TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

27 May

I’m back from Florida just in time for TWD!  I have lots to tell you about the Florida trip, but we’ll keep that for another post. 🙂 

I wasn’t sure if I would have time to make this recipe.  I knew I would be at my friend Christa’s house and I wasn’t sure how making the Brioche by hand would work.  Christa does not cook, so I knew there was no way she would have a mixer.  But I decided to pack my cookbook anyway, just in case.  When I got to Christa’s house on Wednesday, imagine my suprise when I saw a KA mixer sitting on her cabinet!!  Apparently it was her sister’s but she never used it, so she gave it to Christa.  So, when we went grocery shopping a little later, I bought all the ingredients to make the Sticky Buns.

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 dissovle 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. Sprinle 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 glae recipe accordingly).

Christa didn’t have a rolling pin, but a can of cooking spray worked just as good!

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.) 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 ahve 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.

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

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.


25 Responses to “TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns”

  1. Rebecca May 27, 2008 at 8:33 AM #

    Someone who gave away a KA because they weren’t using it? What?!? You were so meant to make these sticky buns. 😉

  2. Rachel May 27, 2008 at 8:38 AM #

    Looking good! Thank goodness for a passed down KA 🙂

  3. Caitlin May 27, 2008 at 8:43 AM #

    Lucky you to just find a KA! Destiny, fate, accident, whatever – the result looks delicious!

  4. Rhonda in OK (a.k.a. Nina's Momma) May 27, 2008 at 9:01 AM #

    Those look so yummy!
    I am in complete shock that Christa has a KA but it sounds completely like Erin to not use hers and to give it to Christa.

    Did Christa have Blose pecans?

    This Dorie cook likes butter even more than Paula Deen.

    glad you are back home 🙂

  5. kdgreen May 27, 2008 at 9:14 AM #

    What luck – they look fabulous. I am sure your friend was especially pleased to have you visit when she tasted these.

  6. rainbowbrown May 27, 2008 at 9:32 AM #

    Someone keeps a KA in their cabinet? Ah! Oh, sorry. Well, you sure did get lucky. I love your rolling pin. Back when I didn’t have a rolling pin (now I have 4, eek) I would use a wine bottle. Great job making these in someone elses kitchen!

  7. Christine May 27, 2008 at 9:40 AM #

    Love your rolling pin! It worked! Great job your sticky buns look delish!

  8. Mara May 27, 2008 at 11:44 AM #

    Yay for being able to make the sticky buns, they were so worth it…my brioche broke my KA so it is in the car waiting to be taken to service. Love your steps along the way photos!

  9. Ulrike aka ostwestwind May 27, 2008 at 12:04 PM #

    I can’t believe than anyone doesn’t use the KA after this great looking buns.

  10. April May 27, 2008 at 12:24 PM #

    What luck you had! The buns look great!

  11. CB May 27, 2008 at 12:52 PM #

    Great improv with the cooking spray can! Buns looks great (is that weird to say? LOL). So glad you are back safely. Looking forward to the Florida BU+ pics? *winkwink*

  12. Sharon - Butcher, Baker...... May 27, 2008 at 1:13 PM #

    Well, I was planning on taking two weeks off while I was on vacation…but I just might try to squeeze the cookbook into the suitcase.

  13. Madam Chow May 27, 2008 at 1:14 PM #

    This is dedication – baking brioche while on vacation! With a spray can. Good for you!

  14. Lori May 27, 2008 at 2:11 PM #

    Very creative with the cooking spray! The buns look awesome.

  15. Marie May 27, 2008 at 2:22 PM #

    Great looking buns and A+ for the rolling pin substitution! well done!

  16. Chris May 27, 2008 at 8:23 PM #

    Yummy! Love the rolling pin. I had a friend who tried a cookie recipe I gave her and she didn’t have one either. She used a Guinness can! 🙂

  17. mimi May 27, 2008 at 9:01 PM #

    wow, your friend was lucky, hope she liked the sticky buns too! yours came out looking great!

  18. Shari May 28, 2008 at 10:08 AM #

    I’d love to have a guest make these for me when they visit! Lucky them.
    Shari@Whisk: a food blog

  19. noskos May 28, 2008 at 12:52 PM #

    Great looking buns!!!

  20. Linda May 29, 2008 at 9:28 AM #

    Sounds like you’ll have to go over to your friend’s house more often to give that KA some attention. You did a fantastic job!

  21. Laura May 29, 2008 at 10:16 AM #

    luck was on your side! you were destined to make these sticky buns! great job!

  22. LyB May 29, 2008 at 12:45 PM #

    Oh, my, those look delicious! Well done!

  23. RoRo May 30, 2008 at 7:25 AM #

    A note from your GM to all your KA friends. I was raised on the farm before the days of KA or any electric mixer, in fact. A challenge to all you KA friends. Try making a cake with the first step being to cream the sugar and butter until fluffy with a hand beater….Then try beating (with hand beater) 12 egg whites until like meringue for an angel food cake. RoRo did both every Sat while my Mother was cooking for Sunday when the four older brothers and sisters came home!!!! I was not allowed to cook in your GGM’s kitchen – only prep work.

  24. RoRo May 30, 2008 at 7:27 AM #

    Your sticky buns look delicious and know they were yummy. Did you and Christa eat all 15? Lucky duckies!!!

  25. Jayne May 31, 2008 at 3:52 PM #

    Wonderful job! And EVERY home should have a KA mixer in it!

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