Thursday, October 14, 2010

Awesome Sticky Buns

Morning menu: Pecan sticky buns, fresh fruit, sweet smokey bacon and a smoked salmon frittata.

MMMMM, waking up to the scent of baking sticky buns is heavenly, but since I am the designated baker that is only a dream. The next best thing might be pulling a pan of uncooked buns from the refrigerator to pop into a cold oven, sitting down with a cup of tea to enjoy the tantalizing aromas wafting out of the oven, and then savoring a sticky bun or two. That's pretty heavenly too, and all that before 60 minutes have passed. All the preparation happens the day before, so breakfast or brunch is effortless. Now that's a schedule this cook enjoys!

The recipe has been a favorite for years, with family and friends alike. These sticky buns also head my list of baked goods that work well as trading items to swap for fresh seafood, to say thank you for a really good moorage assignment, or to enjoy just because. If you have a demanding sweet tooth you could drizzle some thin icing over the top. RL and niece Hilary prefer their sticky buns topped with ice cream, for breakfast no less, but I enjoy these treats without adornment. Warm, fragrant, and oh so tasty.  

 Awesome Sticky Buns
Adapted from the Best of the Best from Alaska Cookbook; selected recipes from Alaska’s favorite cookbooks. The recipe is credited to Admiralty View BandB, Juneau, AK in Favorite Recipes from Alaska’s Bed and Breakfasts.

1 pkg yeast                                                          6 Tbs butter, melted
¼ cup warm water, 110 F                                      1-3 Tbs sour cream
1 cup milk, scalded                                               1 cup + extra brown sugar
¼ cup sugar                                                          Chopped walnuts or pecans
¼ cup shortening (I use butter)                              More butter
1 tsp salt                                                              Cinnamon
3 ½ cups flour, sifted, divided                               Raisins or dried cranberries (or both)
1 egg

The day or night before
Soften the yeast in warm water; set aside. Combine the milk, sugar, shortening and salt; cool to lukewarm. Add 1 ½ cups flour to the milk mixture; beat well. Add yeast and egg, stirring well. Gradually add the remaining flour to form a soft dough, kneading well. (If I'm on the boat and not using a stand mixer, I divide the dough into two balls for easier kneading.) Place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl; turn once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise until doubled (1-2 hours). Punch the dough down and divide it in half. Let the dough rest while you prepare the caramel topping.

Mix together the melted butter, sour cream, 1-cup brown sugar and nuts. Divide this mixture in half and spread evenly in the bottom of each of two  9-inch cake pans (round or square).

Roll half of the dough out into a rectangle shape; lightly butter the dough and cover with the extra brown sugar, cinnamon, dried fruit and nuts. (I tend to go heavy on the filling!) Roll up from the long side, cut into 8 or 9 pieces and put the pieces, cut-side down, in one of the  prepared pans. 

Repeat with second ½ of the dough and the second pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let the buns rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Photo: fresh from the fridge and ready for the oven

The next morning:
Take the buns out of the refrigerator and put them on a rack in the center of a COLD oven. Turn the oven on to 350 F (the buns will continue to rise as the oven heats up) and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the buns are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Optional frosting drizzle
Mix powdered sugar with a tiny bit of milk or juice to make a syrup-like icing. Swirl over the top of the buns as they cool.

To serve
Let the sticky buns rest for a few minutes. While the buns are still warm, put a large plate upside-down over the top of the pan. Quickly turn over, tap the cake pan’s bottom to loosen things up and slowly remove so the caramel can ooze down over the buns.

OR keep the buns in the pan as they cool on a rack, scoop them out as you need them and reheat in the microwave before serving.

Photo: Who ate the sticky buns before I could grab a good picture?!

1) I have NOT tried freezing the  pans before baking, but it seems that after a day’s defrost in the fridge they should do just fine... It works for pizza dough.
 2) Square or rectanglar pans are more storage-efficient than round ones; cut 9 rolls instead of 8 to maximize the space.
3) Dental floss is terrific for slicing rolled dough into clean, even pieces that don’t scrunch up like they do when you use a knife.
4. They tend to dry out after a couple of days, so eat them quickly - not that this is ever a problem! OR use smaller pans with fewer buns in each one. Hold them in the refrigerator for several days, baking a small batch each morning.


  1. Can I invite myself over Saturday morning for sticky buns and knitting? Your blog made me crave them. :-) Laci

  2. I love the addition of the Craisins in these, delicious!


I love to read your comments so please leave a friendly note. Comments are moderated so it may take a while to appear.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...