Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The perfect sweet roll: A sugar bomb for my sugar daddy

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Isn't this one of the most gorgeous pieces of pastry you've ever seen?

I had the good fortune to attend a baking class the other night on simple yeast breads, taught by the darling Clemence Gossett of Gourmandise Desserts. I've been to two classes of hers now - well, one was a demo, and this latest was a hands-on class, so two different things, actually. She's got a great energy, happy and warm and non-doctrinaire, which I think is so important when you're in the kitchen. Don't like it this way? Do it another way! Want apricots instead of apples? No problem! Dough a little sticky? Fix it like this! I really enjoyed the three hours we spent in the beautiful professional kitchen over at the St. Joseph Center in Venice. Anyone here in L.A. who wants to spend a few hours making sweet treats would do no better than to drop into one of Clemence's classes.

The simple yeast dough we used for these sweet rolls (and some other sweet rolls, and some savory rolls) was a revelation to me. I'm not going to publish the recipe here, because it belongs to Clemence and I haven't asked her whether I may, but suffice it to say that I have never used buttermilk in a yeast dough before, and this dough is awfully good.

We rolled the dough out and filled it with apples and nuts and sugar and cinnamon and butter and pecans and...lots of deliciousness. And we made a sugar-butter syrup to pour into the bottom of the pan and over the rolls. And some of the other rolls had a cream cheese glaze. Really, the aroma that night - I will dream of it for months.

For the savory rolls we folded in grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and some dried thyme, but we forgot to add salt to the dough, which we agreed would have made the rolls better. We did put salt on top though.

I brought home a bakery box with a few samples of our work. Both my husband and my children were happy and impressed.

Regarding the title of this post: My husband did call this sticky bun a "sugar bomb" when he tasted it. He is not, however, technically speaking, my sugar daddy. I do laundry and dishes, and I only occasionally prance around in revealing lingerie.

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