Tiger-Spiced Morning Buns with Apples and Pears
This recipe for Tiger Spice Chai® infused morning buns is the ideal treat for this Fall season! Whether you have it as a morning meal or afternoon snack, it’s destined to surprise and delight your day.
1 envelope (about 2-1/4 teaspoons or 1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, warmed, plus 1/4 cup (120 ml) cold milk
1 teaspoon plus 1/2 cup (60 ml) honey
4 large eggs, plus 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4-3/4 cups (570 g) (or more) all-purpose flour, divided
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (225 g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup (240 ml) Tiger Spice Chai®
3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 apples, diced (If using a Fuji Apple, use less brown sugar in the filling)
2 pears, diced (D’Anjou recommended)
Ginger Glaze (optional):
2 cups powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons ginger juice (strained from fresh grated ginger)
Whisk yeast, 1 cup (240 ml) warm milk, and 1 teaspoon honey in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with dough hook attachment to combine, then let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) chilled milk, 1/4 cup honey (60 ml), eggs, egg yolk, orange zest if using, and vanilla extract to the mixer, and beat to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together to combine. With the mixer on low, slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet until a shaggy dough forms. Increase speed to medium and work dough until it is smooth, soft, and elastic and climbing up the hook, 8 to 10 minutes (it will clear the sides of the bowl but still stick slightly to the bottom; if after 5 minutes the dough is still very sticky, add flour a tablespoonful at a time until dough is just tacky). Cover the bowl loosely and place in a warm spot for 40 minutes to 1 hour until doubled in volume.
Punch dough down and return the bowl to the mixer. With the mixer set to medium-low, add butter pieces one at a time, letting dough absorb butter completely before adding the next piece. This part takes a while, so be patient. Dough should be very smooth and slightly tacky and have a soft, buoyant texture. Cover and chill at least 8 hours and up to 16 hours.
Filling and assembly:
Melt butter. Mix in remaining ingredients except for the apples and pears. Set aside.
Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half, place 1 piece back into bowl, cover, and chill while you work. Roll out remaining piece of dough on a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper to roughly a 16" x 12" (40 x 30 cm) rectangle. Spread half of the butter mixture evenly over the dough. Scatter half the diced apples and pears over the butter mixture.
Starting at side closest to you (make sure it’s a long side) and using the parchment paper to help you, roll dough into a tight log. Place log, seam side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Chill until firm, 20–30 minutes. Repeat process with second half of dough.
Spray cups of two 12-cup muffin pans with nonstick spray. Place a rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C).
Trim chilled dough logs about 1/2 inch from ends and cut each on a slight diagonal into 12 equal pieces. Place, cut side up, in prepared muffin pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature until puffed and expanded to edges of muffin cups (dough will spring back when poked but hold a slight indentation), about 25 to 35 minutes.
Bake buns, rotating pans once left to right and front to back, until golden brown all over, about 20 to 25 minutes. If desired, brush with honey immediately after removing buns from oven for extra shine.
Place powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Starting with 1 tablespoon, slowly mix in ginger juice, adding more juice until the glaze has the consistency of toothpaste. While buns are cool enough to touch but still warm, spread desired amount of glaze onto each bun, which should melt slightly and run down the sides.
Makes 24 buns.