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honey buns

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Sourdough honey buns

Pet names or nicknames in a relationship are a very intimate thing – which of course means I'm now going to elaborate in detail. No worries though, I won't be going into the too much information zone.

I quite like the semi-formal approach that some couples take: Mrs G for instance, or Maximilian instead of Max. Childhood names are fine too, Fluff or Angel or Sweetie, as long as the Sweetie isn't the awfullest imaginable harridan.

Mummy is a complete no-no. It makes me cringe over backwards; so does Mother, no matter how many kids there are in a household. Baby sounds a bit like rubbish B class movie and invariably suggests avoidance of first name confusion. Snookums or Ducky are apparently among the most hated, while Gorgeous and Darling are adored – how twee are we really?

And now for the moment of truth: I’ve been at times called Honey Bun. So it got me thinking – as anything to do with food would - that I wasn’t certain such a thing even existed. Sure enough, honey buns recipes galore out there. And the most interesting fact about them is that they seem to be much valued prison currency and I promise I’m not using any slang here.

Honey buns

Quick research, Martha Stewart’s recipe with dramatically cut down sweetness/sickliness levels was roughly adopted to create a sourdough version and guess what – they turned out to be a major success.

I don’t blame those inmates. And I’m now pretty comfortable with my pet name.

honey buns

Servings: 9 bunsTime: 3-4 hours

INGREDIENTS

  • For the ferment:
  • 10g sugar
  • 100g old dough or sourdough starter mixed with enough flour to loose dough consistency (50% hydration)
  • 140g lukewarm milk
  • For the main dough:
  • 250g flour
  • 3g cinnamon
  • 25g butter, softened
  • 30g honey
  • 1 egg
  • 2g salt
  • For the filling and glaze:
  • 50g butter
  • 50g honey
  • 2 tbsp. corn syrup or golden syrup
  • 2 tbsp. cream cheese
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

METHOD

Mix the old dough/starter with the milk and sugar for the ferment. Leave to stand for 10 minutes (use warmer milk and let it stand for 40 minutes if the starter is straight from the fridge).

Add the ingredients for the dough to the ferment and knead by hand or mix in a standing mixer for at least 15 minutes, until the dough is smooth, elastic and clears the sides of the bowl or stops sticking to your hands.

Cover the bowl with the dough with cling film and leave it in a warm place for 2 hours, until doubled in volume.

In the meantime melt the butter with the honey and corn syrup for the glaze and leave it to cool.

Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface and dust it and your hands with more flour – it will be sticky. Stretch it to a rectangle 30 x 25cm. Using a palette knife, spread the cream cheese thinly over the dough, leaving 2 cm of the top edge clean. Sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle with a third of the honey mixture and spread it evenly.

Rolling dough for honey buns

Roll the dough into a tight sausage starting with the long edge closest to you. Seal the seam by pinching the dough and roll it carefully over onto the seam side, dusting with more flour if necessary.

Line a square 20 cm tin with baking parchment and spread another third of the honey mixture over the bottom. Cut the roll of the dough with a sharp knife or dough scraper into 9 pieces. Place them in the tin cut side down. Dab a little of the remaining honey mix around the sides of the buns so they don’t meld together, making sure you still have some left.

Cover the tin with cling film and put it in a warm place for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.

When the buns have risen and are touching one another, dab half of what you have left of the honey mixture over the tops of the buns. Bake them for 20-25 minutes, lowering the temperature to 190C/375F/gas 5 after the first 10 minutes.

Baking honey buns

Remove the tin from the oven and glaze with the remaining honey mixture. Leave them to cool a little but best serve when still warm.

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