Such an exciting recipe! Restarting the baking challenge at the scones and then yeast categories is very rewarding. Technically we did the August unveiling 4 years ago, but thanks to the magic of time and memory it was a “unveiled” to me this time as well.
You can find the recipe here.
This dough was different than yeasty doughs I’ve tried before. You start with only mixing a little less than half of the flour with the sugar and all of the wet ingredients (warm milk and vanilla extract into the sugar and yeast mix into the flour and egg mix).
A side note about sugar: the recipe calls for “Caster sugar” which google tricked me into thinking it was “Icing sugar” but it is not. It’s just a finer sugar. I would have probably used regular every-day sugar if I didn’t have some caster sugar leftover from another recipe. It’s also great for cold drinks since it doesn’t need heat to dissolve.
After you let that very wet dough rest, you can mix the rest of the flour to create something more “dough” like, and start a rest and knead routine.
I was ashamed of how bumpy the dough looked at first and I didn’t want to knead it too much, especially since it goes through a “knead and rest” a total of three time, so I lived with its bumps and eventually (spoiler alert) it worked out.
Once I finished the knead and rest it was time for the fat. “Work the butter into the dough” was a puzzling statement. Do I fold a sheet of butter and laminate the dough? Do I melt it? I decided to commit to the role of a human mixer and “mix” it in.
The process could be described as a “buttery explosion”: the butter kept trying to make a run for it through cracks in the dough, but I powered through and was rewarded with a smooth gorgeous dough.
I took some liberties with the filling, not necessarily in a good way. The recipe mentions two different ginger options, fresh or crystalized, and I went with a third – grated fresh ginger. Which always reminds me of my dad, so it was a nice nostalgic moment.
I let them proof one last time in a cool oven for 30min before taking them out and starting to heat my oven to 355F.
The recipe is a little bit like a technical challenge since it doesn’t say for how long to bake them. I used Babish’s recipe to try and fill some of the gaps:
- I let it proof for 1h
- I spaced them out so they wouldn’t touch before I started the final proofing
- I aimed on baking them for 25min before nervously checking on them
25min proved to be just the right time! I left them for 3 more min while I made the orange juice and powdered sugar glaze, which I poured generously while they were still hot.
What went right:
- That dough was so fun to work with and the end result was soft and not too dry
- The orange juice and powdered sugar glaze made them so sticky, citrusy and yummy. I made three times the amount (total of 6-8 table spoons of orange juice, 3-4 cups of powdered sugar).
What went wrong:
- The fresh ginger was undetectable and I would probably skip it next time
- I spaced them out too much and didn’t get that lovely tray bake (they did touch, but they kept their distance)
I think next time I make these, I’ll use the same dough but convert them to old school cinnamon buns. I might keep the orange juice glaze though since it really elevated them.