Life as a PhD student at MIT isn't easy. Endless problem sets, exams, sponsor visits and committee meetings result in many sleepless nights. Your research work becomes your life and you feel guilty for every moment spent not working.

One of my guilty pleasures is baking. Whenever I need to celebrate or drown my sorrows, which occurs frequently as a graduate student, I find a new recipe. Over the past couple of years, I have subjected many of my friends and neighbors to my concoctions. They haven't seen anything yet!

For Christmas, I received the Flour cookbook. For those of you who don't know what Flour is, I feel sorry for you. Flour is a fantastic bakery and cafe located close to MIT. I'll often stop off here on my way home after a bad day for a sweet, sugary pick-me-up.

After receiving the cookbook, I decided with all my copious free time (yeah right) that I was in need of another project. My mission is to bake every recipe from the Flour cookbook before I graduate. Now the race is on.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Sweet Sticky, Sticky Buns

The brioche dough in progress.
So, if you know me and you know the amount that I bake, you realize that I have fallen grossly behind on reporting my baking adventures.  As a PhD student, I've found that I have way too many things to do and not enough hours in the day.  If I took the time to write this blog, I wouldn't have time to check facebook every hour :).
The buns ready to
However, I've come up with a plan to get my blog reporting back on track.  No more baking until I catch up on my writing.  Also, I now have more time since my presidential duties have finished.  So, here's my attempt to get closer to baking again.
Back in March, I decided to make one of the most popular items at Flour, their sticky buns.  These are so famous that they landed the owner of Flour on the Food Network.  The first step in making the sticky buns, is to make up a batch of the brioche dough on page 73.  I have never seen sooo much butter go into a batch of dough in my life and unfortunately, I was kneading the dough by hand. The dough definitely looked questionable for a while, but Joanne (the author of the Flour cookbook) told me what to expect and the dough turned out beautifully.
The buns have risen!
After the dough had enough time to chill (overnight), I started making the sticky buns for my Sunday morning breakfast.  This part of the process actually turned out to be way easier than anticipated.  In no time, I had beautiful sticky buns ready to rise.  I let the yeast work it's magic for about 2 hours and then popped it in the oven.  In 40 mins, I had delicious, golden sticky buns. 
Finally!  Sticky Buns!
These were actually really good warm.  A caution to anyone trying this at home, more than one of these might cause diabetes.  They are super sweet!  Overall, it was a great recipe, not my favorite so far, but definitely well worth the effort. 

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