Pecan and Raisin Sticky Buns

A childhood friend’s mom used to make sticky buns and every so often he was kind enough to share the gooey caramel centre with me. Ever since then, I’ve tried to figure out how she made those buns taste so good. But, the search will continue because this recipe didn’t make the cut.

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I adapted the recipe from a vegan one by Minimalist Baker, opting to use regular butter and milk, which could have altered the recipe’s chemistry. Yet, the original instructions weren’t clear on how to prepare the glaze. My sticky buns tasted fine, but the glaze turned grainy as the sugar had crystallised. Moreover, I got side-tracked by working on the computer (story of my life) and forgot to invert the buns after baking while they were still warm, so the glaze didn’t “glaze” the buns, but rather solidified on the bottom of the dish. I’m hoping to try to make sticky buns again in the future, but will likely try a different recipe.

P.S. I’m still sick, so maybe I just messed up the recipe in my feverish delirium…

Ingredients:

Dough:
1 cup milk
3 tbsp. butter
2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
2.5 cups flour

Filling:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar (I just sprinkled some, and I really should have used the full amount)
1/2 tbsp. cinnamon

Sticky Glaze:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
handful chopped pecans
small handful of raisins

Instructions:

Prepare an 8×8 dish by lining with parchment paper.

In a saucepan, heat the milk and 3 tbsp. butter until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from the heat and let cool to 110F, or the temperature of bath water [took about 10 min.].

Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and sprinkle on the yeast. Let activate for 10 minutes, then add 1 tbsp. of sugar and 1/4 tsp. of salt, then stir.

Next, add in the flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. Transfer to a floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball. Rinse out your mixing bowl and coat it with vegetable oil, and add your dough ball back in, rolling to coat it. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until it’s doubled in size, about 2 hours.

While the dough is rising, prepare the glaze. I melted the butter and brown sugar in a sauce pan and poured it over the chopped pecans and raisins in the bottom of the dish [maybe I should have just melted the butter and quickly added the sugar…?].

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. Brush with 1/4 cup melted butter and top with the sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up the dough tightly and situate seam side down. With a serrated knife cut the dough into 1.5 inch pieces (I opted for more, smaller buns). Position the rolls in the dish with the glaze on the bottom. Cover with plastic wrap and set on top of the oven to let it rise again briefly while you preheat the oven to 350F (176C).

Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully invert [I forgot to do this – facepalm].

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The original recipe says to serve immediately, so maybe they would have been gooey while still warm, but I want day-old cold gooey caramel! The search continues…

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