{sms} Bee Stings, omg

Bee Stings, a brioche-like doughnut filled with vanilla pastry cream and dipped in a caramel honey glaze, was this week’s recipe selection for Sweet Melissa Sundays.

I was stung. I followed the recipe {i thought} and my results were disastrous. Maybe disastrous is too strong of of word. Instead of cute little doughnut-like puffs I got hockey pucks. The taste was there, but the they were flat and dense. Into the garbage they went. This was were I planned to end it. I tried and failed.

First batch--dense hockey pucks

First batch--dense hockey pucks

Then I took a shower and ate lunch {it’s amazing what food can do!} and felt re-energized. I read the brioche section of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. In a side bar, Peter Reinhart writes it is especially important to allow the dough to rest to allow for gluten development before adding the fat. It turns out that the fat coats the protein and can prevent or hinder the gluten from developing which is bad when you need to help yeasted breads.

I decided to try to make the Bee Stings again. In between I made the Middle-Class Brioche dough for The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. The brioche dough came together like butter {ha ha}. I decided to apply the techniques from the BBA to the Bee Stings.

Here are my tips for successful Bee Stings:

  • Mix milk, sour cream, egg, vanilla, & half of flour using the paddle attachment for your stand mixer (not whisk).
  • Add rest of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt and mix using the paddle attachment. Do not switch to dough hook. Once ingredients are well mixed and hydrated. Turn machine off and let dough rest for at least 5 minutes to allow for gluten development.
  • After rest, turn mixer back on to medium speed and add butter in tablespoon chunks one at a time. Make sure each chunk is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  • Continue using paddle attachment and turn machine to medium-high. Mix for 10 to 15 minutes (could be longer), occasionally scraping down sides.
  • If you follow these steps, the dough will come together and not stick to the sides. Whatever you do, Do NOT Add more flour. You will get dense hockey pucks if you do.
  • When the dough is ready, it will be smooth and shiny and elastic and want to stick together.
  • Also, I would make the pastry cream using the direct method as opposed to the double-boiler method used in the book. It took way too long to make using the double-boiler.

Thanks to Jaime of  Good Eats and Sweet Treats for selecting this tasty treat. Once I got it right, they were wonderful! If you would like the recipe, please visit Jaime’s blog.

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42 thoughts on “{sms} Bee Stings, omg

  1. Hooray for second the second time around! Thank you for the tips – they are super helpful and now maybe I’ll make these a second time with this knowledge! Your bee stings look awesome! I’m glad they were worth the effort.

  2. My HEAVENS! These look fantastic!!!!!

    It is amazing what the power of hot water, soap, and food can do(although, not all at the same time)! It looks like the second time was the charm!!!!!

    Kudos to you for trying it a second time…not THAT’S perseverance!

  3. Well, at least you didn’t give up like I did! I made the pastry cream, which bombed horribly, and then was away from home for the rest of the weekend. I had already decided to possibly just try this with Dorie’s pastry cream and Peter’s middle-class brioche – you have just confirmed that for me! Thanks for all the tips and insight!

  4. Wow! I have never heard of a bee sting until now! These look stunning and quite delicious! Well done and congrats on giving it a second run! :) Very helpful tip as well!!!

  5. That’s true dedication! I (surprisingly) did okay my first round, but those are really great tips. I don’t have much experience with yeast bread; I may have to get a copy of the BBA, I’ve been seeing so many amazing-looking breads lately.

  6. I was feeling sad that I had to skip this week’s SMS recipe, but now I’m kind of glad. When I DO get around to making my Bee Stings, I won’t (hopefully) run into so many speed bumps thanks to all the tips I’ve gotten! Bwahahahaha! Not sure why I added the evil laughter; it just seemed right.

  7. hi there first time here. love this place with all that bread in the oven…just got over baking a Indianised version of strudel with mangoes…all was well, till in my multi-tasking self forgot to set te timer and went ahead with my washing machine ….phew! result a slightly burnt crust of my otherwise delicious strudel.. :(

    loved to read all ur tips n m a brioche fan..so will be trying tht soon :)

  8. That’s funny, I used the paddle attachment as well (the second time). The first time it was a disaster trying to get the dough out of the wire whisk.

    There was no doubt in my mind that although the first ones were dense, you would be successful the second time around.

    And my next question is, when are you opening a bakery?

  9. Wonderful advice. I agree that the direct pastry cream method is faster, but whenever I use it, I end up with this thick, lumpy, gloppy mess. I don’t know what I do wrong. When I use the double boiler, I’m bored out of my gourd but at least I get a smooth pastry cream!

  10. GREAT job, and wonderful post! I love the BBA book, have made several recipes and they all turn out; will try the brioche next time. Your Stings look delicious, I passed on this one.

  11. GREAT job, and wonderful post! I love the BBA book, have made several recipes and they all turn out; will try the brioche next time. Your Stings look delicious, I passed on this one.

  12. Genius! Your advice sounds great! I will try this again. I had a feeling… that when i added the butter (w/o waiting) something was not going to happen, i.e., my dough wasnt going to rise!

  13. They look fantastic! I just got the BBA today, can’t wait to start baking from it. I was pretty happy with my results, but I’d be interested to try this recipe again with your tips and see the difference.

  14. Omg, I used to have these as a kid when we went to visit my gran! I used to eat like a bird, but I could always eat a whole one of these, even though they were enormous. My mum used to ply me with them, cause she was worried about me not eating enough, haha. How times have changed. I never knew they were called ‘bee stings’ though, we just called them caramel doughnuts. The ones we used to get had a white chocolate disc on top, and I always saved that til last ^__^. Thanks for reminding me about them!

  15. Wow- yours looks so yummy! Thanks for the great tips. I had to skip this week but was hoping to make them sometime soon. I’ll definitely try your suggestions.

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