Pecan Sticky Buns
I went through this stage in high school, where I became completely obsessed with sticky buns. It's all I ever wanted to eat and make for 3 months straight. I miss those days of eating whatever I wanted and gaining no weight, which I'm sure had to do with the hours of lacrosse I was playing every day. Any bun I eat now goes straight to my buns. Anyone else feel my pain?!
Even though I can't devour 5 sticky buns in one sitting anymore, I've accepted the fact that I should only eat one and be done. As I mentioned, I've made a lot of sticky buns back in the day, so this recipe has been perfected over time. It's always a shame when you flip your buns out of the pan and the caramel is not dripping off your buns. I promise to never let you experience such a tragedy. If you're going to make sticky buns, they better be freaking STICKY! I always know i've accomplished this when I look over at Bryan and his beard is glistening with all the pecan goo while he's eating his sticky bun. I hope you enjoyed that mental image!
The dough itself doesn't have a lot of sugar in it, but I promise the filling and topping really balance it out. You can omit the nuts if you like, but I wouldn't suggest it. The texture of the nuts inside and on top of the buns is what makes these so delicious. Just like most of my breakfast recipes, you can stick these in your fridge overnight for the second rise and bake them in the morning. I actually prefer doing this and think they come out even better this way!
- 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon melted butter, cooled to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups toasted and cooled chopped pecans
- In your stand mixer bowl, combine yeast, warm milk, and sugar. Let sit for 5 minutes or until it looks slightly foamy
- Sift your flour and salt together in a separate bowl and set aside
- Add melted butter, eggs, egg yolk, and half the flour into your yeast mixture. Mix on low speed with your hook attachment until everything comes together. Add in the rest of your flour and mix on medium speed for 5-7 minutes. Your dough should be stretchy and elastic at this point. If you're kneading by hand, do so on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
- Grease a large bowl with some cooking spray and place your dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours. Your dough should double in size.
- While your dough is rising, start making your caramel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the heavy cream, brown sugar, honey, and salt. Bing to a boil while whisking everything together. After it's come to a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another 5 minutes. Pour your caramel sauce into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish and stick it in the fridge to cool off while you get everything else ready.
- To make the filling, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and 1/2 cup of the toasted pecans. Set aside.
- Turn your risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a rectangle. It should be 16 inches wide (the side nearest you) and 12 inches long. Brush the dough with the melted butter and sprinkle filling evenly over your dough. Roll the dough in a tight 16 inch spiral and cut into nine 1 1/2 inch pieces with a seated knife. I usually cut an inch off each end of my spiral before cutting them up into pieces so the size of my rolls are consistent. If your roll is 16 inches long, this gives you wiggle room to do this.
- Take your baking dish out of the fridge and sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of toasted pecans over your caramel sauce. Place the buns evenly over the caramel pecan base and cover with plastic wrap.
- You can either stick your buns in the fridge overnight at this point or put it in a warm place for an hour for its final rise, depending on when you want to eat them. If you stick them in the fridge, remove them an hour before baking so they are at room temperature before baking.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and bake for 35-40 minutes. Check on them at the 25 minute mark and if they look like the tops are browning too fast, stick a piece of foil on top of your baking dish.
- Let your buns rest for 3 minutes before carefully inverting the pan onto a large serving dish. Eat these warm and if you have any leftovers, stick them in the fridge and microwave to bring them back to life!