Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sticky Buns- One Up on the Pillsbury Dough Boy

My friends Carol and Gaby loved these buns.  Still warm from the oven, puffy and golden, dripping with sweet (but not too sweet) caramel and pecans- they are the best! Make a double batch and freeze half- what a treat in the morning with your coffee.

Different sized buns in a small ramekin.  Looks great!
Just flip over and watch the sticky goodness cover the buns.
The banana blueberry version.
These will beat the store bought buns, no contest!

Use the basic sweet dough recipe to make 12 buns.

For the topping:
5     tbsps butter, plus more for greasing the dish
1/2  cup packed brown sugar
1/2  cup light corn syrup
pinch of salt
1     tsp vanilla extract
2     cups pecans, toasted and chopped coarsely

3/4  cup brown sugar
2     tsp ground cinnamon
1/4  tsp ground cloves
pinch of salt
1     recipe basic sweet dough
Flour, for rolling
1     tbsp butter, melted

Simmering the caramel topping
For the topping- butter a 13 by 9-inch baking dish then set aside.  Bring the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt to a simmer in a small pan over medium heat.  Stir in the vanilla and pecans.  Spread the mixture over the bottom of the baking dish.

For the buns- mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt together in a small bowl.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and press into a 16 x 12-inch rectangle.  Brush the dough with the butter.  Sprinkle the brown butter mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border along the top edge.  Press on the sugar mixture to adhere to the dough.

Roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch the seam closed.  Roll the cylinder over so that the seam is on the bottom.  Gently stretch the cylinder to about 18 inches, making sure the diameter is even.  With a serrated knife, cut into 12 buns.  Place the buns, cut side down, in the baking dish.

These sticky buns are ready to rise

Now, the options:
If you want to bake them later: without pressing on the buns, wrap the baking dish tightly with greased plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 16 hours.  To serve these, remove them from the refrigerator, loosen the plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until puffy and pressed against one another, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Unwrap the rolls and bake until golden and puffed, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Carefully flip the rolls onto a plate- watch out for the hot caramel!

If serving later- let rise as directed
If freezing- they are ready to wrap
If you want to freeze: loosely wrap with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until they have doubled in size and press against one another, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Wrap the dish tightly with greased plastic wrap, without pressing the the rolls and freeze up to one month.  To bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Unwrap the buns and wrap tightly with foil.  Bake the rolls for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking for about 30 more minutes, until the buns and golden and puffy.  Carefully flip the rolls onto a  plate.  Careful! the caramel will be hot!

To make them right away: cover the buns loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size and pressing against one another, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until golden and puffy, about 20 to 30 minutes.  Carefully flip onto a plate, making sure you don't burn yourself on the hot caramel.

I've added toasted almond pieces to my sugar mixture.

A new version:  added 1.5 cups of pureed bananas to the dough- reduced the eggs to one whole egg and one egg yolk; reduced buttermilk to 1/2 cup; replaced sugar with 1/2 cup maple syrup, omitted the corn syrup AND added fresh blueberries to the filling.

I also froze the buns in batches of four using foil containers.  Just butter the sides and bottom of the container.  It will hold four buns.  Let them rise in the container; cover with greased plastic wrap as specified in the recipe, then prepare for freezing.

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