Saturday, April 20, 2019

Rosie Makes Sticky Buns.

Who doesn't love sticky buns?
Over the years, I've made a bunch of 'em
and I think this recipe rates right up at the top.
There's a twist to the recipe.
Instead of making a 9 x 13-inch baking dish 
full of rising, pull-apart buns,
these are individual buns, made in muffin tins.
And they're delicious.
 Sticky Buns
1 package yeast 
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, cut into pats
2 eggs
about 4 1/2 cups flour - give or take
1 tsp kosher salt
3 TB unsalted butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 TB melted unsalted butter

For the dough:
Rosie Note:  You can use whole milk instead of skim and cream.  I never have whole milk on hand, but I always have skim and cream, so that's what I use.  And I tend to go heavy on the cream.  Because more fat is better, right?  Actually, if you want to approximate whole milk using skim and heavy cream, you'd use a scant 1 oz. cream to 7 oz. skim.  (Or 1 1/2 TB heavy cream and the balance skim milk to make one cup.)

Heat the milk until lukewarm, not hot.  Pour into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the yeast, sugar, and butter pats.  Mix at medium speed a minute or so to break up the butter.  It will look curdled.  That's normal.   Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the flour (1/2 cup or so at a time) and salt, beating at low speed  until incorporated, 4-5 minutes, scraping down the side of the bowl.  There's a bit of play in the amount of flour.  You don't want the dough too sticky and you don't want it too stiff.  You want it juuuuuusssssst riiiiiiight. 

Turn dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until almost doubled, about an hour.

Heat oven to 325°.
Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Working on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a 9 x 18-inch rectangle.
 Or around abouts.
Brush the 3 TB melted butter over surface of dough.
Mix brown sugar with cinnamon in a small bowl and evenly sprinkle over dough along with the chopped pecans.

Beginning at the long side, tightly roll up the dough.  Cut the log into 12 equal pieces and place into muffin cups, cut side up.  Brush tops with remaining 2 TB melted butter.  Cover and let sit in a warm place for about an hour.

Bake 25 - 30 minutes, rotating at halftime, until golden brown.

Make the syrup:
4 TB unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup cream

2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup toasted pecans, crushed

In a small saucepan, melt butter with sugar and cream.  Bring to a simmer.  Stir vanilla into syrup.  Remove from heat.  Spread pecans on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant.  Cool pecans, place in a plastic bag, then run over with a rolling pin to crush. 

Remove buns from muffin tins, place on a serving dish, and spoon syrup over top.  Sprinkle with toasted pecans.

Now, for the step by steps:
Mix warm milk and cream with yeast and sugar.
Let the yeast proof.
Yeast is hungry.  It wants to eat the sugar.   Carbon dioxide and alcohol will be by-products of this little meal.  That means the mixture will get all poofy and bubbly.  That means the yeast has "proved" it's alive.  If the mixture doesn't get bubbly, dump it and get good yeast.

Add in the butter and process away.

Then work in the eggs and flour and mix until it all comes together in a nice, elastic ball of dough.
And yes.  There's wiggle room with the flour.
Roll it around in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rise.

Roll out on a lightly floured work surface and brush with melted butter.

Sprinkle on cinnamon and brown sugar mixture.

Sprinkle on pecans.

And roll up.

Cut into 12 equal pieces.

Set into muffin tins and brush tops with melted butter.

Let rise.

Bake until golden.

Let buns cool a bit, remove from tins, and pour the syrup over top.

And pour.
And pour some more.
Let 'em soak up any syrup that spills over.

Sprinkle toasted pecans over top.

Then, sit back and gaze upon your creations.
Admire them.
You may drool a bit.  That is allowed.

Dig in!


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