When you live in Florida, you have to deal with high heat and humidity and I think that may have had a lot to do with the problem I had. I made these last fall and let me tell you, it's HOT here in September. And for this recipe, you have to work really quickly while the dough is still cold. Something I didn't realize when I started the first batch, though Tartelette warned it would be messy. A gross understatement. Anyway- I started to roll out the first batch, carefully covered it with cream cheese and dulce de leche-everything looked good (messy as promised); I rolled it up. Fine. The hard part turned out to be cutting it in 12 pieces. Note to self: refrigerate the dough before cutting. By this time the dough was so soft it practically fell apart. I pushed them together as best I could and decided this would be the batch I put in muffin tins to cook the next morning. Into the refrigerator they went.
The instructions said to bake right out of the refrigerator which I did. WRONG. They did not rise sufficiently during the night and should have been allowed to rise again out on the counter. The rolls were absolutely delicious, but didn't rise like rolls, they looked like muffins. And the dulce de leche bakes to the bottom...though this may not entirely be a bad thing. (yum)
The dough was light and perfect- quite a surprise actually, considering how badly I screwed it up. But I wanted picture perfect as well. Taste-wise, these were a winner (I guess the picture's not bad either now that I look at it again) and I actually preferred these to the successful batch that came later!
I decided to freeze the second half just to see how that worked out. So, having learned my lesson about cold dough in a hot climate, I did the second batch much faster, rolled it up (although dulce de leche still oozed out, just not as much), then I stuck the roll in the freezer for about 10 minutes. That made it easier to slice them. I put the sliced rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered them with tin foil and quickly popped them in the freezer.
I baked them for 20 minutes. They turned out light and delicious and everyone loved them but there wasn't a stong dulce de leche flavor. (I ended up eating the bottom of the rolls first.) It was sure fun to scrape the remains in the baking dish- gooey, caramely leftovers. And I got my pretty picture too.
Note: If you can't find dulce de leche in your market or prefer to make it yourself there are several recipes online, or use the recipe in one of my older posts.
Dulce de Leche Brioche
Tartelette, March 2007 post
1/3 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1/3 cup warm milk (105°F to 115°F)
2 envelopes dry yeast
3-3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, each stick cut into 4 pieces, room temperature
1 egg, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze)
1 package cream cheese, softened
1 can dulce de leche
Place 1/3 cup warm water, warm milk, and yeast in bowl of standing heavy-duty mixer; stir until yeast dissolves. Fit mixer with dough hook. Add flour and salt to bowl; mix on low speed just until flour is moistened, about 10 seconds. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
Beat in 3 eggs on low speed, then add sugar. Increase speed to medium and beat until dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding next (dough will be soft and batter-like). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 7 minutes.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Lift up dough around edges and allow dough to fall and deflate in bowl.
Cover bowl with plastic and chill until dough stops rising, lifting up dough around edges and allowing dough to fall and deflate in bowl every 30 minutes, about 2 hours total. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate an hour.
Take the dough out of the fridge and divide in half.
For the buns: roll out the dough to a 14x9 inch rectangle. Spread 1/3 cup softened cream cheese on top, leaving a 1 inch border. Spread the dulce de leche on top of the cream cheese; it's messy but it will spread. Roll into a log and cut into 12 pieces. (Please read my blog above regarding the problems I had.) Place them in a buttered 9 inch round pan, cover and refrigerate until the next morning. The dough will rise slowly overnight. Repeat with the second half of dough.
In the morning, bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
More notes from me: To freeze, place cut rolls on parchment, cover with foil and freeze. To bake: place the frozen rolls in a large buttered baking dish or cake pans and thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring out in the morning and let rise for a couple hours. Bake as directed.
For a printable recipe click HERE.