Baking with yeast never looked so easy in this episode where Rebecca makes the perfect brunch dish.
Makes 12 Buns
For the Dough
1 package instant or active dry yeast, approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons
1 cup buttermilk, milk or water, warmed to the touch but not burn-your-finger hot
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional flour for dusting your surfaces (use as little extra flour as possible)
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, for the bowl
For the Quick Jam
1 pint strawberries, cleaned and halved
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoons each zest + juice (about 1 lemon)
For the Filling
Quick strawberry jam (recipe above)
1/2 pint fresh strawberries; cleaned + chopped
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Icing
3 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
2 or more tablespoons of fresh lemon juice to thin
1 tablespoon lemon zest
In an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the yeast and buttermilk and let sit for 15 minutes. Then add in the flour, melted butter, egg yolks, sugar, sea salt and cinnamon and knead on medium-high for about 15 minutes or until the dough ball becomes smooth. Swirl 1 tablespoon of oil around a large bowl. Set the dough inside, turning to coat completely with the oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 12 hours and up to several days.
To make the strawberry jam, add the strawberries, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon each lemon juice and zest to a medium-size saucepan. Bring to a boil, mashing the berries with the tip of a wooden spoon. Continue to boil for 10-15 minutes minutes or until when you drag a spoon across the bottom of the pan it leaves a track. Let the jam cool a bit and then transfer to a lidded container and stash in the fridge until ready to assemble and bake your buns.
When ready to assemble take the dough out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a 18X12-inch rectangle. You may or may not need a rolling pin to nudge it into shape. Make sure the corners are as close to 90-degree angles as possible (this will make it easy to roll the buns up). Smear the strawberry jam over the top, leaving about 1/2 half-inch clean along the longer edges. Note you won’t use all of the jam…just get a nice coating over the top and reserve the rest for later use. Sprinkle with 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and then finish with the remaining 1/2 pint fresh cut strawberries. Starting with the long edge farthest from you, start rolling the dough into a log towards you. When you get to the end, pinch the dough together to form a seam and roll the seam side underneath. Using a very sharp knife (I like a serrated for this) cut 12 buns about 1 1/2-inch wide each.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Butter or spray non-stick on your baking dish; I like to use several large casserole dishes so they have lots of room to grow and rise.
Place the buns cut-side up in the baking dishes, allowing several inches in between buns for rising. Place a skillet on the bottom rack of the oven, put the dishes with the buns on the top rack of the oven and pour the boiling water in the skillet on the bottom rack. Quickly shut the door and let the dough rise for about 30 minutes or until double in size. Take the buns and the skillet out of the oven.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly bronzed and an internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
While the buns cool, whisk together the powdered sugar, crème fraîche and lemon juice + zest. You want the glaze to be thick enough to stay on top of the buns, but thin enough to drip down the sides. Spoon the glaze over the tops of the buns and serve! Buns are best the day they are made but I’ve never turned one down that was stored in an airtight container overnight.