Serves: Makes 10 buns
- 1 recipe Rich Breakfast Dough »
- ¾ stick unsalted butter, softened (65° to 68°F)
- ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
- ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Procedures:Sticky buns are a favorite throughout the country, and each region seems to have its own variation. You'll like this one, with the deep, caramel-tinged flavor of real maple syrup paired with its finest dance partner-pecans. Be sure to turn these out of their baking pan while they are still quite warm, or the topping will stick to the pan and the dough to the topping. But if this does happen, set the pan on a burner turned to medium and, wearing an oven mitt, rotate the pan for 20 to 30 seconds, until the butter and sugar mixture is melted again. Turn out as directed.
Make the topping: Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of the stand mixer and blend on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and slightly lightened, 2 to 3 minutes. You can also use a hand mixer and a medium bowl, though you may need to beat the mixture a little longer to achieve the same results. Scrape down the bowl. With the mixer running on medium, pour the maple syrup in a thin stream down the side of the bowl and blend until smooth and homogenous. Scrape the topping into the cake pan and spread evenly. Scatter the chopped pecans over the top. Set aside while you make the buns.
Roll the dough: Dust your work surface with flour. Turn the risen dough out of the tub and onto the flour. Press down firmly with your hands to expel as much of the gas as possible, but don't knead the dough or the gluten will be too developed for the dough to roll easily. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll the dough into a 10- by 16-inch rectangle. Position the dough so that one of the long sides is parallel to the edge of your work surface. Brush any remaining flour from the surface and underside of the dough.
Make the filling: Place the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in the bowl of the stand mixer and blend on medium speed until the mixture is smooth and slightly lightened, 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the long side opposite you.
Shape the buns: Beginning with the long edge closest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder, gently tucking and tightening as you roll. Wet your fingers and rub a thin film of water along the empty border. Finish rolling the dough onto the border. Roll the dough backwards so that the seam is facing upward and pinch all along it to seal the dough. Turn the seam side down and use a chef's knife to cut the roll into 10 equal pieces. Set each bun with a cut side up on your work surface and gently flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. Place the buns into the prepared cake pan, spacing them evenly.
Proof the dough (second rise): Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a damp lint-free cotton towel and set aside to rise until the rolls have almost doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes (longer if the room is cold).
Bake the sticky buns: Preheat the oven to 350°F and position an oven rack in the center. Bake the buns for 30 to 35 minutes, until the buns are deep golden brown and the centers register 185°F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn the buns out of the pan. To do this, run a thin knife or small spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the buns. Place a large plate or rimmed baking sheet upside down on top of the cake pan. Wearing oven mitts, hold the cake pan against the plate and invert it. The sticky buns will fall out of the pan onto the plate, along with their syrup and nuts. Serve the sticky buns warm or room temperature.
Storing: The sticky buns are at their best the same day they are made, but will keep, covered with a cake dome at room temperature, for 2 days. For longer storage, cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes, until warmed through.