Let me tell you about my latest obsession with these insanely delish Caramel Sticky Buns !!!!
Back in Germany, I swore by my healthy muesli and fruit breakfast but ever since I arrived in Canada, my breakfast habits have moved more towards the sweet and decadent stuff. I mean bacon, maple syrup and all kinds of yeasted buns! One of my all time favourites are undoubtedly these incredibly soft, rich and pillowy Caramel Sticky Buns! Generously filled with brown sugar and cinnamon and topped with ooey gooey caramel sauce and toasted pecans! When it comes so sweet breakfast treats it doesn’t get any better than this!
This recipe, which I adapted from Kenji López Alt`s Food Lab recipe guarantees you tender and soft buns topped with the most glorious caramel. The Caramel Sticky Buns are made with what is called an enriched dough, meaning that in addition to the flour, water, yeast – mix found in most doughs, you’ve also got a decent amount of fat by adding eggs and butter! Because of these additions, enriched doughs are way more delicate than lean doughs, with a soft and pillowy texture and smaller air bubbles. Of course, fats also adds a golden colour and a buttery flavour to doughs.
I prefer to prepare the Caramel Sticky Buns a day ahead and let them rise overnight in the fridge so all I have to do is pop them in the oven in the morning. To do so, just place the buns in the refrigerator immediately after covering them in step 6 and allow to rise for at least 6 hours, and up to 12. The next day, remove the buns from the fridge while the oven preheats, then proceed as directed. Easy-peasy!
The recipe yields 12 buns, which is a lot! Caramel Sticky Buns are pretty filling after all. Even though they taste best fresh out of the oven, you can also store them for a few days and simply pop them into the microwave for a few seconds to make them taste fresh from the oven.
Also, have you ever tried to use up stale cinnamon buns for making French Toast? Don´t even get me started!! Well, the same thing works with leftover Caramel Sticky Buns! All you do is cut off the very top and bottom of the bun, then half the bun and you end up with 2 slices of cinnamon-swirl bread that you can use for making French Toast.
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World´s Best Sticky Buns
- Makes 12 sticky buns
- For the Dough
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 tsp kosher or 1 teaspoon table salt
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- 20 ounces all-purpose flour 4 cups, plus more for dusting
- For the Pecan-Caramel Sauce
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- ⅔ cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tbsp buttermilk
- 1 cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- For the Filling
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1-2 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 2-3 tbsp unsalted butter melted
Make the dough: Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until homogeneous. Add the brown sugar, buttermilk, salt, yeast, and melted butter and whisk until homogeneous (the mixture may clump up a bit). Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until a cohesive ball of dough forms.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, or until completely homogeneous, smooth, and silky. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise at room temperature until roughly doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Make the pecan-caramel sauce: Cook the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add the buttermilk, pecans, and salt and stir to combine, then pour the mixture evenly over the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch glass baking dish.
Make the filling: Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
Roll out the dough: Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and lightly flour it. Shape into a rough rectangle with your hands and then, using a rolling pin, roll into a rectangle about 16 inches long and 12 inches wide, with a short end toward you. Brush with the melted butter, leaving a 1-inch border along the top edge. Sprinkle with the cinnamon and sugar mixture and spread it with your hands until the buttered portion is evenly coated. Roll the dough up jelly-roll-style into a tight cylinder, using a bench scraper as necessary to assist you. Pinch the seam shut and turn the dough so that it's seam side down. Use your hands to even out its shape.
Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 12 even slices: The easiest way to do this is to cut it in half, cut each half in half, and then cut each section into thirds. Nestle the 12 rolls with the swirl pattern facing up in the prepared baking dish, making sure the slices from the ends of the log go cut side down. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise until roughly doubled in volume, about 2 hours (for overnight instructions, see Note above). The rolls should be well puffed and pressed tightly against each other.
While the dough is rising, adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake until the buns are golden brown and well puffed, about 30 minutes, rotating the dish once. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, then invert the buns onto a serving platter; scrape out any excess goo from the pan and spoon over the buns.
Make the (optional) glaze: Combine the cream cheese, buttermilk, confectioners' sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until simmering and homogeneous. Spoon half the glaze over the sticky buns, reserving the rest in a bowl to pass tableside. Serve immediately.