking really good after about 1 hour, but I figured they still had some ways to go maybe...
Or maybe not because within about 20 minutes more they started getting crazy huge. It was hilarious because in the book it says leave some space in the pan but it doesn't quantify how much and mine were pressing into each other and basically starting to push upwards out of the pyrex. It was a funny sight. Put them in the oven, and they continued to push UPWARDS and out of the pan vertically. Wow. Next time I'd probably put them into the oven about 20 minutes earlier to keep that nice vertical flat bottom...I didn't get any pictures of the crazy upwards rise (well any that weren't blurry).
They baked within 25 minutes, probably due to the 8x8 pan size, and I unmolded them, they popped out easily. And the taste...WOW out of this world. Now I am really glad I didn't make the whole 1/2 recipe because I could sit and eat these things one after another. As I finish this post early on Tues morning, there is one..lone...bun...staring at me.
The butter in the bread gives it this wonderful soft rich crispness that just almost melts in your mouth. I am glad we stick with the pecans because they work fabulously with the honey and sugars, but REALLY glad I did the diced instead of full. I think that a full mass of pecans on the top would overpower the delicate taste of the brioche, and I didn't break my stand mixer to not taste the wonderful bread.
This was the most challenging recipe thus far for me in TWD and I am super proud that they came off so wonderfully! Minus stand mixer breakage. Moment of silence for the stand mixer...hopefully I can get it fixed this week.
Thanks Madame Chow for a wonderful recipe pick...go here to check out the rest of the TWD gals brioche masterpieces.