Morning Bun Cruffins

Recipe Adapted from Lady and Pups
~from Savoring Time in the Kitchen
Makes 8

Please see tutorial on Lady and Pups as a guide.

The major change I made to her recipe (other than my addition of cinnamon sugar) was in the cutting of the dough 'logs' after they are rolled out in the pasta roller and covered with butter and cinnamon-sugar mixture. I tried cutting them 'crosswise' as she did but most of the cinnamon sugar oozed out with the butter during baking which made a caramelized mess and kept them from rising properly. Therefore, for my morning bun adaptation, instead of cutting the logs lengthwise before twisting into buns, I cut my logs crosswise instead and rolled them with my hands until long enough to twist into the pretzel shape. Two successful batches later can't be bad (unless of course you become addicted to these as I have).

It is best to use a digital kitchen scale to measure the flour and water, but if you don't have one, loosely pile the flours in a measuring cup and scrape the top level with a knife.

150 grams (1 cup + 1 tbsp) bread flour
150 grams (1 cup + 1 tbsp) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp (6 grams) instant dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp (11 grams) salt
130 grams (1/2 cup) luke-warm water + 30 grams (2 tbsp) if more is needed
50 grams (3 1/2 tbsp) unsalted butter, cubed and softened to room temperature

115 grams (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, divided into 4 equal parts (2 T each) and softened to room-temperature (I placed mine in four small individual ramekin dishes)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 teaspoons of cinnamon

2 hours before starting the dough, leave the butter on the counter for it to completely come to room-temperature.

Mix 1 cup of sugar with 4 teaspoons of cinnamon and blend thoroughly and set aside.

Butter a muffin pan or spray with baking spray with flour, such as Bakers Joy.

In a stand-mixer with dough-hook (or large bowl with hand-held mixer with dough-hooks), whisk together flours, yeast and salt until blended. Add 130 grams of luke-warm water (around 95F/35C) and knead on low speed for 3 min. The dough should be slightly shaggy and stiff, but if it has difficulty coming together, add the additional 30 grams (2 tbsp) of water and knead again. Then, add the 50 grams of cubed butter and knead on low speed for 5 minutes until completely incorporated. Increase to medium speed and knead for another 10 ~ 15 minutes until the dough is extremely smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 minutes at room-temperature. It should expand slightly.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, and divide it into 4 equal portions. (Use your digital scale to proportion them if you have one). Work with 1 portion at a time covering the rest loosely with plastic wrap. Dust the dough with just enough flour so it doesn't stick, then pat into 1/3" (1 cm) thickness. With a pasta machine at its thickest setting, feed the dough through the machine.

Very lightly dust both the dough with a bit of flour, then start running the dough through the machine, until you reach the thinnest increment (should be very thin but not falling apart). If necessary, cut the dough in half if it gets too long.  On my pasta roller attachment I rolled my dough to the second thinnest setting.  

Lay the very long piece (or two pieces if you had to cut it side by side) on the counter. With your fingers, gently rub a thin layer of the room-temperature butter (has to be very soft but NOT MELTED) evenly across the dough, extending all the way to the edges. A pastry brush may help with this step. Do this to both sections of the dough if you had to cut it in half. Keep in mind that this is a 1/4 of the entire dough and you should use up 1/4 of the butter.

Sprinkle 1/8th cup or so of cinnamon sugar over the buttered dough. 

Once finished, start rolling the dough from one end to the other, as tightly as you can, into a firm log. If you had to cut the dough into two pieces, then place the first log on end of the other buttered section of dough, and roll it up again. Now, cut the log in half cross-wise with a floured knife.  Roll the two cut pieces with your hands on the counter until they are about 6 inches long and then twirl the dough and shape it into a semi-knot and tuck the ends underneath. Place the knots inside buttered muffin-pan. Repeat the process with the other 3 portions of the dough and butter.

Cover the muffin tin loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in size. 

Bake in a preheated oven at 400F/200C, for about 20 minutes (more or less, depending on your oven) until puffed and golden browned

Note: You can wrap the entire muffin-pan with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge without allowing the dough to rise and bake them the next day.  They may take up to 3 hours or more to rise after being chilled.
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