Pecan and Caramel Sticky Buns

The swirls in these sticky buns match the red swirls the angry blood vessels have designed upon my tired eyes. Red Eye flight home from Boston. As I fade in and out of late night delirium while trying to finish a Nobel Prize winning fiction trilogy Kristen Lavransdattar, happy montages of these delicious pecan treats float psychedelically through my thoughts. They were sublime, and seemed to linger upon the tongue as long as a warm twilight on a Southern porch.


Pecan and Caramel Sticky Buns
Baking Illustrated

1/2 cup milk
8 tab  lespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup warm water, 110 degrees
1 (1/4 ounce) envelope instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 -4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus
additional unbleached all-purpose flour, for dusting work surface

Caramel Sauce
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 cups whole pecans, lightly toasted

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
4 tbsp butter
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt


For the dough—same as the cinnamon buns I posted yesterday
1. Heat the milk and butter in a small pan or microwave until the butter melts.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside until the mixture is lukewarm (about 100 degrees).
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix together the water, yeast, sugar, egg, and yolks at low speed until well mixed.
4. Add the salt, warm milk mixture, and 2 cups of the flour and mix at medium speed until thoroughly blended.
Switch to the dough hook, add another 2 cups of the flour, and knead at medium speed (adding up to 1/4 cup more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if necessary), I did use the additional 1/4 cup of flour, until the dough is smooth and freely clears the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.5. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.
6. Shape the dough into a round, place it in a very lightly oiled bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
7. Leave in a warm draft free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
8. For the caramel sauce, combine sugar and water in a sauce pan, cover and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Uncover and continue to boil until syrup is thick and straw-colored, about  7 minutes until it measures 300 degrees on a candy thermometer. Reduce heat to medium and cook until it is golden and begins to smoke (350 degrees). Meanwhile, bring cream, butter, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup to a simmer over high heat in a saucepan. As soon as sugar reaches 350, remove it from heat and pour the cream mixture in and let bubbling subside. Whisk until it is smooth. While still hot, pour into baking dish and sprinkle pecans over the top.



9. To roll and fill the dough: after the dough has doubled, press it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface.
10. Using a rolling pin, shape the dough into a 16 by 12 inch rectangle, with long side facing you.
11. Mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the far edge.
12. Roll the dough, beginning with the ; long edge closest to you and using both hands to pinch the dough with your fingertips as you roll. Keep it tightly rolled. Moisten the top border with water and seal the roll. Lightly dust the roll with flour and press on the ends if necessary to make a uniform 16 inch cylinder.
13. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking dish or spray with cooking spray.
14. Cut the rolls into 12 equal pieces using plain dental floss or a sharp knife.Place the rolls cut side up, evenly in the prepared baking dish.
15. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free spot until doubled in bulk 1 1/2- 2 hours.
16. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven rack to the middle position. Bake the rolls until golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of one roll reads 185 to 188 degrees or 25- 30 minutes.
17. Invert rolls onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Turn the rolls upright on a large serving plate and use a rubber spatula to spread the icing on them.


Goodbye Boston; Hello Miss Izzy.



7 thoughts on “Pecan and Caramel Sticky Buns

  1. Amen to that comment about your bakery! Do your neighbors know about your new hobby? 🙂 Also, I love that sweater skirt! Can’t wait to hear more about the conference – let me know when you’re next passing through MSP 🙂

    1. Thanks Susan– hope you liked the apricot bread! I am still processing all my notes from the conference, but it, I think, will be the perfect segue into the writer’s residency which starts on Thursday. Looking forward to us reuniting, perhaps the afternoon of March 26?

  2. It was so much fun to watch Rachel make the carmel. She was questioning her skills at every step but when it things started to look like carmel, she was so excited.

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