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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns


Oh, how I love sticky buns and cinnamon buns and pretty much all the breakfast treats - this is well known and well loved territory for me. So, I have been eyeing this recipe ever since my copy of Baking From My Home to Yours got here. I have tried many recipes, but have never been completely satisfied with them. So, after trying so many recipes, how did Dorie's recipe for Pecan Honey Sticky Buns, chosen by Madam Chow for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe?

This recipe absolutely holds its own and then some. I have a very specific criteria for what I am looking for in the "perfect" sticky bun and this recipe met them all.

First, I look for a soft, rich - but not over the top - dough - shouldn't be too "bready" but shouldn't disintigrate either. Second, in my opinion the caramel/glaze should be sufficient to have a nice amount for each bun and plenty of nuts, plus it has to be fairly simple to put together and hold up well (not turn to inedible hard brittle after 30 minutes out of the oven).

I went ahead and made a loaf of brioche with the second half of the dough (and sorry, didn't get pictures - bad Holly!). It was delicious as bread as well, but a bit richer than I am used to eating for my bread. As a sticky bun or cinnamon roll recipe though this was awesome. The brioche was really quite easy to put together (and yes, I have a stand mixer to help me - but I will do this by hand next time just to compare).

So, this was absolutely another winner as far as I'm concerned. Make sure to check out all the other TWD gals (and guy(s) - woo hoo!) to see more sticky madness!

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Makes 15 buns

For the Glaze:
1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)

For the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)

Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).

To make the glaze:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To shape the buns:
On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly).

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16 - I cut mine a bit too thick and ended up with 12 buns, which worked just fine as well.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.

Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.Getting ready to bake: When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat. Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mate or buttered foil. Be careful - the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.


What You'll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough (this recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):

2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

What You'll Need for the Glaze (you would brush this on brioche loaves, but not on the sticky buns):
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

To Make The Brioche:
Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (After this, you can proceed with the recipe to make the brioche loaves, or make the sticky buns instead, or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)

The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans. Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake:
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.


Other Tuesdays with Dorie:
Florida Pie
Peanut Butter Torte (& Bars) (Winner - Our Secret Ingredient)
Fluted Polenta & Ricotta Cake
Bill's Big Carrot Cake
Marshmallows - Dark & White Chocolate (Winner - Our Secret Ingredient)
Chocolate Gooey Cakes


steph- whisk/spoon said...

oh yum--i loved these too! wish i had one right now!

Anonymous said...

Your sticky buns look quite delicious. Great work.

Anonymous said...

I agree... these were delicious! My family ate them up in a day. :D Unfortunately, I only have Sushi Day and don't want to put these on there, so I won't quite be on the TWD blogroll yet! Hopefully soon...

Anonymous said...

Love them! What a fun and successful baking event you all had this week. Well done!

noskos said...

Yummy looking buns!!

Anonymous said...

I agree - these buns were a perfect balance. Thanks for participating!

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Scrumptious! Good job.

LyB said...

A winner indeed! They look fabulous Holly!

Mary Ann said...

They look delicious!

Anonymous said...

I agree, this recipe is definitely a winner!

Andrea said...

These look delicious! Great Job!

Unknown said...

Sticky madness indeed! They look incredible.

Bumblebutton said...

Glad you finally met your criteria with your delicious treats!

Steph said...

These look to die for! I could eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner, oh and dessert. My weakness in life if definitely all of these types of breakfast feasts! Great job!

ostwestwind said...

Your buns looks so delicious!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

Anne said...

I'm glad you liked it- I thought they were AMAZING too. Pretty photos!

mimi said...

your sticky madness looks lovely! glad to hear they were a perfect breakfast treat for you!

kimberly salem said...

they look delicious! glad you loved them so much, i definitely agree :)

Christine said...

Definitely was a winner! Your sticky buns look delish!

marae said...

yummy...!! everyone's photos of these things look amazing!

CB said...

That last picture is just scrumptious! Gimme. I want another batch now but I keep telling myself to "step away from the mixer, Clara". LOL. ps. Yummy article on BB. Looking forward to reading many more...
Clara @ I♥food4thought

The Kitchen Vixen said...

Your buns look great! I almost feel like I can pick the pecans off of the screen! Great pics.

Engineer Baker said...

Isn't it nice when what you make holds up to your standards? Beautiful buns!

Marie Rayner said...

Wonderful looking buns! Well done!

April said...

they look amazing!

Heather B said...

yum, yum! They look great!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Great job with these, glad they met all of your expectations and conditions!

Jayne said...

Great job! And beautiful pictures, too!

Anonymous said...

Your buns turned out great!! Well done.

Chris said...


Liliana said...

Your sticky buns look so delicious!

Hats off to you for wanting to make the dough 'by hand' the next time!

Di said...

I'm with Clara--I love the last picture. It looks like your buns turned out great!

Anonymous said...

YUM. These pics are making me wish I still had one or two or five around. ;)

Natalie said...

Lovely, lovely! They were really tasty, weren't they?

Peabody said...

It is most definitely a winner! Your buns are all sorts of tasty.

Helene said...

What a picture! I love it! Great job Holly!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Your "sticky" part looks so golden and delicious!Shari@Whisk: a food blog

Jenny said...

While I am not a huge fan of pecans, your buns with their sticky pecans, look so good. I've had breakfast already, and it's still a bit away from lunch, but now I am hungry.

Sharon said...

Great looking buns!

Mari said...

Isn't it great when you find the recipe that you've been waiting for?!

Linda said...

You're definitely a sweet roll connoisseur, and I'm glad they met your expectations...they definitely did for me!

Anonymous said...

You really have a great way with photos...and words. Very nice post and divine looking pecan sticky buns!

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