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Sunday, November 11, 2012

vanilla crumb buns.

You know what's genius? Putting streusel on vanilla pastry cream filled rolls. All at once, you get crunch from the streusel, creaminess and moisture from the pastry cream, and a soft and fluffy yeasty carrier to cradle all the flavour and textures. I wish I had thought of this. I love buttery streusel to death and I've been too many times too liberal with it on cakes, muffins, mouses, puddings but never bread.

The inspiration is from Baking by Flavour, possibly one of my favourite books ever. Despite it's lack of pictures I never seem to tire of flipping through it. Well, maybe "inspiration" is not that accurate a description. More astutely, when I chanced upon the recipe for vanilla crumb buns in her book, I simply decided to use my recipes to swap in for some of the original components.

The recipe consists of three parts: rich buttery bread dough, vanilla pastry cream (albeit a looser version) and vanilla streusel. I used my own recipes for the bread dough and streusel, with good reason. I was a little taken aback at the amount of butter that went into the bread dough and I wanted to use a recipe that ensures that the bread remains soft even on the second day. The last time I followed the recipe for rum buns from this book exactly, the buns turned hard within a few hours. I also made a streusel recipe (same base recipe) from this book before and I found it too buttery for my liking. Hence, I decided to use my own recipes.

Ultimately, it is about the overall combination of flavours and textures, so I don't get so hung up about following the recipe exactly. After all, if you like the individual components by themselves, when brought together, they will more or less work out well.

Vanilla Crumb Buns

my favourite recipe for bread dough, or use your own
vanilla pastry cream, made with less cornstarch for a looser consistency
your favourite streusel

Make the pastry cream a day before.

After the deflating the bread dough after its first rise, roll it out into a rectangle and spread the pastry cream evenly across the surface. Roll it up and slice into equal portions. Place in a baking pan and let the rolls rise until nearly doubled in size. You can also use muffin cups for individual rolls. Meanwhile, prepare your streusel.

When the rolls are about ready to be baked, preheat the oven to 350F. Break off large clumps of the streusel and scatter them on top of the rolls. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the rolls are lightly browned. If you let the rolls get too brown, it would mean that the bread has dried out quite a bit.

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