Tartine Morning Bun Recipe

I got extremely ambitious last weekend, partly driven by the fact that it is not that easy to get your hands on the full Tartine Morning Bun recipe. But after some serious sleuth work, I got it (...I'm pretty sure...if anyone has the Tartine cookbook with the croissant recipe, please talk to me immediately so we can corroborate recipes). Finally, the uber buttery croissant dough and the sugar mixture, bursting with flavor. So my fine friends, here it is for you, all in one place!

For Tartine Morning Buns, start with two pounds croissant dough. Tartine's dough calls for a preferment (which I started Saturday night, before I went out and stuck it in the fridge until I got started in the morning...

Croissant Dough
(Tartine, discovered at The Way the Cookie Crumbles blog)
Instructions on croissant dough are my own, based from my instructions at Baking Arts
  • KitchenAid with paddle attachment and hook attachment
  • pastry cutter or pizza wheel
  • rolling pin
  • parchment paper
  • plastic wrap (or cheese cloth)
  • zester or microplane grater

  • ¾ cup non-fat milk (6 ounces/150 ml)
  • 1 tbls active dry yeast (15ml)

  • 1⅓ cup all-purpose flour (6¼ ounces/175g)

Dough (makes 2 lbs)
  • 1 tbls + 1 tsp active dry yeast (20ml)
  • 1¾ cup whole milk (14 ounces/425 m)
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour (28 ounces/800g
  • ⅓ cup sugar (2½ ounces/70g)
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt (20 ml)
1 tablespoons unsalted butter (15ml)

Roll-in butter:
  • 2¾ cup unsalted butter (22 ounces/625 g)
  • * 3 tbls floor (My addition)

To Make the Preferment:
In a small saucepan, warm the milk to take the chill off (between 80° to 90 °F). Pour the milk into a glass bowl, dissolve the yeast in the milk, stir just to dissolve the yeast with a wooden spoon. Allow yeast to proof for a few minutes. Add the flour, mixing with a wooden spoon until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth or loosely fitted plastic wrap and let the mixture rise until almost double in volume (2 to 3 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator).

To Make the Dough:
Measure out all your ingredients. Put the preferment into the mixer and the yeast. Mix with a dough hook on the lowest speed until the yeast is mixed into the preferment (less than 1 minute, stopping to scrap the sides of the bowl, as needed). When the mixture has come together into an even mass, increase the speed one notch. Slowly add half of the milk. Continue to mix until the milk is fully incorporated.
Reduce the speed and slowly add the: flour, sugar, salt, melted butter, and the rest of the milk. Mix until the dough loosely comes together (about 2 minutes). Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest (about 20 minutes).

On the lowest speed, mix until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 2 minutes). If the dough is too firm, add a milk 1 tablespoon at a time ( I needed to add 2 tablespoons to the dough pretty much immediately). DON’T OVER MIX- This dough will be worked and worked again as it is rolled out several times. Mix as little as possible to achieve a smooth-ish dough. Cover the bowl with a loosely fitted plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a cool place until the volume increase by half (about 1 ½ hours).
Before Rise

After Rise

Transfer the dough to floured parchment paper. Roll and shape into a square about an inch thick (I think about 14X14 inches). Wrap in plastic wrap on a sheet pan and place in fridge for 30-60 minutes.

To Make the Butter Patty
Work the flour into the cool butter on the lowest speed with a paddle attachment for 30 seconds. Scrap bowl and mix 30 more seconds. Do not aerate. Transfer to parchment paper and using the paper as a tool, quickly shape the butter into a square, the same thickness as the dough. Wrap in the parchment and chill for 30 minutes.

If necessary, roll the dough out to the same size as before on a floured work surface as it may have shrunk a bit in the fridge. Place the chilled butter square diagonally on the dough and bring up the corners. (If the butter sticks, rip the paper off like a Band-aid). Pinch the dough firmly along the seams to seal in the butter completely.
* I had a bit too much dough so I trimmed off the edges and put the extra dough in the fridge for flat bread

The First "Double Turn"
Using your rolling pin, start tapping the dough down, starting at the center and working your way toward the left ad then the right to lengthen the square and soften the butter. Start rolling gently to about a 16 inch square, checking often to make sure the dough is not sticking and putting more flour down as necessary. Starting from the left or the right, fold the square in thirds like a business letter. Then fold into thirds again forming a square shape.  Tap down gently with your hands. Wrap and refrigerate(30 minutes or up to 2 hours) The ideal rolling temperature for this dough is 60F. * The dough gets put in fridge to relax the gluten.

The Second "Double Turn"
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a lightly floured work surface. As before, tap the dough out and then gently roll to a 16 inch square, adding flour to prevent sticking. Fold in thirds like a business letter and then into thirds again. Wrap and refrigerate (30 minutes up to 2 hours, or overnight).  

* 1/2 of this dough will be used for the morning buns and the other half...for what ever you want! I rolled croissants, wrapped them individually in plastic wrap and freeze for up to two months.

Morning Bun Inside
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/2 cup white sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 2 medium oranges
  • 2 tbls ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted * You'll have a lot left over
  • extra white sugar for coating muffin cups and for rolling finished buns

In a small bowl combine everything except the butter. Mixture will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks or in the freezer for a month

Prepare a 12-muffin capacity muffin tin by generously brushing bottom and sides of each cup with melted butter. Put a teaspoon of sugar in each muffin cup and swirl around to evenly coat. Tap out excess sugar.

*Alright here's where my dough recipe doesn't quite add up because your supposed to role the dough to 6X18 inch rectangle that is 1/4-inch thick (This can easily be fixed by rolling it out the long way to 2 more inches long, though my dough was still thicker than 1/4 inch).

Roll out croissant dough into a 1/4-inch thick, 6X18 inch rectangle, with the long side facing you. Brush the dough with melted butter, and sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the whole rectangle0 the sugar layer should be about 1/8-inch thick. You may have some mixture left over.
Before Rise

After Rise
To bake buns that are frozen: Prepare pan as above, let buns defrost in the prepared cups (this will depend on how warm your kitchen is,a bout 45 minutes), then continue with the next step.

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Let rolls rise in warm but not too hot place until they rise approximately 1 1/2 times their original size. Place muffing tin on a cookie sheet covered with parchment or foil to catch any drips while baking.

Bake for 45 minutes-1 hour or longer (mine took about 35 minutes!) When done, the tops should be well browned and the sugar melted. Remove pan from oven and immediately turn buns out into a cleaning baking sheet or work surface. Let the buns set for 5-10 minutes, then toss in a bowl with some sugar to coat

Buns are best eaten the day they are made. If eating the next day, heat them up first in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes before serving.

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