Buns in the oven…


Sticky buns that is.

I grew up around these sweet, sticky, decadent delights. My father makes amazing sticky buns – he always has and he always will. I remember one Christmas morning after he spent several hours in the kitchen mixing, waiting, mixing, and baking, when he placed what seemed liked hundreds of sticky buns in several baskets. We all wanted to drive up to Boston to be with my grandparents, but he insisted on spreading early morning Christmas cheer (in the form of sticky buns) to our neighbors. He walked up the road dropping off the baskets to the neighbors. We then made several stops in Providence, RI so that he could present these little packages of deliciousness to our friends. Sure, as kids we were beyond annoyed at the entire endeavor, but not looking back, I would have done the same thing – and I kind of do!

So when I saw April’s edition of Bon Appétit that featured a recipe for sticky buns, I had to make them. They remind me of my father, being in the kitchen, and the insanity that I love so much called my family. I slightly adapted this recipe based on the ingredients I had on hand. The sweet butter, sugar, and cinnamon scent that drifted through our home brought back all kinds of memories. They might be too good to leave the house, but spread some cheer anyway – your friends will thank you for it.

There are several steps to this recipe, and you should read the instructions once (or twice) before you begin. You will start with the dough. When the dough is chilling, the last 30 minutes is a good time to make the topping and then the filling. After the dough is chilled, you will remove it from the fridge and roll it out into a rectangle (12 x 16). Spread the filling on the dough, and then roll it all up pinching the seam to seal it.

Once you have done this, you will want to pour the topping into a well-greased 8x8x2 metal baking pan. The prepared buns (sliced) will go into the pan, and they should rest for about 45 minutes before baking. ENJOY!

Sweet Dough Recipe

2/3 C lowfat milk

5 tbsp sugar – divided

1 3/4 tsp active dry yeast

2 large eggs at room temperature

2 3/4 C white unbleached flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 C (1 stick) of butter, melted and at room temperature

Heat the milk in a saucepan until the temperature reaches 110 – 115 F. Transfer the milk to a large bowl, and add in 1 tbsp of sugar. Mix lightly and the sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Let sit for about 5 mintes. Add the eggs and whisk the mixture until foamy. 

Combine the remaining sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium and slowly add the milk. Once almost combined, add in the butter. Mix on high speed for about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl and cover the top with plastic wrap. All to rise for about 2 hours.

After the dough has risen, place in the fridge for 1 1/2 hours or overnight to chill.

TOPPING

1 3/4 C chopped and toasted walnuts

1/2 C (1 stick) butter

3/4 C packed brown sugar

1/2 C honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

Set the walnuts aside after lightly toasted them in a pan on the stoved. Melt the butter, honey, and brown sugar together. Add in the vanilla and salt. Once combined, let cool for about 10 minutes, and then pour 3/4 of the mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the nuts onto the mixutre. Save the rest of the mixture for the end – you will want to spoon it over the cooked buns.

FILLING

1/2 C butter – softened at room temperature

3/4 C packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

Stir the ingredients together by hand or in a stand mixture. The butter should be soft enough to stir with a spoon, but not melted. Once combined, set aside.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER!

Take the chilled dough from the fridge and roll it out on a large floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle – 12×16. If it is not perfect, who cares – no one will know.

Spread the love (the butter filling) evenly over the dough. I am very particular about this step, because I LOVE THE FILLING. I like every inch covered with it – but again, however you spread it should be just fine. Beginning with the long end, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the seam together with your fingers. Cut into 12 even pieces.

You might want to flour the knife in between each cut to make it easier. Place the pieces in the pan on top of the melted butter and nuts. Allow to rest (covered with plastic wrap) for about 45 minutes.

While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 350F.

Place the rested dough in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the pan 180 degrees. If the top is getting too brown, lightly cover the buns with foil. Once the time is up, remove from oven and place the pan on a cooling wrack. Spoon the remaining topping onto the buns, and allow to cool.

Seriously, could it be any tastier?

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