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May 27, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns: Ready for Icing

It's Tuesday! So you know what that means...Tuesdays with Dorie! This week's recipe was Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and was chosen by Madam Chow of Madam Chow's Kitchen!

I felt guilty making these this week, because one of Jamison's all time favorites are cinnamon rolls and there was no way he could eat these! I had even planned to make a gluten free version for him but time got away from me and I have yet to find a gluten free dough that will roll out the way you need to to make cinnamon rolls. Even the doughs that promise to do just that don't live up. More experimentation is definitely needed!

Anyway, these turned out really well! I did tweak a few things, but that's par for the course I think. I used only dark brown molasses sugar instead of using a mix of brown and white sugar. I ended up having to use more butter and sugar in the middle to get it to spread out over the entire surface area. Also I mixed up a batch of cream cheese icing, because what's a sticky bun without a little icing?

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns: The Inside Goodness

Overall I'd give these a 4 out of 5 stars. Would I make them again? Probably not. The whole process is a bit intensive for a normal breakfast and there is enough butter here to kill a horse, but they were good. As Dorie mentioned in the recipe there are many recipes for cinnamon buns and everyone thinks theirs is the best and I guess I'm no different on that front. I like the ones I make on Christmas morning better and in all honesty I'm not a big fan of Dorie's brioche, though there was enough sugar and cinnamon here to overpower it so it ended up being pretty good.

I'm still on a quest to figure out a gluten free version that work and are not grainy, but I digress. I ended up sending the sticky buns home with my sister yesterday so she could enjoy them. I sent the loaf of brioche from the other half of the dough recipe home with her too. I also sent the rest of my Daring Bakers challenge home with her as well, but we'll get into that tomorrow! ;oP

Without further ado...Here's the recipe!

What You'll Need 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)

What You'll Need for the Filling:
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

What You'll Need 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).

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns:Ready to Slice

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.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche: Rising

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.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns Baked

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 mate 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

What You'll Need for the Glaze (you would brush this on brioche loaves, but not on the sticky buns):
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

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 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.)

The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.

Pecan Honey Sticky Buns and Brioche Baking

Posted by Dianne at May 27, 2008 6:58 AM

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Tracked on June 3, 2008 7:13 AM


Good luck on finding a GF recipe - I'm sure there's one out there that you'll like!

Posted by: Caitlin at May 27, 2008 7:43 AM

Wow, you put icing on these? And I thought they were rich before... =) Your buns look great!

Posted by: Di at May 27, 2008 8:50 AM

Your sister in law must love you. Dorie loves to use as much butter as she can, don't she? Love your pics.

Posted by: Lemon Tartlet at May 27, 2008 9:46 AM

I would really like to see the sticky buns with a gf recipe. Oh the icing would have sent me into such a sugar high! Everything looks great!

Posted by: Christine at May 27, 2008 9:47 AM

The icing looks so good!

Posted by: Carrie at May 27, 2008 9:57 AM

Mmmmm, gorgeous pics!

Posted by: Rebecca at May 27, 2008 10:16 AM

Beautiful buns!

Posted by: April at May 27, 2008 10:49 AM

Glazing them is such a good idea. I'm SOOO happy we don't have a gluten issue in our house...best of luck finding a recipe so all of you can enjoy!

Posted by: Bumblebutton at May 27, 2008 11:18 AM

Well, they sure look delicious! The icing on top just puts them over the top! :)

Posted by: LyB at May 27, 2008 11:30 AM

Oooh...cream cheese frosting...now that is too much (in a good way)!

Posted by: Jessica at May 27, 2008 12:45 PM

The glazed buns look so delicious!

Posted by: Ulrike at May 27, 2008 12:48 PM

I would rather have my buns covered with the icing than the glaze. I just might have to re-do mine!!

Posted by: Megan at May 27, 2008 1:11 PM

Whoa - cream cheese icing? Sounds good to me!

Posted by: Madam Chow at May 27, 2008 1:24 PM

icing on top of the glaze... GENIUS! :) good luck finding a GF recipe, although i think this would be a tough one to convert :-/

Posted by: kim at May 27, 2008 1:34 PM

they look fabulous, i like your loaf too. cream cheese on them, oh my!! i don't think i could have stayed upright after that.

Posted by: Mara at May 27, 2008 2:39 PM

I love the shot of the rolled dough pre bake. It looks so perfect. All neat and even...

Posted by: Lori at May 27, 2008 3:41 PM

Lucky sister in law! That's alot of yummy, and sugary, food you sent her home with. Beautiful color on your buns.

Posted by: Jenny at May 27, 2008 4:13 PM

Hmmmm...love the cream cheese glaze!!!

Posted by: Mari at May 27, 2008 5:12 PM

Ooh, cream cheese icing. And I have cream cheese on hand!! Why didn't I think of it??? Excellent job - the photos are beautiful!

Posted by: Jayne at May 27, 2008 5:22 PM

oh yum! You're making me hungry for more of these! They look great!

Posted by: Heather at May 27, 2008 6:45 PM

yumm, love it with the icing, i bet it tasted absolutely divine!

Posted by: mimi at May 27, 2008 9:04 PM

Great job! They all look lovely!

Posted by: Holly at May 27, 2008 9:05 PM

I'm always sending stuff home with my sister. She's my guinea pig! ;o)

The icing really was nice. I haven't seen anything a little cream cheese icing couldn't fix! ;oP

I saw all of your great buns, but I didn't have time to comment. It was a very long day yesterday. Today isn't looking much better, but oh well that's how the cookie crumbles. :o)

I may not get a chance to pop by this week and comment personally, but things should settle down for next week. :o)

Posted by: Dianne at May 28, 2008 9:50 AM

::uses two fingers to point to eyes, then points to Dianne's eyes::

We're right here baby. I didnt love these either and they were WAY too much work for the final outcome and I frosted half of mine too!

Posted by: Laura at May 28, 2008 12:15 PM

OMG that made me laugh. Seriously though these were ok, but the cream cheese really just adds something and made them much better! :o)

Posted by: Dianne at May 28, 2008 12:44 PM

with these sticky buns, no restraint is needed here! i'm an icing kinda gal, so loved the photos with the cream cheese icing dripping over the buns...YUM!

Posted by: Linda at May 29, 2008 12:27 AM

I'm all about the cream cheese icing! For me that's what made this recipe.

Posted by: Dianne at May 29, 2008 11:15 AM

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