SMiLes by Meg

Pecan Sticky Buns

Sundays are a lot better when they start with brunch treats. And today started with some pretty awesome ones – Pecan Sticky Buns.

I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Hummingbird High for awhile. She calls them small-batch, though, which is what drew me to them. The idea of being able to make just a few pastries for me and Erik was appealing, mostly so I didn’t end up eating sticky buns for breakfast all week.

However, I think calling these small-batch is misleading. I thought I was going to get to use my cute little 1/8-size baking sheet, but it called for a 9×13 pan. I don’t know that anything is small-batch when made in the size of standard cake pan. So don’t be surprised when you end up with six very large pastries when you thought you were going to get 4 cute little rolls.

Either way, you really do need to make these.

Start the night before to make the dough. In a stand mixer bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the middle.

Melt the butter in the microwave and heat up the buttermilk over medium heat. When both are between 120 and 130°F, add them to the well, along with the egg. Use a rubber spatula to mix until you have a shaggy dough.

Beat in a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Turn out onto counter and knead a few times before spraying bowl with cooking spray and returning dough to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, remove from fridge. The dough should have risen quite a bit.

Next we’ll do the filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.

Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 12×20 inches.

Quick-melt the butter (about 15 seconds in the microwave) just so that you can spread it easily. Spread the butter over the dough.

Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll dough up starting on a short end.

Cut into six slices using a serrated knife and place in a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray, cut side down.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour or two, until doubled in size.

Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly on a wire rack while you work on the topping. First, toast the pecans in the oven for about 10 minutes, giving them a shake halfway through, until they smell toasted.

Then, in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, milk, butter and maple syrup over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and stir for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately add pecans, stirring to coat. Pour mixture over buns.

If you have time to let them cool a bit, the syrup becomes less runny and more sticky (like the name). If you’re on the way out the door to meet some friends and their very cute dog (shout out to Giles), then you can 100% just carve one out and eat it gooey and warm.

Store at room temperature, covered loosely with tin foil, if you plan to eat them within a day. Store in the fridge in an airtight container if you’re going to let them last a bit longer.

Enjoy!

Pecan Sticky Buns

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 3 1/2 cups (5.75 ounces) flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, warmed to between 120°F and 130°F
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled to between 120°F and 130°F

Filling

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup (2.35 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Topping

  • 1 cup (4.5 ounces) chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup (2.5 ounces) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons butter

Directions:

  1. The night before, start the dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, baking soda and salt.
  2. Make a well and add the warmed buttermilk, melted butter and egg. Use a rubber spatula to combine until a shaggy dough forms.
  3. Beat the dough on low speed with the hook attachment for 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Turn onto a counter and knead a few times. Spray bowl with cooking spray and place dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day, remove from fridge and prepare the filling. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Roll the dough out into a rectangle about 12×20 inches.
  7. Melt butter briefly in microwave (15 seconds) until just soft enough to spread. Spread butter over dough and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
  8. Roll dough into a log starting at a short end. Cut into 6 pieces and place cut side down in a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours until doubled in size.
  9. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and rolls are golden. Place pan on wire rack to cool briefly while assembling the topping.
  10. Toast pecans in oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes, giving a shake halfway through, until golden and fragrant. Remove from oven and place in bowl to prevent additional cooking.
  11. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, milk, maple syrup and butter over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
  12. Remove from heat and immediately add pecans, stirring to coat.
  13. Pour mixture over rolls, using an offset spatula to spread out the pecans.

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