Sugar Buns

It has been a while since a weekly poll-winner won with so many more votes than the other options. These sugar buns sure sound delicious. In the picture of Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook they look very fluffy and almost donut-like. But it became clear to me when I was reading the recipe that they're more of a pastry-kind than bread-like. These sugar buns are made out of Danish Dough, which is also used with pinwheels, bow-ties and croissants. My rating: 2 out 5. Quite low, I know, but the dough took a lot of time to make, I had to start a day in advance. And I know that a sugar buns consists 90% out of Danish Dough, but for me that was too much. They also tasted more like unbaked dough, rather than a pastry or bread. The best thing about them was the sugar topping.

Special thanks to Food and Paper blog, who saved me the trouble of typing this very long recipe!

Danish Dough recipe: you will only need half of this recipe, but there are countless ways to use the other half of dough, nevertheless I halved it.

- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast
- 1 pound 4 ounces (about 4 ½ cups) all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
- 2 large whole eggs + 1 large egg yolk

- In a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk and stir until dissolved. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, and 4 tablespoons butter. Beat on low speed until butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles coarse meal, 3 - 4 minutes. Pour in the yeast-milk mixture; mix until dough just comes together. Add the eggs and yolk. Mix until just combined, about 2 minutes. Do not overbeat.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface, making sure to include any loose bits left at the bottom of the bowl. Gently knead to form a smooth ball, 30 seconds. Wrap well with plastic, and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to an 18 by 10 inch rectangle, about ¼ inch thick. Try to keep the corners square. With a short side facing you, evenly distribute the remaining butter over two-thirds of the dough. Fold the unbuttered third over as you would a business letter, followed by the remaining third. This seals in the butter.
- Roll out dough again to an 18 by 10 inch rectangle. Then, fold dough into thirds as described above; refrigerate for 1 hour. This is the first of three turns. Repeat rolling and folding two more times, refrigerating for at least 1 hour between turns.
- Refrigerate dough, tightly wrapped in plastic, for at least 4 hours or overnight. Dough can also be frozen, tightly wrapped in plastic, for up to two weeks. Before using, thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight.

Pastry Cream recipe: makes 2 ½ cups, you will need 1 ¼ for the sugar buns.

- 2 cups whole milk
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
- pinch of salt
- 4 large egg yolks
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

- In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, ¼ cup sugar, vanilla bean with seeds, and salt. Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a simmer.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, cornstarch, and remaining ¼ sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour about ½ cup of the hot-milk mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. Continue adding milk mixture, ½ cup at a time, until it has been incorporated. Pour mixture back into saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard vanilla bean.
- Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixture fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter, and beat on medium speed until the butter melts and the mixture cools, about 5 minutes.
- Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Just before using, beat on low speed until smooth.

Sugar Buns recipe: makes 20 (oh puh-lease!!! I only got 8!)

- all purpose flour for dusting
- ½ recipe for Danish Dough
- 1 ¼ cups Pastry Cream
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- sugar for coating

- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 15 by 12 inch rectangle, about 3/8 inch thick. Using a pizza wheel or pastry cutter, cut dough into twenty 3-inch squares.
- Transfer Pastry Cream to a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch plain tip. Pipe one tablespoon into the center of each square. Brush the edges of each square with the beaten egg. Gather the edges around the Pastry Cream, pinching seams together, making sure the bun is completely sealed.
- On a piece of parchment paper, gently roll each bun with floured hands, keeping it seam side down, to form a compact ball. Repeat with remaining dough. Place shaped balls, smooth side up, on the prepared sheet, about 3 inches apart. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Brush gently with beaten egg. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until buns are golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Do not cover the buns until they are completely cool or you will forfeit flakiness.
- Brush the butter over the top of the buns. Place sugar in a wide bowl; dip buttered sides of buns into sugar to coat. Serve at room temperature. These buns are best eaten the day they are made.

The process of making Danish dough resembles a lot like making puff pastry.

The pastry cream is sooo yummy!

How they went into the oven.

Out of the oven, topped with - what else? - sugar.

At least they look good!

I hope you all had a fabulous Mother's Day! I baked a Streusel Coffee Cake for my mother, which is fast becoming her favorite.


Eliana said…
These look fantastic. I always love all of your photos. They are so helpful. thanks :)
Sorry they weren't the best! But they look yummy! And bravo for always taking on the ambitious recipes! :D
I like your blog, and these are looking adorable! As I'm such a bun lover :)))
Snooky doodle said…
Nice treat. These must be so good
apparentlyjessy said…
Damn, how sad the buns were too doughy! I think they look so delicious anyway!

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