Friday, January 29, 2010

Eric & Jenn's Kitchen in Jersey City: Sticky Buns and Bread

Hi, I'm Jenn and I'm Eric's girlfriend. He usually posts as Eric's Kitchen in Jersey City.

This is my grandmother Edna's recipe for bread or rolls and sticky buns. She has been making these ever since I can remember. She always made both because the dough is the same and when she baked, she baked enough for 3 households. She gave most of her delicious treats away, and everyone always raved about them! Though she has been making them for decades, it was only a few years ago that I learned how to do it. She didn't have any recipe written down so I diligently wrote down everything as she explained it to me. Anyone who tastes these will love them!

This recipe will make approximately 60 sticky buns with some dough leftover for bread and rolls. In this case I had enough left over for 1 round loaf of bread and 7-8 rolls. If you want more bread or rolls, just make less sticky buns!

My grandmother always made the syrup for the sticky buns first so she wouldn't forget. For this you will need:

2.5 “coffee mugs” (1 coffee mug is the equivalent to ~1 cup) brown sugar
1.25 “coffee mugs” hot water
1.25 sticks oleo (aka margarine)

The actual measurements are not critical; the ratio is what is important.

Place all ingredients in a saucepan on the stove. Bring to a boil and then turn off the heat and set aside.

Like real rural Pennsylvanians, we use oleo for greasing our pans. You can use deep roasting pans or cake pans; I prefer the deeper ones because the sticky buns will expand a lot in the oven. Each rectangular pan will hold 20-24 buns.

Next, pour a little syrup in each pan, just enough to barely coat the bottom. (You'll use more of this syrup later so make sure you save at least half of it!) If you would like nuts on your sticky buns, you may now add these to the pans. We usually use walnuts. At this time you may be wondering why you'd want nuts on the bottoms of your sticky buns... but as will be described later, this will actually be the top!

Ok, now it is time to make your dough. For this you will need:

3/4 to 1 “coffee cup” sugar
3 tbsp. salt
2 quarts HOT water
2 “coffee cup” canola oil
Six 1/4 oz. envelopes Fleischmann's rapid rise yeast
5 lb. flour + enough extra until dough not sticky anymore (~ another 2 lb.)

Remember this will make a large amount of dough. You will need a huge bowl to make the dough in, and remember it will need space to rise too! You can see the bowl + dough here (notice the dough only takes up half the bowl, leaving plenty of room to rise).

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl, but only add the first 5 lbs. of flour initially. With clean hands, continually mix the dough. Add in more flour little by little and keep mixing. You will know when you have added enough flour (~ 2 more pounds) because the dough will no longer stick to your hands.

Form the dough into a ball and cover it with a piece of saran wrap and a dish towel and let rise for 20-40 minutes. I just kept an eye on it and when it was above the rim of the bowl I pounded it back down again with my fists. Repeat this process of rising (the second time it won't take as long) and pounding down once more.

Before rolling the dough, dust your rolling surface liberally with flour. Grab some dough and roll first lengthways then sideways until it is roughly 2' long by 1' wide. Estimating how much to grab takes time, I am still trying to figure out the perfect amount. I'd start with a hunk that is between the size of a softball and a small Nerf football. If you roll this out and it doesn't fit the 2' by 1' dimensions you can always remove or add more dough and re-roll it out.

Once the dough is rolled out, generously spread oleo, brown sugar, and cinnamon all over, in that order. My grandmother prefers using light brown sugar so she can tell where she still needs to add more cinnamon because of the color difference. (Dark brown sugar and cinnamon are about the same color.)

Now roll this up lengthwise into a long tube. As you roll, stretch the dough at the same time - so it's pull & stretch a little then roll, roll, roll. Keep doing this until it is all rolled up, then carefully slide a cutting board under the end and cut your cinnamony-sugary-tube of deliciousness into ~2.5" segments and place in the pans you prepared earlier.

Leave some space in between buns as they will expand! Once your pan is full, cover with more syrup. Put in oven at 350degressF for 20 min. then switch racks, bake another 20 min. Keep an eye on the sticky buns, if you added too much syrup it can flow out of the pans in the oven towards the end (huge mess!). While my grandmother never did it, I think you could place the pan on a shallow baking sheet or tray if you're concerned before putting it in the oven.

To get your sticky buns out of the baking pan, place some saran wrap then aluminum foil and then a cookie sheet or something similar upside down on top of your goodies. Then you have to carefully flip over the entire pan – this is where the top of your buns become the bottom and the bottom of the buns become the top - and hopefully your sticky buns will slide right out onto the plastic-wrap, aluminum foil-covered cookie sheet. (The saran wrap and aluminum foil make it easy to then wrap around your sticky buns to keep fresher or to transport them you can simply pick up the wrapping and move to another container if you wish.)

These are best eaten warm with some coffee or tea for breakfast, dessert, or a snack.

With the remaining dough you can make bread and/or rolls. For this simply shape the dough into balls (rolls) or round/oblong (bread) and place into a baking pan. Put oleo on top then poke some holes with a fork (since this dough wasn't rolled the holes will let air out). Bake at 350degreesF for 20 min. then switch racks and bake for another 20 min. You can bake the sticky buns and bread together if you want. Once done, put more oleo on the top to keep it from drying out as much. These are delicious to eat warm with butter or jam! To store, place in ziplock bag with as little air as possible.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails Share