Pecan Sticky Buns

Pecan Sticky Buns is one of the first recipes I baked when I got my KitchenAid stand mixer about six years ago.  So I knew these were a very good recipe, and worth all the work (and butter!) required.   Having kneaded other heavy breads in the mixer, and remembering that Brioche dough is much softer, I upped the speed slightly to ‘3’.  Mine does not go to ’11’.

I figured I would soften teh butter in a smaller mixing bowl I have that fits the mixer.  It worked well, though the smaller bowl’s combination whisk/beater attachment has many more surfaces from which to scrape the butter.  I’d probably just soften the butter next time in the full-size bowl with the regular paddle.

After incorporating the first batch of butter, I gave the dough its first rise in a slightly warm oven.  It more than doubled in size in just over two hours.
Then I gently deflated the dough and let it rise again overnight in the fridge.

After laminating the dough with more butter, and a brief chill inthe fridge, I rolled it out and applied the egg wash, sugar, cinnamon, and chopped pecans

Then I rolled the sheet into a log, gave it a chill in the freezer, and cut it into slices

While the log was in the freezer, I prepped a ceramic pie plate, first with butter, then brown sugar

Then I arranged the cut slices into the pan, topping each with three pecan halves before inverting them into the pan.  The pan was then allowed to rest in a warm oven for about an hour and half, during which time the slices swelled to fill the pan.    

I then baked the rolls for about 35 minutes, with my ceramic pie plate resting on a heavy duty cookie sheet.  When I inverted the rolls onto a plate, quite a bit of melted butter leaked out, indicating that the butter and sugar hadn’t quite cooked into a uniform caramel sauce.  I also noticed that the bottom, now tops, of the rolls hadn’t browned completely.  My hunch is that when the rolls rose in the pan prior to baking that rode up the slanted sides of the pie plate, so for much of the baking time they weren’t in contact with the bottom of the pie plate.  That may have also kept the caramel from coming together.

To fix the tops I placed the inverted rolls back in the oven for about ten minutes, and then left them in with the over switched off for another half hour.  The rolls ends up browning nicely, but I can’t help but feeling the finished rolls lacked the requisite sticky caramel.

I’m haven’t decided whether to make another batch of sticky buns with the remaining brioche dough, or use it for another recipe.  I know I will make these again at some point, however I’m strongly considering a few modifications:

  • I will use slightly less butter when laminating the dough, probably two-thirds the amount called for in the recipe.  I’ll save the remaining butter to line the sheet of dough, in effect borrowing the technique from cinnamon rolls so the spiral will contain butter, sugar, cinnamon, and pecans.
  • Rather than line the pan with butter and then sugar, I’ll cream these two together, perhaps with a little vanilla extract as well, with the hope this will lead to a more homogenized sticky caramel sauce.
  • Lastly, I’ll forgo my beloved ceramic pie plates for straight sided metal cake pans.  I think and additional factor in my lack of browning was that metal conducts heat much better than ceramic.




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4 Responses to Pecan Sticky Buns

  1. julessomeone says:

    Those look delicious. I was a brioche wimp and skipped this week.

  2. I’m loving all your gear – especially the coppery Kitchenaid. We also have the same Le Creuset utensil crock. Isn’t it sad that they retired that color? But anyhow, back to the the sticky buns, I think yours look great! I agree that you might need to switch to a metal pan for browning purposes but your pie dish is so pretty (Emile Henry?) that I can see why you’d want to use it all the time.

  3. I agree that baked goods in ceramic do not brown as well, though they do look really nice! I like the idea of creaming the butter and brown sugar together. These were really yummy and I will certainly make them again, but probably not for awhile–best to spread out the calories.

  4. Cher says:

    Good thinking to brown up the rolls.
    I didn’t find that these had much of the typical caramel glaze at all.
    Nice work!

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