Makes 1 dozen large rolls
American sticky buns and cinnamon rolls probably derive from the German kuchen tradition of sweetened yeast breads, though there are British precedents as well. German and Dutch settlers used to serve similar coffee cakes when entertaining neighbors informally, in afternoon-tea fashion, and we think the gooey buns still make a better snack than a breakfast bread, side dish, or dessert.
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup(1 stick) unsalted butter
1 package active dry yeast
2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
Caramel Pecan Glaze
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter,
cut into tablespoons
6 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Prepare the buns, first warming the milk and 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of the butter together in a small saucepan just until the butter melts. Remove the mixture from the heat and let sit briefly until it cools to lukewarm. Sprinkle in the yeast and let it dissolve.
In a heavy-duty electric mixer with a dough hook, blend together on low speed 2-3/4 cups of the flour, the granulated sugar, and the salt. Raise the speed to medium and beat in the eggs and vanilla, then the milk-butter mixture. Continue beating for a minute. If the dough remains a sticky mass, add the remaining flour; a few tablespoons at a time, and beat until the dough becomes smooth and satiny but still soft, up to another minute. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead a few times on a floured board into a ball. Lightly oil a medium bowl. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn it to coat the dough with oil. Cover with a clean dish-towel and set in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough, return it to the bowl, and let it rise until doubled again, about another hour. (As an alternative, the dough can be refrigerated overnight or up to 12 hours, to give you more flexibility about when you bake and serve the buns. Return it to room temperature before proceeding.)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Roll the dough out on a floured board into a rectangle about 10 inches by 12 inches. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter and brush it over the dough.
Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the butter. Roll up the dough from one of the rectangle's longer sides.
Prepare the glaze, scattering the brown sugar; pecans, and butter in a 9-inch x 13-inch baking pan. If you have a choice, a light-colored shiny metal pan is preferable to one that is dark because the rolls and topping will more easily stay a pretty golden brown. Drizzle the corn syrup and vanilla evenly over the other ingredients. Set the baking pan over a low burner for several minutes, just long enough for the butter to melt and the ingredients to get gooey.
Slice the dough into rounds about 1 inch thick. Arrange the dough rounds evenly in the baking dish over the topping, with a spiral-cut side up. Cover the pan with the dishtowel again, and let the rolls rise for about 30 minutes, until they are puffed up and have risen to the top edge of the baking dish.
Bake the rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top. Let the buns sit on a baking rack for just 5 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan and invert the rolls onto a foil-lined baking sheet. The topping will ooze down and around the buns. When cool enough to handle, pull the rolls apart and serve still warm.
American Home Cooking
400 Spirited Recipes Celebrating
Our Rich Traditions of Home Cooking
By Cheryl Alters Jamison and Bill Jamison
Published by Broadway Books; October 1999
Hardback, $30.00, 544 pages
Recipe Reprinted by permission.
This page created December 1999
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