Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sticky Buns

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.

Mise en place

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.

Sugar and butter

Starting the dough by creaming the butter and sugar together.

Creaming and sugaring time

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.

Ready for mixing

In goes the flour, buttermilk, whisked egg, and other ingredients.

Ready for kneading

Then, just bringing the dough together with the beater attachment.

Ready for shaping

Afterwards, kneading the dough with the dough hook. Ready to be shaped.

Boule ready to rise

Shape the dough into a boule and into an oiled bowl to rise.

Caramel in the making

While the dough rises, time to make the caramel. More butter and sugar is creamed together along with some vanilla.

Caramel mixture

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.

Cinnamon sugar

Some cinnamon sugar for the filling of the sticky buns.

Risen dough

The dough has risen and is ready to be rolled out.

Indentations in dough

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 is rolled out

The dough gets rolled out into a rough rectangle.

Cinnamon spread on the rolled out dough

Some melted butter is brushed on then the cinnamon sugar is sprinkled onto the dough.

Cinnamon sugar landscape

A close look at the cinnamon-sugar.

The dough is rolled up

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.

Caramel spread in the pan

The caramel mixture goes into the bottom of the baking dish.

Caramel in the pan

Another close up of the caramel mixture.

The sticky buns are cut from the master roll

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 cut roll

A close up of a cut roll.

Arranged sticky buns

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.

sticky buns in pan

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.

Finished sticky buns

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.

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