1 Suzie the Foodie: The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

I found this recipe for Mexican Morning Buns (Pan Dulce) in my copy of The Bread Bible and was overjoyed! They sounded exactly like a treat I used to eat out west and had no idea how to go about making them.

Me in Vancouver
Me outside our apartment in Van South sitting on the immense Sequoia tree that we loved so much

The colder and darker it gets on the east coast, the more homesick for the west coast I get. When we moved out west we first lived in Vancouver. I would go for long walks in our neighbourhood and sometimes would stop by my favourite Asian bakery where, ironically, I discovered these sweet Mexican treasures. My husband found them boring but I thought they were fascinating, sweet treats with an odd sugary glaze on top.

Last week I was missing BC so much I just had to have flavours familiar to my life there. I had no idea what I was in for! Turns out time travel combined with spiritual geographic transportation is a lot more challenging than I had realized.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

For this recipe you are going to need 5 large eggs at room temperature. I warmed mine up in some hot water.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Put 1 tbsp of yeast into 1/4 cup warm (not hot!) water with a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit 10 minutes.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Mix together 2/3 cup warm milk, the eggs, 2 tsp vanilla, 2/3 cup sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 cups of flour. Remember how my husband put my mixer Rebel back together? This was the first time I used the mixer since she was fixed and I noticed I had a hard time locking the head into place. When I turned it on, her head moved a little as the paddle moved. Uh oh...

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

See how the yeast gets frothy? This is exactly what you want. Add it to the mixer.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Add six tbsp of softened butter to the batter. Mix on low speed for about 15 seconds.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Add two cups of flour, a half cup at a time on low speed "until a soft shaggy dough that clears the sides of the bowl forms."

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Uh... are you serious? This is still a batter, not a dough! I kept adding and adding flour to the mixer but it never cleared the sides. With a bowl scraper and floured hands I managed to bring the dough together and put in a greased bowl, flipping it to make sure it was coated. I let the dough rise at room temperature for an hour and a half.

Not only that, it was clear that something was wrong with Rebel. As the dough got tougher to work with the more her head bobbed up and down, painfully. I had to try and hold it down to avoid potentially causing the mixer more damage but my heart hurt every second.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

With the help of lots of flour on a wooden board I got this extremely wet dough to stay together so I could cut into 16 equal portions. The portions seemed too big to me.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

I began to work on the unusual sugar topping. I mixed together 1 cup of flour with 1 cup of powdered sugar. I added 1 tbsp of vanilla, a beaten egg and 1 beaten egg yolk. I added the 8 tbsp of softened butter. You are supposed to mix together to make a crumbly mixture. I thought I would do so with my hands...

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Big mistake! This was way too moist and soft to be "crumbly". I lost a ton of the topping down the sink while trying to get it off my hands. I added a little more powdered sugar to try and get it a little drier.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

I used an ice cream scoop and greased hands to make the round sugar topping.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

You work the dough into round balls and then flatten until they are around 3" in diameter. Then you press the ball of sugar topping on top. You are supposed to add different flavours to the topping but the kind I had were not chocolate or cinnamon, they were plain so I left them that way. I also did not add a crisscross pattern into the topping, I wanted it to be like how I had it out west.

"Place all the rolls on the baking sheets." Um... how far apart? Are they supposed to be right up against each other? How many per baking sheet? So frustrating. I gave them some space and hoped for the best.

Cover the buns which are on parchment-lined baking trays loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 40 minutes. Remove plastic and bake in a preheated 375F oven for 15 to 18 minutes.

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Transfer to cooling racks and serve at room temperature. These look so much like the ones I had out west! They were much larger though and more golden. How did they taste?

The Bread Bible's Mexican Morning Buns

Very, very close but not quite right. They also dried out because they were so big and probably because they baked too far apart. Next time I will make them smaller, bake them closer together and for less time. But, they did remind me of home and that is what I want to accomplish. This made a ton so my deep freeze is full of these buns, ready to help treat my next bout of homesickness.

Speaking of sickness, my husband and I are taking Rebel in to the repair shop very soon. Sigh...

This recipe was very challenging. The writing was unclear and again with this cookbook I found my batter too wet in comparison to the descriptions which was very frustrating. As much as I appreciate there being instructions for making this with a mixer, by hand... This resulted in a difficult-to-follow recipe that was already text-heavy. These got very dry along the edges and I think they were supposed to be closer together to insulate the dough but thanks to a lack of instruction, I floundered a bit.

Despite the positive outcome of flavours, I give this recipe only three wooden spoons. Badly written recipes make life in the kitchen less fun.

12 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Intriguing buns! Never had anything like that. I hope Rebel is feeling better soon!

Suzie Ridler said...

So unusual aren't they Debra?! I think I will defrost one for a treat today. I hope Rebel is feeling better soon. Oh it was so sad to see her struggle like that. We are hoping to get her looked at in the next few days.

AvaDJ said...

I think I've seen something similar to these at the market and always thought they looked so sweet and yummy. Once again, very adventurous bread baking my foodie friend, always a pleasure to travel along on your foodie journeys.

Suzie Ridler said...

They are sweet, tender and beautiful Ava. You should pick one up next time you see it! Thanks for supporting me on my adventures, this one was a doozy. So glad you can keep me company.

I just had tea and one of these for a treat and they are lovely! Not the same as the Vancouver ones but very delicious.

JavaChick said...

I love my KA mixer. Hope you get yours fixed up soon.

I always find it so funny to hear you complaining about living in Nova Scotia because that's where I grew up and I miss it. Though, to be fair, I lived in the valley and even though the winter is still longer than the west coast, the valley does get more sun.

Suzie Ridler said...

Thanks! I have come to realize we don't choose our home, it chooses us. I have lived in a lot of places and didn't realize at the time how much I thought of BC as my home. Live and learn!

Cathy Fletcher said...

Ahhh...BC. There more than half my life, my son is there, and his Dad. But all the time the escarpment called to me. Where next? Where the food is!

Suzie Ridler said...

Cathy, you were such a big part of our lives when we were in BC. I am so glad we became friends. I wonder where you are supposed to go next too! Where is your stomach wanting you to go next?

sarah said...

What unusual buns! I hope you can perfect them. And I hope your mixer can hang on. I always appreciate your honest life stories; thanks.

Suzie Ridler said...

They are weird aren't they Sarah? But so good! I've been enjoying them regularly since I have so many and Reg isn't that interested in them. He did however manage to put my mixer back together, I just have to take it for a test drive before I know for sure it's working now. Thank you, honesty is very important to me, I am happy to hear that it is important to you too. That really helps.

hainesnj said...

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!! I am SO happy you posted this! I have been looking for such a recipe for quite some time! I've been to Guatemala twice and enjoyed similar breakfast buns every morning with a strong cup of coffee.

Suzie Ridler said...

You are very welcome! Comments like yours hainesnj is why I do what I do. Thank you! I know, this recipe just seems impossible to find and it is very close to the kind I used to buy in Vancouver. I enjoyed each and every one! Happy baking!