I’m about to do the unthinkable. I'm going to share a cherished family recipe with you. My husband says they are so good that I ought to go into business and sell them at county fairs. He thinks I can get $5 for each and I probably can, but they are a bit of work so I think I’ll just keep the recipe for the family and share it with you.
I don’t make them all the time and I don’t make them in summer. It’s a perfect fall and winter comfort food. I hope you enjoy them. Even though the recipe takes time and a lot of ingredients, the outcome is so very worth it. Especially 10 minutes out of the oven while still warm.
Our Family's Sticky Buns
Start off by making yeasted coffee cake bread dough.
Combine in a large bowl:
1/4 cup warm water (feels warm not hot when you stick your finger in it)
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup milk (room temperature)
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
Mix with a whisk until blended.
Stir in 2 to 2 1/4 cups bread flour.
Mix until the dough comes together.
Knead by hand for a while until the dough is smooth and elastic and doesn’t stick to your hands or the bowl. You may have to add a little flour. Add 6 tablespoons really soft butter (room temperature) and knead it in.
This is very messy but persevere and it will all incorporate. After the butter is incorporated, you will have to add a little flour to make it knead up smooth again.
Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until it’s doubled in volume.
If you have a gas stove, the warmth from the pilot light usually makes the top of the stove a warm area. I have an electric stove so I turn the oven on at the lowest setting. The heat rises from the oven and makes the stove top warm. Take care not to put the bowl right over a really hot area. We heat with wood and sometimes in the fall or winter the kitchen can be quite cool. This rising might take about an hour and a half.
After it’s doubled punch it down, knead it a little bit and put it back in the warm place until doubled again.
Now it’s time to start the assembly phase.
For the Topping
Melt in a medium saucepan:
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
Remove from the heat and add:
2 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Grease your pan or large muffin tins, and pour or spoon in the topping. This is going to be like Pineapple Upside Down Cake. That is, upside down. Let the topping cool while you make the rolls.
Spread the dough out on a lightly floured surface and roll out to a big rectangle; 12-by-16 inches is just about right. Brush the surface with melted or really soft butter. Then sprinkle with:
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons cinnamon
Roll it up on the long side so you have a long cigar-shaped roll.
Cut it crossways into slices,
and put them down in the pecan candy syrup pans.
Don’t crowd them too much.
They will swell up in baking.
Preheat your oven to 350 F while your buns are resting covered loosely with plastic wrap while you clean up. When you’re done and they’ve risen again a bit, pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on them because they can go to burning quickly so set that timer for 15 minutes and add more time until they are nice and brown. Tap them with the tip of your finger. They should sound hollow.
Out of the oven let them sit for 15 minutes to cool and then invert them over your plate or cake server.
I like to use a cake server because after all this work I feel proud and want them to be fit for a king or queen and look like it! As I’ve said these are best served while still a little warm so get your tea kettle boiling and make some tea or coffee. This recipe is the personification of nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven! (Sorry, Pillsbury).
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