Hi folks. As promised I have this little treat for you. These are so amazing. Time consuming but oh so worth it. I’ve never made sticky buns before. I’ve made cinnamon rolls and I’ve made croissants but never these. To tell you how out of my element I am I’ll share something with you. I had the most excellent (those too young that’s from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, Keanu Reeves, holy yummy) phone conversation with a fellow blogger the other night. You all know Ann from Cooking Healthy For Me. If not you should, she’s all kinds of awesome and you should be reading her. Anyhow we had a long conversation in the wee hours of the night and talked shop. I was telling her about these and how time consuming they were. She asked if they were sweet buns or regular. I did the whole, “ah, er, um, arg, okay Ann what the heck is the difference?” She sweetly told me sugar. If it has sugar it’s sweet. Yah, that’s how little I actually know about baking. I bake a ton, but I don’t actually really know what I’m doing from a technical standpoint. Ann was so sweet. She did not make me feel like a doofus. Which I am. But she pretended I wasn’t. So I love her. Like I said, all kind of awesome that lady.
Very seldom do I follow a recipe completely. Usually I get off the path pretty quickly. This time I made the decision to be a big girl and follow the rules. I followed that recipe like my life depended on it. By the time I was done I was seriously emotionally attached to these little buns. I spent time with them. I hovered over them. I peeked in on them in the middle of the night. I talked to them. Er, wait, no I didn’t. That would be weird. I did not talk to them. Really I didn’t. I swear.
Okay so maybe I talked to them a little bit. Who wouldn’t?
See you are talking to them now too aren’t ya?
See, now you’re weird too. My evil plan to turn you all into doofus’s like me is working.
Okay so on to the recipe. No more weirdness. Or doofusness. Um, yes that is a word. Look it up. *makes mental note to add doofusness to the urban dictionary*
I saw these absolute eons ago in a Fine Cooking magazine I had picked up. It is the Feb/March issue. I had bought it as the picture on the cover with the bacon covered meatloaf grabbed my attention in a big way. Then when I flipped through I saw these little beauties and popped a sticky on them immediately. Then I promptly forgot all about them. Yup, sharp mind this one. I came upon this again when I was organizing my blog room. I put a bookcase in there and started organizing my cookbooks and magazines. Then a week later the bookcase is still a mess but I’ve had fun flipping through some long forgotten sticky filled magazines.
I have to warn you these take forever and a day. Literally. You make the dough during the day. Then you prep everything and stick it in the fridge overnight. Then you have to sit it out to rise yet again. Honestly it’s wicked time consuming. But oh my goodness it is so worth it.
I also have to admit mini-me helped me with one of the steps. I am inept with making caramel. I mean seriously, I am a caramel dork. I cannot make it. I have no patience. I can’t just sit and watch it until it starts to turn. I stare at the bubbling white stuff and it does not turn quick enough. Then I panic. Then I panic more. Then I panic hard. Then I stir and ruin it. It takes multiple tries for me to realize I must not stir. Or I end up crying in a corner. Whichever comes first. So mini-me came through the kitchen and saw me crying in the corner and came to my rescue. I tell you this kid not only makes killer pizza but she is a caramel genius. A caramel hero. She was patient and waited and waited and swirled at the right time. She swirled perfectly until it all turned a perfect caramel colour. I was stunned, I was mesmerized, I had caramel envy. Apparently my daughter is the caramel queen. And she’s normally very against me sharing stories about her but this one she wanted me to scream from the rooftops. I was quite bluntly told I should tell you all she made the caramel NOT me. Yup, caramel hero, she is a caramel rock star.
So I did say there was a recipe right? I know, queen of the talkies right. It’s okay, these should make up for it.
- • For the dough:
- • 3½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- • 1¼ oz package fast rising (instant) yeast
- • ½ cup very warm milk or water (I used milk)
- • ¾ cup ripe mashed banana
- • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- • 2 tablespoon sugar
- • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- • 1¼ teaspoon salt
- • For the filling:
- • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- • ½ cup finely chopped toasted pecans
- • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
- • 1¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- • For the caramel pecan sauce:
- • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, more softened for the pan
- • 1½ cups sugar
- • 1 large ripe banana, cut into pieces
- • ½ cup heavy cream
- • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- • Generous pinch of salt, I used vanilla salt
- • 1 cup pecan halves
- For the dough:
- Place 1 cup of your flour in a medium sized bowl. Add your yeast.
- Now cover the bowl, I used tinfoil, and place the bowl in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
- Now stir the banana, melted butter, sugar, egg and salt into your yeast mixture. Stir until well combined.
- Now stir in all BUT ¼ cup of the remaining flour. Set that reserved ¼ cup aside. It should turn into a stiff, shaggy dough.
- Now lightly flour your work surface and transfer your dough to it.
- Now knead the dough and turn it over on itself.
- Continue to knead until the dough is easy to work with. Recipe says 5 to 10 minutes. I found it only took a few minutes.
- Now lightly butter or spray a medium bowl. Place the dough in there. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the dough doubles.
- Fill the rolls:
- Now lightly flour your work surface again.
- Place the dough onto the surface.
- Shape it into a rectangle. Now start rolling it into a large rectangle, about 16 X 11 inches.
- With a spatula, recipe suggests an offset spatula, spread your butter over the dough, making sure to stop about ⅛ from the edge.
- Now toss your pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon over the butter. The recipe suggests combining them and then doing it. I just tossed them each individually over it.
- Now you need to roll up the dough, lengthwise is the way to go. Pinch the seam to seal it. Cut the end of each side and discard. Now cut the log into 12 x 1-1/4 inch sections. Pop some plastic wrap over them for now.
- For the caramel-pecan sauce:
- Butter or generously spray a muffin tin, 12 cup size.
- Place a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combining sugar and ¼ cup warm water. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Takes 2 to 3 minutes.
- Bring the syrup to a boil and do not stir, let it start to caramelize. You can gently swirl the pan to help it start to brown.
- You watch, not stirring until it turns an amber colour.
- Now remove from the heat, and stir in the banana and cold butter.
- Now stir in the heavy cream. You may return the pan to low heat if the mixture is not smoothing out right away.
- Now add the vanilla and the salt. Stir this until it’s smooth.
- Strain the sauce, discard any chunks of banana.
- Let the caramel cool for about 15 minutes.
- Now pour about 1½ tablespoons of caramel into each muffin tin. Reserve the extra caramel for later. I just covered and kept it at room temperature by placing it inside the microwave.
- Now toss your pecans into the muffin tins. You can arrange them artfully or just toss. Either way works.
- Now take your dough and place one piece in each muffin tin on top of your pecan caramel mixture.
- Now cover that whole thing with plastic wrap or foil and pop it in the fridge overnight. Yes I did say overnight. Told you this took forever and a day.
- Bake the sticky buns:
- Remove the dough from the fridge in the morning and place it in a warm spot. Now let it rise until it doubles, takes about 1 to 1½ hours.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rack in center. Second rack under so you can place a cookie sheet under the first to catch any overflowing caramel. Line that cookie sheet with foil or parchment to make cleanup a snap.
- Now stick your buns in the oven and cook for about 20 to 22 minutes. Tops and edges should be browned.
- Remove muffin tin from oven and immediately invert it onto a rimmed cookie sheet. Again I suggest parchment. Makes clean up a snap. If any pecans have tumbled off you can place them back on, or peek behind you and if no one is looking pop them all in your mouth, then yell “ah, hot”.
- Let the buns cool for about 10 minutes.
- Now warm up the reserved caramel (I popped it in the microwave for about a minute, checking it a few times to make sure I didn’t scorch mini-me’s caramel).
- Now pour that caramel over the buns.
- Now try not to make a complete pig of yourself and look like a doofus.
Source: Feb/March Issue of Fine Cooking, also can be found HERE
I know right. All kinds of excellent. Now get your doofusy butts into the kitchen and make some. See you in a day and a half.
Toodles and smoochies.xx