I grew up on sticky buns. My mother would make them for breakfast for special occasions. We would often have them on Christmas morning and other times throughout the year.
Sticky buns are essentially the same thing as cinnamon rolls, but rather than coating them with icing, they have a caramel topping.
This recipe is again out of the The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart. The bread dough here is actually quite similar to the dough from the King Cake, only with less lemon and no nutmeg.
Here’s the mise en place. I’ve chosen to go with good quality butter (Plugra) here since it’ll be used not only in the dough, but the caramel topping. Since the caramel’s flavor comes pretty heavily from the butter, the best butter is going to give it the best taste.
Starting the dough by creaming the butter and sugar together.
The creamed butter-sugar mixture. A good base for enriched dough and cookies.
Just a single pristine egg, whisked up before going into the dough.
In goes the flour, buttermilk, whisked egg, and other ingredients.
Then, just bringing the dough together with the beater attachment.
Afterwards, kneading the dough with the dough hook. Ready to be shaped.
Shape the dough into a boule and into an oiled bowl to rise.
While the dough rises, time to make the caramel. More butter and sugar is creamed together along with some vanilla.
The caramel mixture. It doesn’t look much like caramel, because it hasn’t been cooked. It will be cooked and turn to caramel when the sticky buns cook.
Some cinnamon sugar for the filling of the sticky buns.
The dough has risen and is ready to be rolled out.
One way to tell if the dough is ready is to press your finger into the dough and if indentation stays, then it’s probably ready. If the dough rebounds then it definitely needs more time to rise.
The dough gets rolled out into a rough rectangle.
Some melted butter is brushed on then the cinnamon sugar is sprinkled onto the dough.
A close look at the cinnamon-sugar.
The dough gets carefully rolled up along the long edge. The dough stretches a little bit when you do this as you can see since I ran out of space on my board.
The caramel mixture goes into the bottom of the baking dish.
Another close up of the caramel mixture.
The rolls get cut out. You can use a really sharp bread knife, or use some thread and wrap it around the roll and pull and it will make a nice clean cut for you.
A close up of a cut roll.
The rolls get placed into the baking dish. They then set to rise until they double or push into each other, mostly filling the dish.
A close up of the rolls in the dish.
Here’s the sticky buns mid-way through the baking cycle. You can see how they’ve risen and are touching each other and nearly filing the baking dish.
Once they are out of the oven, they cool for a little while before being flipped out. The bottom side of the baking dish where the caramel mixture was becomes the top of the finished sticky bun.
One of the good things about them, is there is something for everyone here. For those that like a little crust on their sticky bun, the outer edges and corners are for them. The interior sticky buns are softer and were always my favorite growing up.