I know. It’s hard to get excited about yet another baking blog posting a recipe for sticky buns. But before you leave here to go send those ”Happy New Year” e-mail messages to friends and family that you should have already sent (Freudian projection, anyone?), just take a few more minutes to read further. These aren’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill, sticky buns. Taking a cue, once again, from my friend and baker extraordinaire James McNamara, these sticky buns are made with croissant dough, rather than the standard sweet dough used to make more conventional buns. The result is a sticky bun which is light, flaky, sweet, gooey and nutty. I guess I’ll just have to make going on that diet my resolution for the next New Year!
- 1.125 kg Croissant Dough (all of the dough made using the procedure described here)
- Cinnamon Sugar (1:4 mixture of cinnamon:sugar), as needed
- Brown Sugar, as needed
- 50 g Pecans, chopped
Caramel Glaze (from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)
- 115 g Sugar
- 100 g Brown Sugar
- 227 g Butter, unsalted
- ½ tsp Salt
- ½ c Corn Syrup
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
The evening before the bake, the caramel glaze is made by combining the sugar, brown sugar, butter and salt, all at room temperature, in the bowl of a stand mixer. The ingredients are then creamed together using the paddle attachment at speed 5 for 2 minutes. The corn syrup and vanilla extract are then slowly added and the creaming is continued until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 more minutes. The resulting mixture is then refrigerated overnight.
The next day, 2 teaspoons of the caramel glaze is placed in each alternate cup of two, 12-cup muffin tins. Using a thumb, the glaze is then tamped down until a uniform thickness of glaze coats the bottom of the cups. A pecan half is then placed at the center of the glaze as shown:
After the croissant dough has undergone its final turn and rest, it is rolled out into a 16″ x 16″ rectangle. The dough is then cut in half, yielding two, 16″ x 8″ pieces. One piece is set aside for the moment and the other is coated with a layer of cinnamon sugar, brown sugar and 25 g of the chopped pecans. A narrow border is left along one of the 16″ edges, as shown below:
The exposed border is then brushed with egg wash and the dough is tightly rolled, starting at the opposite side of the rectangle…:
… until a long cylinder is obtained:
The cylinder is then cut crosswise into 2¼” lengths and each piece is placed, cut side up, into a coated muffin tin cup (the dough piece will extend above the lip of the cup):
The second piece of dough which was previously set aside is treated in the same fashion. The two muffin tins are then placed in a proof box and the dough is allowed to proof at 76ºF for 1½ hours. The muffin tins are then each placed on a cookie sheet (to catch any caramel boil-over) and the cookie sheets are placed in a 375ºF oven for 20-25 minutes. The cookie sheets are then removed from the oven, the reason for using alternate muffin tin cups now becoming evident:
The muffin tins are finally inverted over a cooling rack, allowing the sticky caramel to drip over the top of each bun. The recipe yields 12 buns.
Addendum (1/4/09): Please note that the recipe for caramel glaze yields more glaze than is needed for a single batch of sticky buns. The remainder of the glaze can be refrigerated for later use.