Sweet Baby Raisin Buns

Surprisingly, there are only a few baked goods that I really long for. I mean, I love to make just about anything. But mostly, I’m just in it to make it, not so much to eat it. These are the exception, however.

Picture this:

  • Hot coffee
  • Brown sugary gooeyness
  • Dough much softer than my pillow
  • Chewy sweet raisins and cinnamon
Are you getting hungry yet? You really, really, should try these.
For all of you raisin-haters, I feel for you. But the raisins aren’t optional. They lend moisture, chewiness, and general awesomeness–you should try to give them a chance.

 

food-26Yeast mixture, now proofed.

food-35{Doh so smooth}

food-45On the rise!

food-49Mmm chewy raisins!

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food-62I sadly do not have any photos after they rose and were baked. I went out after putting them in the pan, thinking I would return within the hour. However, I ended up not coming back home until four hours later, after darkness had fallen. And so, these steps remain a mystery. Surprisingly, they had no negative effects due to their four-hour rise, for which I am thankful. I now know that I can make them ahead of time if need be!

food-119food-135

 

Sweet Baby Raisin Buns
Total Time: 2 hrs. Serves: 1-6 based on serving size
  • 1/2 c. Milk
  • 1/4 c. Water
  • 2 T. Butter, cubed
  • 1 t. soy lecithin granules (optional)
  • 2 T. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 t. Yeast, active dry or instant
  • 1/2 t. Salt
  • 1 T. Vital Wheat Gluten (optional)
  • 1 1/2-2 c. All-purpose Flour
  • 1/4 c. Raisins
  • 2 T Butter, melted
  • 1/3-1/2 c. Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
Preheat oven to 170°.
In a glass measuring cup, heat milk and butter until butter is melted or nearly melted, stir until no chunks are left. Add lukewarm water to the milk and pour into a mixing bowl. Add sugar and lecithin. Test the milk/water temperature by hand or thermometer, it should be 110° or lower (if it’s steaming, it’s too hot). If it is too hot, stir the mixture to speed its cooling (but don’t let it become too cool). Add the yeast and stir. Let the mixture set for 5-10 minutes to let it proof.
     When the yeast is nice and bubbly, add the salt, gluten, and 3/4 c. or so of flour. Mix until fairly smooth, and keep adding flour until it makes a nice ball of dough. Knead for 4-10 minutes until dough is smooth, no longer sticky and bounces back slowly when poked. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in oven. Shut oven off and allow the dough to rise for 30-45 minutes, until doubled in size.
    Prepare a loaf pan by greasing it with shortening or lining it with parchment paper. After dough has risen, punch it down and place on a floured countertop. Roll into a rectangle approx. 1/8″ thick. Place raisins in a microwave safe dish and cover with water. Microwave until somewhat rehydrated, about 1 minute. Carefully pour off hot water and set aside. Pour melted butter on dough and spread around. Sprinkle cinnamon over butter (use more or less depending on your taste). Lightly sprinkle brown sugar over cinnamon and butter. Evenly sprinkle the raisins over the dough as well. Starting with the short side, roll the dough into a log and pinch the edges and ends closed and roll over so the pinched edge is on the bottom. Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. From this, cut sections 2-4″ long, fold in half like a book, and place in prepared pan, gooey side up. Once pan is full, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
     Bake buns at 350° for 15-23 1/2 minutes. To test for doneness, pull up on a piece in the center–if it stretches a lot, you will be able to see that it’s doughy, if it rips right off, it’s probably done. It is perfect when there is a slight stretch, and then the dough fibers begin to tear. It’s better to err on the side of being underdone as overdone means dry.
     These are best eaten fresh out of the oven. However, they taste perfectly amazing the next day as well–just microwave for 10 seconds or put in a toaster oven for a minute or so. Happy eating!
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