Streusel Buns (Crumb Buns)
Adapted from A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets by George Greenstein, Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein and Isaac Bleicher (Ten Speed Press).
Prep Time: 1 hour Resting and Rising Time: 2 hours 20 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes
Editor’s Note: The Bundt Dough recipe in A Jewish Baker's Pastry Secrets makes 4 pounds of dough. This recipe for Streusel Buns requires only a fourth of that amount. Our Test Kitchen reduced the amount of Bundt Dough so that the combined recipe below makes 18 nice-sized, fluffy buns.
6 tablespoons (3 fluid ounces) warm water (95°F to 115°)
2 (2¼-ounce) packets/16 grams/5 teaspoons active dry yeast
¾ cup (6 fluid ounces) milk, at room temperature
½ cup (102 grams) sugar
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (128 grams/4½ ounces/9 tablespoons) butter, diced, or half butter–half solid vegetable shortening
1 egg yolk
4½ cups (608 grams) bread flour (preferred) or unbleached all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (21 grams) nonfat dry milk (see Kitchen Tips)
1¾ teaspoons (7 grams) kosher salt
2 teaspoons (10 grams) pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cardamom, preferably freshly ground (optional)
½ cup (110 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
2 to 2½ cups (250 to 300 grams) unbleached, all-purpose flour
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, preferably freshly ground
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup (2 ounces/56 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Confectioners’ sugar, for topping (optional)
- Prepare the Bundt Dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or if you are mixing by hand, in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over warm water to soften. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, flour, nonfat dry milk, salt, vanilla, and cardamom. Ir you are using a mixer pulse with the on/off switch until blended, making sure the flour does not fly out of the bowl. You can cover the mixer with a kitchen towel for the first few pulses to keep the flour contained. Then mix at low speed until the dough comes together. Change to a dough hook, if available. If you are mixing by hand, stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- Knead with a dough hook in the stand mixer or turn out onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for 8 to 10 minutes, or more if necessary, until the dough has become elastic and has a silky sheen.
- Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes (the time will vary with temperature and humidity) or allow to rise slowly overnight in the refrigerator.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Punch down, fold the ends in toward the center, and roll up into a tight rectangle. Allow to rest for at least 10 and up to 15 minutes.
- At this point, the dough can be refrigerated overnight. (All or part of the dough can be frozen at this stage for a week or more, if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.)
- Prepare the streusel: Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, a handheld beater or a food processor fitted with the steel blade, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, 2 cups of the flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Mix with short pulses only until combined; do not cream. (If mixing by hand, rub the brown and granulated sugars and butter between your fingers until it resembles coarse grain, and then add 2 cups of the flour, salt, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and vanilla.) Add the additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if a small amount of streusel does not clump together when pinched and rolled together. Transfer to a covered container. This will keep well for up to 4 weeks in the refrigerator or for up to 6 months in the freezer. (Makes 2½ cups or about 24 ounces).
- When the dough has rested, line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper (see Notes from the Test Kitchen).
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle an inch larger than the baking sheet on all sides. Roll the dough, first to the desired length, and then to the desired width. If the dough becomes too tough to roll, allow it to rest, covered, for 5 minutes or more and then continue. Fold the dough in half widthwise and then in half again lengthwise to make lifting easier. Place in one corner of the baking sheet and open to cover the sheet. If the dough has shrunk from the sides, dimple and stretch the dough from the center out, pushing so that it covers from edge to edge. Keep the dough at an even thickness.
- Use your fingers to break up the streusel, rubbing until it resembles coarse grain, or squeeze it together so that it forms large clumps, depending upon how you like your streusel. Brush the dough with melted butter and sprinkle with streusel to cover.
- Let stand, uncovered, until the dough doubles in volume, 45 to 60 minutes; the time will vary with temperature and humidity. When touched very gently on the side with a fingertip, the dough should be soft and yield readily. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F (see Notes from the Test Kitchen).
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until browned. The top should feel firm to the touch and spring back when lightly pressed with the fingers. Be careful when pressing because hot streusel can burn. Cool on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove from the pan.
- When fully cooled, cut into three rows across and six rows down to make 18 equal pieces. Sift confectioners’ sugar lightly over the top. Store wrapped in plastic at room temperature for up to 4 days. May be frozen, tightly double wrapped in plastic, for up to 6 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets, by George Greenstein, Elaine Greenstein, Julia Greenstein and Isaac Bleicher, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Please note that with adapted recipes, there are always degrees of adaptation. I am in no manner claiming that this is my recipe; it has been adapted to fit the format of this website.—Tami Ganeles Weiser
For a nondairy dough, substitute water for milk, margarine or shortening for butter, and omit the nonfat dry milk.—A Jewish Baker’s Pastry Secrets by George Greenstein.
Notes from the Test Kitchen
- If you don’t have a half-sheet pan, you can use 2 quarter sheets or 2 (9- by 13-inch) pans.
- Start to preheat the dough well before it has doubled in volume; if you wait until it has risen to turn on the oven, by the time it reaches the required temperature, the dough will have overproofed—that is, it won’t bake properly.
- If you have any extra streusel, you can use it to make an apple crisp. Peel, core, and cut apples into chunks; taste for sweetness and add sugar as desired top with the streusel and bake at 375°F until the apples are soft and bubbling and the strudel is golden.