When I was a kid and I would go to the mall with my parents, they would always share a raisin croissant for an afternoon snack. I never understood why they chose the raisin croissant over the chocolate one. I mean who likes raisins in their pastry? Well apparently as an adult I do too. Perhaps it's the memory of my parents or perhaps I've just developed a better palate but I now crave raisin croissants. To combine my craving with the seasonal fruit, I decided to create the ultimate orange cardamom raisin buns. Flaky layers filled with warm spices and finished with an orange glaze, these pastries are the best way to wake up.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I'm sure that by reading the recipe you've assumed that these orange cardamom raisin buns require some work. Funnily enough, I wanted to skip the tedious step of making a croissant so I went with a shortcut route. This shortcut route still requires a handful of steps but it's slightly easier than making croissants!
Let's start by making an enriched dough. I wanted soft flaky layers so there are eggs and butter in the dough itself. Knead until smooth and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
To create the layers, we're going to laminate the dough similar to how croissants are laminated. This simply means you're creating layers of dough and butter by folding the dough multiple times.
For successful lamination, you need cold butter. Pound and roll out the butter into a thin 12x6 inch rectangle. This is the perfect opportunity to let out all your stress and anger! Use that power to get the butter paper-thin.
Now roll out the into a 12x18 inch rectangle and place the butter in the center. Fold the dough into thirds, folding the right side over the butter followed by the left side. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge or 15 minutes in the freezer.
Take out the dough and turn it 90 degrees so that the open seams are now facing the sides. Think of it this way: the dough pictured above needs to rotate to the right so that the long side is now horizontal. Roll out the dough and fold it into thirds. Chill and repeat.
While the dough is chilling, use the time to make the filling. Mix together brown sugar with all the spices and set aside 2 tbsp. You're going to use that 2 tbsp to sprinkle on top of the buns later on. Add raisins to the mix and set them aside.
Now comes the fun part: filling the dough. Brush melted butter on the rolled out dough and sprinkle the filling in an even layer. Roll the dough into a log and cut the log into 12 equal pieces. Place the rolls in a baking sheet with the cut sides facing up and proof the buns for another 30 minutes.
We're almost at the finish line! While the rolls are proofing, make the orange glaze by simmering together the butter, honey, orange juice, and orange zest until slightly thickened. You can also make the glaze several hours in advance. When you're ready to bake, brush the tops of the buns with the orange glaze and sprinkle the reserved 2 tbsp brown sugar mixture. Finally, bake the buns until golden brown for about 20-25 minutes.
Finish the orange cardamom raisin buns with more of that glorious orange glaze and finally dig in.
Can you see those beautiful layers? These pastries were exactly what I wanted: soft, buttery, flavorful, orange-y, and so much more that I don't have enough words to describe them. Hey mom and dad! Think you would want one of these??
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