But I say it’s I-want-an-eggless-sticky-bun-right-out-of-the-oven-in-1-hour sticky knots. Anyone who read the “Childish Red Bean Buns” recipe would know that a chewy brioche dough is currently testing in the lab. Not to be a liar or to eat my own words but that particular, highly-anticipated (by myself) dough consists of THREE WHOLE eggs. Did I mention what HELL HOLE I went through… no, STILL going through after the “Hot Spring Eggs”, the “Creme Brulee Pie”? and the “Red Bean Buns”? AND THE “Aioli”? NO. No I didn’t. Because let me just say it isn’t pretty. My body is NOT exactly “simpatico” with me right now.
So I’ve decided to give my body a break and reward it for all the shit that I put it through recently, and also to see how many times I can milk my biscuit dough. Hence, an EGGLESS-except-for-a-little-egg-wash sticky knots (com’n dear, it’s only a little egg wash… you can handle it right) with my already-mastered biscuit dough, cinnanaaamon brown sugar, AND last but not least, SUUUPER OOOOY-GOOOOY caramelized HONEY BUUUUTTEEER!! AAAAND this can be whipped out of the oven in 1 hour time! Perfect for last-minute guests or emergency-boyfriend-visits. Or if for no other reason but I’m feeling a little down because it’s Monday, or Tuesday, or I-also-hate-it Wednesday (how about we just call it the “weekday blue”?).
kuh-hum…in my fantasy, I’d like to paint myself here as the all-mighty, all-knowing and all-powerful home CHEF who isn’t but a little kitchen genie. However, fantasy shatters. Bubbles burst. Frankly, a lot of things turned out to be sliiiightly more challenging than I anticipated… No, not like de-boning a whole duck or wrestling with an octopus… pfff easy… But more like… tying a biscuit-dough strip into a knot. Now THAT was difficult… After the
second first try, I’ve realized that it ALL lies in the RIGHT DIMENSIONS of the dough strips. They can’t be too long, too short, or too chubby. The trips all need to be 1″ W x 8″ L/2.5cm W x 20cm L, for both ends to be just long enough to nicely tuck into its own loop.
So don’t focus on the more “rustic-looking” knots that’s hiding at the bottom of its siblings like a family scandal. I mean com’on. Even IF the knots came out “un-knotted”… like a car wreck (hypothetically…), but with the flaky crusts, the steamy interior and the cinnanamony brown sugar, AAAAND the ever-so fragrant, floral, impossibly ooy and gooy honey brown butter. Who’s gonna care? So focus on THAT. Brew a cup of coffee and that weekend is only a day away.
Servings: 9 sticky knots
Biscuit Dough: for a MUCH MORE DETAILED description, please refer to “Rise, Baby Rise”
- 2 cups of cake flour (all-purpose is fine, too)
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tbsp of baking powder
- 1/4 tsp of baking soda
- 75 g of unsalted COLD FROZEN butter
- 1 cup of milk (or half and half)
Cinnamon Brown Sugar:
- 3 tbsp of brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp of cinnamon powder (use a bit more if a very strong cinnamon flavor is preferred)
Honey Butter Goo:
- 1/2 cup of good quality honey (don’t honey-bear me, ok…)
- 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
- 1/4 tsp of sea salt
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a bowl. Chill in the fridge for 30 min. Measure the butter and cut into cubes. Stick in the freezer and freeze for 30 min as well.
When the butter cubes are frozen hard, transfer to a food processor bowl along with the flour mixture. “Pulse” the processor and chop the butter cubes into the flour mixture until they became small bits (SMALLER than “pea size”), approx 1/8″/25mm wide. Pour the butter and flour mixture back into the cold bowl (the one that was holding the flours in the fridge), and add 1 cup of COLD milk (or COLD half and half) right out of the fridge. Use a spatula to “fold” the liquid into the flour, NOT MIX, until they are roughly combined. Now we have a dough.
Preheat the oven on 450ºF/230ºC. Flour the board and the rolling pin. Transfer the dough on the board and dust some flour on top. LIGHTLY pat it down into a square. Use the rolling pin to roll the dough out into a 1/2″ / 1 cm thick sheet, then cut into 4 sections. Stack the 4 sheets of dough on top of each other (this will form “layers” in the biscuits… sign… read “Rise, Baby Rise”).
Roll the sheet out again into a 9″ long x 8″ wide/22cm long x 20 cm wide sheet. Trim the uneven edges off if necessary. Evenly distribute the cinnamon brown sugar on the sheet and press lightly into the dough. Cut the sheet into 9 strips (which will be 1″ x 8″/2.5cm x 20cm), and tie each strip into a knot (chubby-fingers may take a little practice). DON’T STRETCH the strip! This dough is NOT elastic. If stretched, IT WILL BREAK! Place each knot onto a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Now, (may or may not be speaking from personal experience) given that this may take a little time to complete and that the dough may have warmed up a little bit under room temperature, I would suggest returning the knots into the fridge to chill for another 20 ~ 30 min. BUUUT, if the above tasks were completed in record speed (applaud!~) that the dough was still cold when finished, then… suit yourself.
Brush each knots with some egg wash and bake in the oven until puffed and golden brown, approx 15 ~ 20 min.
Take this time to make the honey goo. Combine honey, butter and salt in a sauce pot. Set it over the stove over very low heat. Let the mixture bubble up and simmer while stirring occasionally. If the bubbling gets out of hand and seems to be flowing over the pot, just remove the pot from the heat and stir. Do this until the liquid slightly darkens a little bit, approx 10 ~ 15 min.
When the knots come out of the oven, let them cool slightly (ONLY slightly because who am I kidding).
Drizzle POOOOUUUURR the honey goo ALL over the biscuit knots! Enjoy and talk with numb-tongues later~.