I would never have had the guts to try these in the past, and I think my procrastinating proved I was a little anxious about it. However, it was not too hard as I thought, and the whole process was totally worth it, and I think of my 3 challenges the easiest.
We were asked to make one type of scroll with 2 different toppings, one being white fondant icing and the other a sticky gooey caramel. They’re both delicious but I think I preferred the fondant covered scrolls, or should I say I could eat more of them! The caramel is incredibly rich, but tasty.
If you would like to see what my other Daring Baker team mates have gone with this challenge, you can find them all here. http://daringbakersblogroll.blogspot.com/
6 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1 1/8 - 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)
White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns or caramel glaze for sticky buns (at the end of the recipe)
Walnuts, pecans, or other nuts (for sticky buns)
Raisins or other dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or dried cherries (for sticky buns, optional)
Cream together the sugar, salt and butter in a large mixing bowl and do it by hand). Whip in the egg and lemon zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk.
Mix until the dough forms a ball. Knead for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.)
For cinnamon buns, line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren’t touching but are close to one another.
For sticky buns, coat the bottom of 1 or more baking dishes or baking pans with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high with a 1/4 inch layer of the caramel glaze. Sprinkle on the nuts and raisins (if you are using raisins or dried fruit.) You do not need a lot of nuts and raisins, only a sprinkling. Lay the pieces of dough on top of the caramel glaze, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag.
Proof at room temperature for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 175°C with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns.
Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky buns 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. If you are baking sticky buns, remember that they are really upside down (regular cinnamon buns are baked right side up), so the heat has to penetrate through the pan and into the glaze to caramelise it. The tops will become the bottoms, so they may appear dark and done, but the real key is whether the underside is fully baked. It takes practice to know just when to pull the buns out of the oven.
For cinnamon buns, cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least
20 minutes before serving.
For the sticky buns, cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove them by flipping them over into another pan. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.
White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns
Sift 2 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of lemon or orange zest and 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns.
Caramel glaze for sticky buns
With an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature. Cream together for 2 minutes.Add 1/2 cup golden syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest. Continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.Use as much of this as you need to cover the bottom of the pan with a 1/4-inch layer.