It’s my very first recipe that I’m posting that is my own! Yay! Because ultimately, that’s what this website is about. I do want to try out recipes and tell you whether they were any good or not, what I would do differently next time, and what pitfalls I encountered that you should avoid. But ultimately, I want to start concocting my own recipes.
Here is my very first one. Last night, we were watching Good Eats (ma favorite!) and he was making cinnamon buns. Yum. They looked amazing and I always have a yen for cinnamon buns, but I’d recently seen raspberry dark chocolate sticky buns on another website and I thought, “Hmm, why can’t I just play with sticky buns on my own?” Et voila! My first recipe. I didn’t like the look of just throwing the raspberries in whole and untouched but I also didn’t want to just wimp out and use jam. I wanted something in between, and I like what I came up with. It’s jammy and thick but nice and chunky, too. The end result is sweet but not too sweet. The dough of the bun comes through and it’s gooey but not too gooey.
Blackberry Sticky Buns
2/3 cup buttermilk*
1/4 cup sugar
2¼ tsp. instant active yeast (1 packet)
2 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbs. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. kosher salt
2¾ cup all-purpose flour
6 oz. blackberries (1 regular store container)
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbs. corn starch
1 tbs. fresh-squeezed lemon juice (½ lemon)
Pinch of kosher salt (to keep it from being overly sweet)
3-4 tbs. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 oz. blackberries
a squeeze or two of lemon juice
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tbs. heavy cream
*If you do not have buttermilk on hand, don’t despair. Homemade buttermilk is as easy as putting a tablespoon or so of lemon juice into whatever amount of whole milk you’re using.
First, for the dough, mix your milk and sugar together and then pop it in the microwave for 45 seconds to warm it up slightly. This will make the yeast really happy. Then, add the yeast, stir, and let it sit for five minutes while it becomes foamy. Once foamy, mix in the oil, eggs, extract, and salt. If you are using a stand mixer, clamp on that dough hook and add the flour slowly. If you’re like me, baking in a little apartment that already has too many cooking implements and not enough counter space, then add the flour to your wet ingredients carefully and mix together with a spoon until it forms a slightly sticky ball. Then, put said ball in a lightly oiled (I used flaxseed) bowl and toss it gently to coat. Put some plastic wrap over the top, or a tea towel, or whatever you have on hand that will keep the warmth and moisture in, and allow to rise for one hour.
While it’s rising, make the filing. Combine the blackberries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over low heat. I have an electric stove and I put mine on 2, which got plenty hot. Muddle together those blackberries with a spoon but not too much. You want it to be chunky but thick like jam. Let it get to a little boil then pull it off the heat and let it sit before rolling out your dough. This is also a good time to grease an 8 X 8 pan. I love butter (because butter) but I’m sure any non-stick cooking spray will work just as well, too. You might also want to put parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. And spray that too, just in case.
Once your dough has risen, roll it out on a lightly floured surface into a nice big rectangle. Smear shamelessly with room-temperature butter. Gloop on blackberry mixture. Using your fingers, roll the dough in on itself from long side to long side, making a gooey, doughy log. Be sure to pinch it so it stays. Then, cut the log (using a nice serrated knife and being careful) into 1″ segments. You might have some leftover on the edges. . .don’t worry! Put those in little ramekins and bake them right alongside the rest of your log! (I did mind in our toaster oven so I could keep an eye on them.) Put your rounds in your prepared pan and allow to stand for about 45 minutes, covered with a tea towel or plastic wrap, for the second rise. You will initially have a little space between rolls but you won’t by the time they’re done rising.
Here’s the dough pre-rise:
Here’s the dough post-rise:
When the dough has risen again, put in an oven preheated to 375º for about 30 minutes, but if your oven is as temperamental as mine, keep a good eye on them. The top should be a nice golden-brown color.
While the buns are baking and cooking, prepare the frosting. Blend about ½ cup of blackberries or so for a few pulses. Strain. Mix that, the rest of the lemon juice, the powdered sugar, and the heavy cream. It should be pretty thick. And also delicious. If you can resist, put it in a ziplock bag and cut the corner off to gently ice your sticky buns after they’ve cooled for about 10 minutes.