So this is the same dough recipe I used for the Hot Cross Buns. But I have been making these sticky buns for years now and they are always a hit. This time I did use the white, all purpose flour just for old times sake. ;) My favorite part about making these is after you remove them from the pan there is all this sticky, gooey, wonderfulness left in the pan and I like to take the pecans that fall of the buns and use them to scrape out the leftover topping and snack on. It's my little personal treat for making them, besides actually eating the sticky buns themselves....
- 1 cup milk
- ⅔ cup butter
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 7 cups white, all purpose flour OR 6 cups freshly ground whole wheat flour + 5 heaping teaspoons gluten flour
For the topping:
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅔ cup honey
- 1 cup whole pecans
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the dough filling:
- 1 stick butter
- lots of brown sugar
- In a small saucepan, scald the milk by heating it over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges. Cut the butter into small pieces and put into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, along with the sugar and salt. Pour the milk into the bowl with the butter and stir around to melt the butter.
- Next pour the water into a medium sized bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the top and allow to sit until foamy about 3-4 minutes.
- Test the temperature of the milk mixture, if it is warm but not hot, add the eggs and the yeast and stir around to combine. With the mixer running start adding the flour, one cup at a time until the dough comes together and pulls away from the edges of the bowl. Knead for about 3-4 minutes, you want the dough to be smooth and stretchy but a little bit sticky at the same time.
- Once it is done kneading, move the dough to a buttered bowl and cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until doubled. I like to turn my oven on to the lowest setting, about 200º and then turn it off and set the bowl on the top so it has nice warm cozy place to rise. This should take about 2 hours, unless of course you live at high altitude, mine was ready after an hour.
- Once the dough is ready, punch it down and then prepare the topping.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugars, honey and cinnamon and stir until smooth. Add the pecans and the vanilla extract and remove from heat.
- Next take 2 muffin trays and spray each cup with cooking spray and put a little of the topping into each muffin cup and set aside.
- Then prepare the dough filling by melting a stick of butter in a small bowl and get out the brown sugar and the cinnamon.
- Next take half the dough and roll out into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface until it’s about an ⅛″ thick. Then pour half the butter all over the dough and spread evenly around with a pastry brush. Generously sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar all over and then starting at one long end of the dough, roll it up jelly roll style until it is a nice, neat roll. You will need to get 12 buns out of this one so I usually make a light mark where I want to actually cut to make sure I am making them all about the same size and that I am going to get the right number. After making the marks use a sharp knife to cut them, place each bun in a muffin cup on top of the filling. Repeat with the other half of the dough and then cover both tray with a clean tea towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350º and then bake the buns until lightly golden on top. I usually put a large piece of tin foil on the rack below them in the oven because the topping always overflows and makes a mess in the oven, but with the tin foil there clean up is pretty simple.
- Once they are baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Then place more tin foil on a clean spot on the counter and invert the pans over the foil. I like to leave the pans there for a couple minutes to let the maximum amount of the topping to pour out over the buns. Then carefully remove the pans – sometimes the buns need a tiny little bit of convincing to come out of the pan, a little tap usually does it. Then stand there and lick the filling out of the pan and thoroughly enjoy yourself for a few brief moments.
- Then you can serve the rest of them after they have cooled for about 20 minutes…