2 c. buttermilk
1 stick unsalted butter
3 T. sugar
3 t. salt
1 package dry yeast
1/2  t. grated tonka bean
3 eggs, well-beaten
7 cups flour

1 3/4 sticks butter
1/4 c. golden raisins
1 c. shelled pistachio nuts, from about 1/2 lb.
3/4 c. light brown sugar
1/2 c. honey

1. Put the buttermilk, 1 stick of butter, sugar and salt into a saucepan over medium heat.  Stir occasionally until all the butter is melted. Don't want to bring to a simmer, just get it hot. Remove from heat, and when the temperature cools to 110° stir in the grated tonka bean and the package of yeast.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

2. Put the buttermilk mixture into a large stand mixer and mix the eggs in well. Using the bread hook attachment, on low speed begin adding the flour.  Work it in a cup or so at a time, mixing more in when the last addition seems well incorporated.  You'll have a sturdy dough once all the flour is in.  Turn the speed up to medium and knead the dough for five minutes.  The dough will be smooth, stretchy and elastic.  Butter a large bowl and turn the dough in the butter to coat it.  Cover the bowl with a dish towel and set aside until it doubles in bulk, at least two hours, maybe more.  Punch down the dough, cover the bowl with cling wrap, and refrigerate overnight.

3.  Lightly flour the surface to roll the dough out on.  Roll it into a rectangle about 12" x 20".  Melt the stick and half of butter in a sauce pan, and brush the entire surface of the dough with melted butter (you'll only be using a quarter cup of melted butter for this part, leave the rest in the pan).  Scatter the raisins evenly around the surface.  Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a cylinder.  Slice the dough into 16 buns.

4. In the saucepan with the melted butter add the brown sugar, honey and pistachios.  Mix and spread all around the bottom of a heavy baking dish or large cast iron skillet. NOTE: As you'll be turning the buns out upside down onto a serving platter, your choice of baking dish should have a corresponding serving platter. Arrange the buns neatly in the baking dish.  Cover the pan with a dish towel again, and let the buns rise for another two hours.  They should expand to twice the original size. Big and puffy looking.

5. Bake in a 350° oven for an hour.  You can place the baking dish on a baking sheet to collect any of the brown sugar mixture that might bubble up and over the sides.  When done, the tops of the buns will be browned. Give a thwack to the center buns — you want them to sound hollow, not feel squishy.  If unsure, leave them in the oven another 10-15 minutes.

6. Remove from oven. Let cool for about five minutes, then invert onto a serving platter.  The buns will pull apart, the topping will dribble down, and the rolls will be fragrant with the unique aroma of the tonka bean.

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Written by on March 21, 2010 under ALL RECIPES.

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