The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts by The French Culinary Institute with Judith Choate, includes recipes like Chocolate Macaroons (Macarons au Chocolat); Almond Sponge Cake (Biscuit Joconde); Orange-Cinnamon Swirl Breads and Pecan Sticky Buns; and The Basic Steps to the Proper Execution of Great Yeast-Leavened Bread Doughs.
Makes two 9-inch loaves and 8 buns
Estimated time to complete: 2-1/2 to 3 hours
For the sponge
For the dough
To finish the cinnamon loaves
Topping for the sticky buns
To finish the sticky buns
Prepare your mise en place.
To make the sponge, combine the flour and yeast with 100 grams (3-1/2 ounces) room-temperature water in a medium mixing bowl, stirring with a wooden spoon until a stiff dough forms. Sprinkle a pinch of flour on top of the sponge. The sponge should immediately begin to rise, and when cracks begin to show in the flour on the surface, cover the sponge 10 to 15 minutes.
Combine the milk powder and orange zest with the orange juice and 180 milliliters (6-1/8 ounces) room temperature water in the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the raised sponge and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute.
Add the flour, sugar, and butter and mix to just blend. Add the eggs, one at a time, and autolyse (see note below) for 10 minutes.
Add the salt and mix on medium for 4 to 5 minutes, or until a very soft but stringy and elastic dough (similar to a brioche) with a good window (see Yeast-Leavened Bread Doughs) has developed.
Place the dough in a large, oiled bowl, turning to lightly coat all surfaces with oil. Cover with plastic film and place in a warm, draft-free spot or in a 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) proofing box for 20 minutes.
Remove the plastic film, turn, fold, degas (see Yeast-Leavened Bread Doughs), and flip the dough over in the bowl. Again, cover with plastic film and let rise in a warm, draft free spot or in a 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) proofing box for another 20 minutes.
Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface. Using a bowl scraper, gently scrape the dough onto the prepared surface. Carefully and gently degas the dough and, using a bench scraper, divide it into two 600-gram (21-ounce) pieces for the breads and one 530-gram (19-ounce) piece for the sticky buns. Wrap the smaller piece in plastic film and refrigerate while you prepare the loaves.
Form each of the remaining pieces of dough into a loaf shape, cover with plastic film, and bench rest on the work surface for 10 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.
Lightly coat the interior of the loaf pans with melted butter. Set aside.
Uncover and, using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an 18-by-23-centimeter (7-by-9-inch) rectangle. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat each piece with melted butter and then sprinkle with an equal portion of the cinnamon sugar. Beginning from the longest side, gently roll the dough into a neat log shape. Carefully seal the seam by pressing with the heel of your hand.
Preheat the oven to 191 degrees C (375 degrees F).
Fit each dough log into a buttered pan seam side down. Cover with plastic film and proof in a warm, draft-free spot or in a 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) proofing box for 15 to 20 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the top of each loaf with the egg wash. Bake the loaves for 25 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 85 degrees C (185 degrees F) on an instant-read thermometer, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and hot.
Tip the loaves from the pans and place them on a wire rack to cool.
First, make the topping. Combine the dark brown sugar with the butter and honey in a small saute pan over low heat. Add the pecans and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes, or until the butter has melted and blended into the sugar. Remove from the heat and, if adding the whiskey, stir it in. Set aside to cool slightly.
Combine the light brown sugar with the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg in a small bowl. Set aside.
Lightly coat the interior of an angel food cake pan with a bit of melted butter. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 191 degrees C (375 degrees F).
Degas the dough for the buns by gently patting the surface with the palm of your hand.
Lightly flour a clean, flat work surface.
Place the dough on the prepared surface and, using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 20-by-30.5-centimeter (8-by-12-inch) rectangle. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat the dough with melted butter and then sprinkle with the spiced sugar. Beginning from the longest side, gently roll the dough into a neat log shape. Carefully seal the seam by pressing with the heel of your hand.
Using a serrated knife, cut the log crosswise into 8 equal pieces.
Pour the cooled caramel mixture into the bottom of the prepared angel food cake pan. Then, gently place the buns, sides touching, over the caramel mixture.
Cover the pan with plastic film and proof in a warm, draft-free spot or in a 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) proofing box for 15 minutes.
Bake the buns for 30 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 85 degrees C (185 degrees F) on an instant-read thermometer, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and hot.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Remove the buns from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Then turn the pan over onto the prepared baking sheet, carefully unmolding the buns in one circular piece. This must be done while they are still warm or the caramel mixture will begin to harden and stick to the pan.
Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and allow the buns to cool completely.
Sprinkling flour on the sponge helps to demonstrate the activity of the yeast. As the sponge rises, cracks appear in the flour, indicating that the yeast is active and the sponge is ready.
If some of the caramel remains in the pan after the pastry is removed, scoop it up and pour it over the pastry.
Evaluating Your Success
The baked buns should be a rich caramel color.
If the whiskey is used, there should be just a subtle hint of the alcohol flavor.
Autolyse method: This is a full-production technique that can be applied to either the straight-dough method or any of the pre-ferment methods. In this process, the salt and yeast is omitted in the first mix, giving the dough a 10- to 15-minute rest period to allow gluten to develop through hydration. This saves time during the kneading-and-mixing stage, which is a valuable asset in high-production settings.
This page created June 2010
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