TWD: Honey Pecan Sticky buns

To be honest, while I was looking forward to making this week's TWD recipe, the timing couldn't have been worse. The Pecan Honey Sticky Buns selected by Madam Chow is a fantastic one, but it is quite involved and takes at least two days to complete. After being without a secretary for three weeks due to the illness of my assistant, I spent most of last week frantically trying to find a replacement. We're also in the home stretch of the school year here. My daughter is graduating from the 8th grade this week and we've had several activities and obligations relating to that. Then comes a holiday weekend with yet more activities and family obligations. The icing on the cake is another very involved baking project I've committed to which is due tomorrow. As I sit here typing this, what I really feel like doing is pulling my hair out!

That being said, I made the sticky buns, but I really don't have time to tell you too much about the experience. Hell, I don't even remember half of what I did, as I was racing around my kitchen at warp speed the whole time. I can tell you that these buns were made using Dorie's Golden Brioche dough, which I have made before. It yields a delicious rich and buttery loaf, but making it is a long, punishing process, either for your arms or your stand mixer!

I probably would have really enjoyed the whole process of making this recipe had I not been so preoccupied with everything else. What's not to love about a sweet brioche filled with cinnamon, butter and sugar and then drenched in gooey, golden honey, nuts and more butter and sugar? Nothing, that's what!
These sticky buns were divine! My family devoured them in record time. By the time I got around to taking the photographs, there were only a half dozen left! I would definitely recommend making them, but would advise you to do so when there isn't a whole lot of other stuff going on.

If you'd like to see lots of great buns, check out what the other TWD bakers have been up to this week!

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

For the Glaze:

1 cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup honey
1-1/2 cups pecans (whole or pieces)
For the Filling:

1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the Buns:

1/2 recipe dough for Golden Brioche loaves (see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating it overnight)

Generously butter a 9-x-13-inch baking pan (a Pyrex pan is perfect for this).

To make the glaze: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula. Sprinkle over the pecans.

To make the filling: Mix the sugars and cinnamon together in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.

To shape the buns: On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you.

Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it for up to 2 months . . . . Or, if you want to make just part of the recipe now, you can use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder. Reduce the glaze recipe accordingly).

With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the roll if they're very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch thick buns. (Because you trim the ragged ends of the dough, and you may have lost a little length in the rolling, you will get 15 buns, not 16.) Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.
Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes. The buns are properly risen when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching one another.

Getting ready to bake: When the buns have almost fully risen , center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes, or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden; the glaze will be bubbling away merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.

The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven. If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or buttered foil. Be careful - the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.

What You'll Need for the Golden Brioche Dough (this recipe makes enough for two brioche loaves. If you divide the dough in half, you would use half for the sticky buns, and you can freeze the other half for a later date, or make a brioche loaf out of it!):

2 packets active dry yeast (each packet of yeast contains approx. 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (After this, you can make the sticky buns or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)

Makes 15 buns


Anonymous said…
OH DEAR GOD! Every time I visit this site I gain five pounds. These look like Christmas morning at home with my family and it just doesn't get better than that. Thanks for sharing!
Food porn! I think I'd swap my husband for these. Gorgeous, and I'm sure they're as yummy as they are beautiful. I can't take my eyes off them.
ostwestwind said…
The look of your buns fit perfectly to the name of your blog...I bet they taste as good as they look

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein
Engineer Baker said…
I'm glad you could squeeze these in - they look completely worth it!
LyB said…
I hope you took the time to sit down, have a cup of coffee and enjoy the fruits of your labor! They look delicious!
Christine said…
So glad that you could squeeze these in your pics are beautiful!
Bumblebutton said…
You are a whirlwind momma! They look wonderful!
kimberly salem said…
phew! hope you get a chance to relax soon :) they look delicious!
Anonymous said…
Wow. I can't believe you managed to find time for these! They look fabulous though.
Peter M said…
Susan, this could be your new banner...the epitome of your blog's name!
Unknown said…
I made some cinnamon rolls with the brioche dough a while back. They turned out great...just as good and these look! They must have been wonderful judging from the response of your family!
Lori said…
My family loved them too. They look so good.
Jen said…
These are my DH's faves. Scary... I might have to make these. Wonderful recipe!
These look heavenly. I have been sooo hungry for cinnamon rolls...perhaps I should make some but when I am hungry for something then I will DEVOUR the whole pan. Perhaps the brioche dough from artisan bread in 5 minutes and then schmeared w/KAF cinnamon filling and cut into rolls.....hmmmmmmmm idea!
These look heavenly. I have been sooo hungry for cinnamon rolls...perhaps I should make some but when I am hungry for something then I will DEVOUR the whole pan. Perhaps the brioche dough from artisan bread in 5 minutes and then schmeared w/KAF cinnamon filling and cut into rolls.....hmmmmmmmm idea!
Anonymous said…
Sometimes pressure makes it all happen! You did a great job...they are beautiful.
Heather B said…
Great job for sticking with it even though you are slammed with work and life! They look amazing!
Chris said…
These look scrumptious!

Sorry you're so busy. But, as a former 8th grade teacher, this is a fun time, too. For your daughter anyway...:)
Anonymous said…
How on earth did you find the time? Gorgeous!
Rachel said…
Dang, and I thought I was busy! You rock!
test it comm said…
Those look so sticky and gooey and good!!
mimi said…
wowzers, all that and you still made these buns! well, they came out looking terrific, i love the top photo, total gooey goodness!
Cakelaw said…
Despite your lack of time, your sticky buns look fab - great job!
Nina Timm said…
I applaud your dedication, that you, despite all the good reasons not to, still managed to pull this off.
Peabody said…
Yes, what is not to love about these sticky buns!
RecipeGirl said…
Totally yummy. This definitely fits with your sticky and gooey theme :)
Anonymous said…
I agree about not doing these when a lot of other things are going on, not that I didn't make the same mistake! And it was my pick! But, I'm glad you pulled through (like I did) because your family loved them. Great job!
Anonymous said…
You are too cute! I love your candor. You're right, this a crazy-busy time of year. Congrats to your daughter.... My goodness, high school?!?! Your sticky buns look great & it's no wonder that thy were devoured so quickly.

xoxox Amy
Susan, my dear, take your time and breathe! These buns are spectacular (no wonder they were gone so fast, I would have eaten 3 or 4 in a heartbeat).
Helene said…
I wanna...I wanna...Oh my! I got up and starred at these for a long time...and I am stil starring! Great job!
Those buns look great! Excellent photos. Hope you have time to sit and enjoy one with a coffee!
Shari@Whisk: a food blog
noskos said…
Great looking buns!!!
Cecilia said…
Good luck with everything this week! I hope it all turns out swell for you. I know that your buns certainly did; they look delightful!
Susan @ SGCC said…
Thank you so much for your sweet comments! I enjoy reading them so much! It may take me a few days, but I'm looking forward to getting caught up on my blog rounds.
Mari said…
From one working girl to another, I fully understand where you're coming from, sometimes it's all just too much. Whatever the case, you did it and they look beautiful, so feel proud!
Linda said…
Bravo on juggling a million things AND getting these buns made...they turned out gorgeous!
Jayne said…
Gorgeous pictures!
Your photos are making my tummy growl at me! Looks delicious!
This recipe goes perfectly with your blog's name! I love it!

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