Friday, December 12, 2008
Disastrous Sticky Buns
Here's to prove that not all attempts at deliciousness are successful in my kitchen. It's been a tradition at our house for the past few years to have homemade sticky buns on Christmas morning. I thought I'd be real smart and get them made almost two weeks ahead of time and put them in the freezer until Christmas. I'll chalk it up to two things which foiled my plan: 1) I have never used fresh yeast before and 2) the recipe was no good.
Let me explain for those of you who haven't used fresh yeast either. Yeast comes in a few different forms. Fresh yeast, also called cake yeast, is perishable, you find it in the refrigerated section of the grocery by the eggs, and apparently it comes in two different sizes: a cake which is 0.6 ounces and a block which is 2 ounces. Both sizes look identical except for the size and my grocery only carries the 2 ounce size. I therefore was unaware of the two sizes. Dry yeast, also called active dry yeast, is less perishable and comes in packets which are sold in the baking section of the grocery store because it does not need refrigeration (although refrigeration or freezing is recommended after purchase to prolong its life).
My recipe was vague and maybe the authors didn't know there were two sizes of cake yeast either. It simply called for "two cakes of yeast" or two packets of dry yeast. So I, unknowingly, put my two cakes of yeast (2 ounces each) in the recipe -about 4 times what was supposed to be used as I found out later. It seemed like a lot, but hey, I was following the recipe, right? What first tipped me off was when I let it rise in a bowl for the recommended 1-2 hours, I came back after 30 minutes and the dough was HUGE! It had grown so fast...but I continued with the recipe anyway.
I continued with the glaze which you typically place in the bottom of your pan and place the rolled and cut dough on top, so the sugar caramelizes in the oven and you serve the buns upsidedown with the gooey stuff on top. The recipe for the topping looked all wrong in proportion and I should have followed my instincts and reverted back to my old standby recipe to salvage what I could from all this effort. But I loved this cookbook! I'd read it from cover to cover! The photos were extremely enticing and I so wanted the first recipe from this book to work! So I continued...but as you can see from the photo, it was a FLOP!... a gooey, soggy, yeasty mess! I'll have to go back to good old Betty Crocker and my dry yeast and hopefully I'll have another sticky bun post before Christmas!