{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.