If you have read my posts at this time of year, you will already know that autumn is my favourite season, and, I think, my most creative in terms of recipes. I love the spices and caramel flavours that are so abundant in our cooking and baking as the weather gets colder. And the fruits and vegetables that we eat are hardier and can withstand some spice.
This post and recipe is indicative of that and I hope that North American friends will be flattered by my obsession with their Fall flavours and bakes, and that my recipe will secure a thumbs up from at least some of them.
A word of warning, however, this is a very wet dough to start with, so don’t be alarmed. I use the Bertinet method or “fold and slap” to work the dough, and in only 5 minutes, the dough is smooth and manageable. But this dough will be very happily made in a mixer with a dough hook, just remember to finish it off by hand and form it into a smooth ball of dough before it proves.
400g of Bread Flour
200ml of Milk (scalded but brought back to lukewarm or room temperature)
1 Large Egg
12g of Yeast (fresh or dried)
40g of Butter (if you can get Moose Maple Butter then it adds another delicious maple note)
8g of Salt
30g of Light Brown Sugar
- Put all of your ingredients (except for the milk and egg) in a large bowl and rub in the butter. Add the egg to the milk, gently whisk, then add to the bowl and work the dough. It will be very soft and wet: do not be tempted to add more flour. [If you worry about such a wet dough it can easily be made in a mixer with a dough hook. Add all the ingredients and mix on slow for 2 minutes, then medium for 5 or 6 until it forms a smooth dough. Finish by hand.]
- Scrape the smooth dough together and put back in the bowl and cover with a clean cloth for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes scrape the dough out onto a floured worktop, keeping the top worktop side and the bottom facing you. Flatten the dough with the palm of your hand and fold it in on itself, then turn over to form a neat ball of smooth dough again.
- Return to the bowl, cover and leave for a further 30 minutes.
Pecan and Pumpkin Filling
60g of Pecans (actually only 40g for the filling and the other 20g are for sprinkling on top of the finished buns.)
1 Large Egg Yolk
120g of Light Brown Sugar
50g of Soft Butter (again if you can get Moose Maple Butter then use that)
100g of Canned Pumpkin
2 Teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 1/2 Teaspoons of Nutmeg
1 Teaspoon of Ground Ginger
1/8 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves
These spices are probably the equivalent of 3 teaspoons of Pumpkin Spice, so if you have that and it’s easier to measure that out, then go ahead.
- Toast the pecans lightly in the oven at 180C for 5 minutes. Be careful as they burn very easily, as I found out to my cost.
- Once cooled, leave 20g of pecans to one side (to sprinkle on top at the end of the bake) and finely chop the remaining 40g.
- Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk or mix together until well blended.
Now to assemble.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and de-gas with the flat palm of your hand as before, and fold into three as you would a letter.
- With a well floured surface and rolling pin, roll it out until it measures approximately 12″ by 14″.
- Spread the pumpkin and pecan paste over the dough, leaving an inch gap along one of the long sides.
- Carefully roll it up. It is a very soft dough so handle gently.
- Once rolled, trim little off of each end, then cut into 9 evenly sized pieces. Lay them in a 3 by 3 pattern on a lined baking tray and prove for an hour under a cloth.
- Preheat your oven to 200C (180C fan) and give the now risen buns an egg wash before baking for 20 minutes.
- They are baked when golden in colour and sound hollow when tapped.
Maple Syrup Glaze
40g of Maple Syrup
40g of Icing Sugar
- Make the maple syrup glaze by mixing the maple syrup and caster sugar together.
- Drizzle the glaze over the buns once they have cooled a little (or it will simply run off) and scatter the remaining 20g of pecans, chopped as finely as you prefer.
These buns are pillowy soft, but not too sweet. The pumpkin and nuts bring them back from being too cloyingly sweet, as some cinnamon buns can be.
Enjoy them warm for a weekend late breakfast (you can easily put them in the fridge, covered in clingfilm, for their final prove and bring them back to room temperature for half an hour in the morning, whilst your oven heats up).
I hope that you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed inventing and testing them.