Monday, May 04, 2009

A Bread Machine and Sticky Buns

I have often wondered how some of my favorite bloggers manage to have such great success with baking with yeast... happyhomebaker, dowhatIlike and bakingfiend (see links on the right) always manage to create such beautifully creative, fluffy and perfect loaves of bread... chinese buns and mantou. Oh, how I have been envious of their success with yeast because it seems no matter how hard I try and how decent my breads/buns/pretzels turn out, they're never as fluffy, fragrant or tastey as I would like them to be.

But what's this!?!?

A bread machine!!?! Yes, yes it is... I finally sprung for a bread machine! Yay! I feel like I've been spending a lot of money on random things lately (online shopping, craigslist stuff, baking accessories) but thankfully this bread machine did not cost an arm-and-a-leg. It was actually on sale at Walmart for only $55. When I saw the price, I thought that I had to be dreaming... but once I realized that this amazing deal was calling out to me I decided that I had to buy it. I actually had a discussion with my conscience that went something like...

"You don't have $50 bucks to splurge on a bread machine" "But think about all of the money I'll save by not having to buy bread each week" "--- erm... okay"

(I know, my conscience isn't that great of an arguer :P)

Anyways, the second I brought my bread machine home I was already thinking about different recipes that I wanted to try. But before I could make anything, my conscience spoke to me again and said "read the manual! and don't try anything stupid!" luckily, my erratic mind decided to listen. After reading the manual and inspecting all of the parts for damage I was ready to make something... and I decided to bake STICKY BUNS!

Cranberry Sticky Buns
Yields 12 buns (fits in an 8-inch cake pan)

Ingredients for Dough:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
21/4 tsp active yeast

Ingredients for Filling:
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tbsp cinnamon (or more if really like cinnamon)
1/3 cup dried cranberries (may substitute raisins)
2 tbsp brown sugar

Ingredients for Glaze:
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup pine nuts (or your favorite crushed nut)

1. Combine first 8 ingredients in bread machine, as per bread machine instructions. Set cycle to dough.

2. Once dough cycle is complete, remove mixture from the machine and roll to a 9x14inch rectangle.

3. Pour 2 tbsp melted butter on rectangle and spread over the dough evenly; sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon and cranberries.

4. Roll like a Swiss-roll and slice into 1 inch pieces

5. Prepare an 8-inch cake pan with the sticky glaze by adding melted butter, brown sugar and pine nuts to the pan. Mix thoroughly and then arrange the bun slices into the pan. Cover pan with cling wrap and leave to rise for 30-45minutes

6. After rising, bake at 350degrees for 25-30minutes.

7. Remove from oven, invert onto a serving plate and dish out!

This bread machine was amazing! I just had to add all of the ingredients to the machine as it was instructed in the manual and voila! In 1 1/2 hours, I had a beautifully fluffy dough that was ready for me to play with. These buns were very tasty and even rivaled the cinnamon buns from Cinnzeo! I don't think I'll ever by cinnamon buns again :P The only thing I would change would be to not place the buns in such a small pan. Although the bread was sweet and full of flavor, the small pan didn't allow the rolls to expand to their fluffiest potential :( instead, they were forced to stay more dense.
Note: the above picture shows the lovely white rolls and their sad denseness :`(

Oh well, practice makes perfect... and that gives me an excuse to use the bread machine again! Oh... and I forgot to mention, the aroma of fresh dough wafting throughout the house is the most amazing smell in the world!! They should patent that fragrance and sell it as perfume :P

1 comment:

Steph said...

Great deal on the bread maker! The sticky buns look really good.