For the most part, I find it totally annoying when baking requires tons of time to pass before anything can be consumed. You all know what I'm talking about... doughs that need to rise for several hours, crusts that need to chill before being rolled out... even waiting for Jello to set is too much for me sometimes.
And that doesn't even include the time it takes to bake and cool!
You'll never hear that the wait isn't worthwhile from me, but I do appreciate when recipes can be made ahead of time... especially it if takes some time to make them. That's one of the reasons that I loved making these sticky buns.
Preparing the dough for this recipe was easy, and while it was rising, I got to work buttering the loaf pans, mixing the topping ingredients together, and pouring the topping in the pans. That way, when the dough had risen, it only took a few minutes to roll it out, slather the whole shebang with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, roll it up again, and cut into pieces. Within 10 minutes of rolling I had 2 loaf pans stuffed with sticky buns waiting to be baked!
I immediately put one pan in the freezer, and brought out to bake a few days later to enjoy with friends. The frozen sticky buns only needed about 30 minutes on the counter before baking. The other was quickly popped into the hot oven and I was licking sticky topping off of my fingers 40 minutes later.
The buns bake up so light and fluffy, and pull apart easily, revealing the delicious brown sugar-cinammon combo in the middle. And the topping is crazy-good - sticky, sweet and full of crunchy pecans.
This recipe was tucked deep inside my mother's old recipe binder that now belongs to my youngest sister. I can still remember my mom pulling that blue binder out from the top cupboard and flipping through years' worth of handwritten recipes that were tried-and-true. Whenever we saw that binder, we knew that something delicious was in store for us! Oddly enough, I don't ever remember my mom making these, but the recipe certainly didn't let me down.
I think that these would be a fabulous addition to a Christmas breakfast... especially because all the work would be done beforehand!
Make-Ahead Sticky Buns
3 ½ - 4 cups bread flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. salt
14 grams yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/3 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup corn syrup
1 cup pecan halves
2 tbsps. butter, melted
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 ½ tsps. cinnamon
1. For dough, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add milk, butter and egg. Using a stand mixer, beat for one minute with the paddle attachment.
2. Switch to the dough hook, and while on low speed, stir in enough of remaining flour to make a soft dough.
3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
4. For topping, bring brown sugar and butter to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup.
5. Pour into 2 buttered loaf pans or a large casserole dish and sprinkle pecan halves on top.
6. Punch down dough and roll out into 15” x 10” rectangle. Spread with butter and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon.
7. Starting at the long side, roll up tightly, pinching the seam to seal. Cut into 16 pieces and place in pans (or 15 pieces for large casserole dish). The buns can be baked immediately or covered tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerated 12 – 48 hours or frozen for up to 1 week.
8. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden. Let stand 3 minutes in pan, then invert onto serving platter.