Monday, December 26, 2005

Sticky Buns

Christmas mornings at my grandmother's house were a very regimented affair. We children had to wait until the adults got up before we could leave our bedroom. Then we were allowed to "open" our stockings. Next was breakfast and then, finally we could dive into Santa's bounty. Looking back now, I can understand that the adults got up much earlier than usual, allowed us into our stockings to mollify us long enough so that they could have breakfast and much needed coffee before getting down to the business of opening gifts.

Those long ago breakfasts were a real treat for me because it was the only time I got to indulge in sticky buns. There was an excellent bakery near my grandmother's house thanks to which I was able to sample "exotic" baked goods such as apple kuchen and sticky buns, a far cry from the Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies served in my parents' house. Once I began baking myself, I searched and searched for a recipe similar to the sticky buns at my grandmother's house. I finally found one that was even better in First magazine, the same source for the chicken pot pies I posted earlier.

The problem I have found with most recipes for sticky buns is that the "bun" part is just too heavy. The "bun" part of this recipe is buttery and light. The sticky part is just heavenly. Again, the taste and texture is superior to other recipes. I thought I used a 9-inch pan as called for in the recipe, but I must have grabbed one of my 8-inch ones by accident because they overflowed the pan. So please don't be put off by the picture. They taste wonderful. To me, they taste like Christmas.

Verdict: Yum! This one's a keeper.

Sticky Buns
(Source: First magazine, 3/9/92)
12 Tbs. butter
1 pkg. (2 3/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup milk
3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
3/4 + 1/3 cup light-brown sugar
2 Tbs. corn syrup 3/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Melt 6 Tbs. of the butter and let cool. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Stir in granulated sugar, salt, yolks, milk, 4 Tbs. of the cooled butter and 2 1/2 cups of the flour.
Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, working in enough of the remaining flour so that the dough is no longer sticky.
Put in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. To test, press dough with your finger tips. If an imprint remains, the dough has doubled.
Butter a 9" baking pan. In a saucepan, combine 6 Tbs. butter, 3/4 cup brown sugar and the corn syrup. Stir over low heat until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and strew 1/2 cup of the pecan halves on top.
Combine the 1/3 cup brown sugar with the cinnamon. Chop remaining 1/4 cup pecans.
Punch dough down. On a lightly floured work surface, shape into an approximately 18' x 9" rectangle. Brush with the remaining 2 Tbs. melted butter. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and cinnamon and the chopped pecans. Roll up dough starting with a long side.
Cut into 9 slices and put in the prepared pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 375F. Bake until browned and bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in the pan 5 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and let stand about 30 seconds before removing pan. Cool slightly before serving.
Compost: eggshells

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