I’m not sure what prompted me to make the Pecan Sticky Buns as one of my first “make-up” recipes as I work on catching up with the Tuesdays With Dorie group.Was it the lure of a tempting morning pastry? The challenge of making a bread so different from any other that I’ve baked? The large amounts of butter involved? It could be any of those reasons. Ok, it was the butter. The thing that seemed to put many of the TWD bakers on edge was the very thing that said to me: 2-1/2 sticks of butter in a half-batch? Sign me up! When can I have ‘em?
Yes, there is a lot of butter. Yes, it takes many hours of
labor waiting plus multiple (grueling) rises PLUS a whole lot of rolling out of dough, but right now I’m wishing I had some sliced ready-to-go buns in the freezer so I could set one out to rise for breakfast in the morning (or maybe dessert tonight…).
Other than fearing for the life of my beloved KitchenAid, the dough really is pretty easy to work with. You just need to keep an eye on it and pull it off the dough-hook every once in a while. And was I the only one to scoff at the concept of the flour on top of the sponge “cracking”? I sincerely doubted it would happen, but never doubt Julia (or Dorie)!
After allowing the dough to rise twice it is finally ready for another recipe. What? Yes, that was all just the very beginning, but this is where it starts to get good and buttery. Dough is rolled out into a rectangle, butter is strewn about and mercilessly shmeared into the dough. A nice, cool countertop (or marble slab) will come in really handy here. Unless you want your enriched dough to start oozing all over the place. This is also where I confess my love for this dough. Smooth, supple, luscious. I would make a dress out of this dough if it wouldn’t puff up around me throughout the day. That’s probably neither flattering nor appetizing… Anywho. Just know that this dough is tough stuff. Roll, shmear, fold, fold, chill and roll again. It takes all that abuse like a champ.
There are a few changes I’ll make the next time I bake these:
– The filling is cinnamon-sugar and chopped pecans. I’d make the filling a cinnamon-sugar compound butter (for lack of a better term). Just mash the cinnamon and sugar into the butter while it’s soft and spread it across the dough. At that point I’d top with pecans and roll into logs.
– Since I’m adding butter to the filling, I’d only butter the sides and bottom of the pan. I did not get anything near a caramel glaze (and you’ll see I over-baked my rolls so if that didn’t do it…). I did get a nice pool of butter which, after a few minutes of resting, soaked into the rolls.