Cake is all right, and pie is delicious, but my real passion is for breakfast pastry, from waffles to scones, biscuits to brioche. Sticky buns are akin to the waffle sundae, a good thing taken to heights of unbelievable overkill, then garnished with nuts. I love them, although sometimes I love them better without the caramel. The sticky buns in The Baking Bible are called Caramel Buns, and they are a brioche base rolled with nuts, sugar, and rum raisins, baked, glazed with raisin sugar syrup, and covered in a thick drippy caramel and more nuts. I know. Seriously.
Rose's brioche is a simple but slow dough, one that makes me glad I have a mixer, as it would be a gigantic pain without. It starts with a little sponge, which is then covered with a flour mix and refrigerated for a while.
I ran out of flour so I supplemented with a touch of my gluten free mix, accidentally contaminating the GF mix in the process. I'll need to make a new mix (enriching Bob's Red Mill as usual), but the old one will still be useful for gluten light baked goods and experimental models.
After some overnight rising and then stretching and folding and more rising, the dough is rolled out, brushed with egg, sugar, raisins, and, in my case, walnut bits, and then rolled up and cut. Rose recommends cutting the rolls with a piece of dental floss, which works perfectly and is weirdly satisfying besides. I have a twitchy response to public flossing, as my family knows to their sorrow (seriously, why is this a public event?), but public cinnamon roll cutting is full acceptable.
When I rolled it up, I completely forgot the rum-soaked sultanas, so I poked a few in on top. Most of them were forced up and got a touch toasted, but I really wanted them in there. Not sure what to do with the remainder, but especially with the rum, they'll last a little while in the refrigerator.
The buns are proofed for a while (it was a snow day so I let it run a little longer), and then baked with a Ball jar in the middle. The jar is filled with water--boiling water. I almost missed that the water was supposed to be boiling but caught it at the last minute.
I overbaked the buns a bit, or they would have benefitted from the leftover raisins, as they were a little dry. Now that I think about it, that might have been the non-wheat flours, too. Next time I might make them larger. Perfect baking for a snow day.