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English Jam Bag Pudding

['1 teaspoon sugar', '1/4 cup warm milk or water (105-115°F)', '2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from a 1/4-oz package)', '1/2 cup sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring)', '3 tablespoons sugar', '3/4 teaspoon salt', '1 tablespoon hot milk or water', '3 large eggs', '1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour (sift before measuring) plus additional for dusting', '1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 12 tablespoon pieces, at room temperature, plus additional for brushing', 'Rounded 1/2 cup thick jam or marmalade', '1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted', '1/4 cup pecans (1 oz), finely chopped', 'a heavy-duty stand mixer with whisk attachment and dough hook; an 8 1/2-inch aluminum ring mold* (6-cup capacity; 2 3/4 inches high); a 2-inch round cookie cutter']

Stir together sugar and warm milk in a bowl. Stir in yeast and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
Stir flour into yeast mixture, forming a soft dough. Cut a deep X in top with sharp kitchen shears. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature 1 hour.
Stir together sugar, salt, and hot milk in a small bowl until combined well. Fit mixer with whisk attachment and beat 2 eggs at medium-low speed until foamy. Add sugar-milk mixture and beat until combined well. With motor running, add (in order) 1/2 cup flour, remaining egg, 1/2 cup flour, 3 tablespoons butter, and remaining 1/2 cup flour, beating well after each addition. Continue to beat 1 minute.
Switch to dough hook. Scrape starter onto dough with a rubber spatula and beat at medium-high speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes. Add 9 tablespoons butter and beat until incorporated, about 1 minute.
Lightly butter a large bowl and scrape dough into bowl with rubber spatula (dough will be very sticky). Lightly dust dough with flour to prevent a crust from forming. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.
Stir down dough with rubber spatula and lightly dust with flour (dough will still be very sticky). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough, stirring it again after the first hour, at least 12 hours.
Generously brush softened butter over bottom and up sides of ring mold.
Using rubber spatula, scrape dough onto a well-floured surface and dust dough with flour. Roll out dough into a 10 1/2-inch disk (about 1/2 inch thick) with a well-floured rolling pin. Cut out 20 rounds (as close together as possible) with floured cutter. Gather scraps and knead once or twice, then roll out into a 5 1/2-inch disk (1/2 inch thick) and chill disk, wrapped in plastic wrap.
Flatten 2 (2-inch) rounds of dough to 2 1/2 inches wide with floured fingertips.
Make an indentation in center of 1 flattened round with your thumb, and place 1 level teaspoon jam in indentation, keeping edge of round clean. Cover with remaining flattened round and gently pinch edges using floured fingers to seal completely. Gently roll between floured palms to smooth seams and form a round pouch. Repeat with remaining rounds. (If rounds become too soft to work with, chill on a plate, covered.) Cut out 8 more rounds from chilled disk and make 4 more pouches in same manner for a total of 14 filled pouches.
Brush tops of pouches with some melted butter. With floured fingers, carefully invert 7 pouches (buttered side down) into bottom of ring mold, evenly spaced and barely touching. Brush pouches with more butter and sprinkle pecans evenly on top. Make another layer with remaining 7 pouches, placing each pouch over an area where edges of pouches underneath meet (covering gaps). Brush with remaining melted butter. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until pouches double in bulk, 1 to 2 hours (they will rise slightly above edge of ring mold).
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375°F.
Carefully remove plastic wrap and put ring mold on a baking sheet, then bake until top is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Invert onto a rack and remove ring mold. Cool to warm, 20 to 30 minutes, or room temperature. Turn right side up just before serving. Pull off pouches to serve (do not cut like a cake).
*Available at

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