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Author Notes: This recipe is based on one of my favorite pastries of all time: craquelin, made by stuffing infused sugar cubes inside buttery dough. When the dough bakes, the sugar melts inside of it, creating a sweet pocket in the center. It's just dreamy. —Erin McDowell
Makes 12 buns
- 24 sugar cubes
- zest from 1 orange
- scrapings from 1 vanilla bean
- 3 pounds Sweet Dough (https://food52.com/recipes/50496-sweet-dough)
- egg wash, as needed
- turbinado sugar, as needed
- Up to 4 days and at least 1 day before you want to make the buns, mix the sugar cubes, orange zest, and vanilla bean scrapings to combine. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- Place 12 stand-alone baking cups on a baking sheet and spray the insides with nonstick spray (alternatively, you can just grease the cavities of a standard muffin pan).
- Divide the sweet dough into 12 even pieces (4 ounces each). Working one piece at a time, flatten the dough out slightly. Cut or break up 2 sugar cubes into 3 to 4 pieces each.
- Sprinkle the infused sugar chunks in the center of the dough, then fold the edges inward and pinch to seal. Shape the dough into a tight round by cupping the dough in the palm of your hand and move it in a circle until you've formed an even round.
- Transfer the rounds to the prepared baking cups. Cover each piece with a damp paper towel or greased plastic wrap and let rise until nearly double in size, 35 to 45 minutes.
- When the buns are nearly risen, preheat the oven to 375° F. Remove the towels/plastic wrap from each piece. Brush each bun with egg wash and sprinkle turbinado sugar on top.
- Bake until the craquelin is golden brown and has an internal temperature around 195° F. Cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!