Tuesdays With Dorie – Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

by Jessica on May 27, 2008

What a “sticky” mess I got myself into!! 🙂 This was so fun to make, but incredibly time-consuming and oh-my-gosh messy!! See??

Ridiculous Mess

And that’s just one side of the kitchen!! I suppose that’s what these challenges are all about, though, right?? So, on to this week’s recipe… coming from Madam Chow of Madam Chow’s Kitchen

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns
Source: Baking – From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the Glaze:
1 c light brown sugar, packed
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 c honey
1-1/2 c pecans (whole or pieces)

For the Filling:
1/4 c sugar
3 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tbsp 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 dissovle 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 have 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.
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 c just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 c just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 c sugar
3 sticks (12 oz) 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 has dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit 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 in 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-tbsp-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 proceed with the recipe to make the brioche loaves, or make the sticky buns instead, or freeze all or part of the dough for later use.)

Pecan Honey Sticky Bun Closeup

You know the drill… check out all the other entries here!! 🙂

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

1 peabody May 27, 2008 at 12:51 am

It is a little time consuming but one of my favorites.


2 rainbowbrown May 27, 2008 at 1:08 am

Ha, your mess looks almost as bad as mine. Your KA is such a pretty color. I got mine right before they came out with the colors like that, mine is black.


3 steph May 27, 2008 at 2:28 am

totally messy, but so worth it!


4 Gretchen Noelle May 27, 2008 at 6:56 am

At least making the mess was worth it!


5 Robin May 27, 2008 at 7:53 am

I agree, it was a total mess, and time consuming but so well worth it. Yours look great!


6 carrie May 27, 2008 at 8:25 am

First of all, I LOVE your blog name!
Secondly, the buns look fantastic! 🙂


7 Caitlin May 27, 2008 at 8:50 am

My kitchen always looks like that, what are you talking about? 😛


8 Amber May 27, 2008 at 8:59 am

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm mmmm mmm mmm 🙂 I want some now, please. 🙂 They look absolutely incredible.


9 Jessica May 27, 2008 at 9:17 am

Your rolls look sumptuous. Nice job!


10 Ulrike aka ostwestwind May 27, 2008 at 10:18 am

Yours look absolutely delicious! I agree, it’s a time consuming recipe but worth every minute

Ulrike from Küchenlatein


11 Bumblebutton May 27, 2008 at 10:29 am

Messy? My kitchen ALWAYS looks like that! They look yummy!


12 mimi May 27, 2008 at 10:54 am

forget about the mess, look at all that butter, ack! but your buns are lovely my dear!


13 Kelly May 27, 2008 at 11:09 am

I didn’t tackle the brioche so mine wasn’t that bad this time. But these were delish. Messy kitchen = great food!


14 Christine May 27, 2008 at 11:11 am

It was a time consuming process but the reward was so yummy! Love the color of your KA great job on the sticky buns!


15 Marie May 27, 2008 at 1:12 pm

Wonderful looking buns! Well done, despite the mess!


16 Madam Chow May 27, 2008 at 1:38 pm

Yup. it sure was a big ol’ mess, but so worth it!


17 April May 27, 2008 at 2:18 pm

But, weren’t they worth the mess? I think so! They look great!


18 noskos May 27, 2008 at 3:48 pm

Yummy looking buns!


19 Jayne May 27, 2008 at 7:06 pm

I love the color of your mixer! My dream kitchen would have one in every color. And great job with the sticky buns!


20 Holly May 27, 2008 at 9:27 pm

But, oh what a good mess it was huh?! Your matching pink mess looks adorable too by the way!


21 Rebecca May 27, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Mmmm, worth every minute!


22 Sathya May 28, 2008 at 2:03 am

Looking good! Well done! How fitting you’re off to the Opera! Enjoy


23 Gabi May 28, 2008 at 2:20 am

Brava! Lovely and such a nice coincidence with Opera in your life!


24 Linda @ Tender Crumb May 29, 2008 at 10:14 am

It was definitely a labor of love, but with results that didn’t disappoint. Gorgeous looking rolls!


25 LyB May 29, 2008 at 12:32 pm

I love the photo of your mess, and the color of your stand mixer! Your sticky buns look pretty good too! 🙂


26 mari May 30, 2008 at 9:49 am

I love your KA, it’s the loveliest shade of blue!


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