This is a recipe that the very pregnant Atlas found in a magazine my mother picked up called Donna Hay (it’s Australian. Hello, Australians!). I figured I would master the basic sticky buns so that later she and I could do the more complicated, fancy variations (so stay tuned for that). We’ve already made one version of lovely cinnamon buns on Ali Does It, but I’m not above trying new recipes to see which ones I like the best. So here goes!
Let’s start with the dough.
Take a small bowl and 2/3 cup milk and heat up the milk until it’s lukewarm. Add to that 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast and give it a wee stir.
Set that someplace warm for 5 minutes, until the yeast starts to bubble and foam up.
Lightly beat up 2 eggs. Just bruise them a little. Rough ’em up but no broken bones.
And melt 125g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (I used salted butter and left out the 1/4 teaspoon sea salt I was supposed to add).
Plop 3 cups flour and 1/4 cup sugar into the bowl of your electric mixer.
Add in the yeast mixture, the butter, and the eggs and mix on low for 1 minute until everything is combined. You are supposed to use the dough hook attachment but I couldn’t find it so I went with ol’ reliable the paddle here.
After a minute, turn the mixer to high and beat for another 5-8 minutes, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Scoop the dough out into a clean, lightly greased bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel, and set it somewhere warm to rise for an hour.
Now the tops of these puppies are going to be covered in a sticky gooey maple glaze, which is actually going to go in the bottom of the pan and then when it’s all ready you’re going to flip it upside down.
For the glaze, take a small saucepan and dump in 1/3 cup maple syrup, 1/3 cup brown sugar, and 75g unsalted butter (or salted, if you’re daring like me — it’s roughly 1/3 cup for you imperials).
Cook, stirring, over low heat until everything is melted and dissolved. Raise the heat to medium and bring your sugar mix to a boil. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until smooth.
Pour the glaze into the bottom of a lightly greased 20cm x 30cm baking pan (~9″ x 13″) and set aside. Isn’t this pan nice? It’s like the one in the magazine, and I said to my dad, “hey, if you were thinking of a Christmas present for me, this would be nice,” and he said, “we did. It’s upstairs.” TADA. Early Christmas present.
Once the spatula cooled off enough not to burn my face, I ate the toffee off it. It was lovely.
Now we’re going to make a cinnamon butter to spread inside the rolls. In the bowl of your electric mixer, dump 100g softened unsalted butter (I used salted, and eyeballed it to be somewhere between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup — this isn’t an exact science), 1/2 cup brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon.
Whip those silly for about 5 minutes, until all pale and fluffy and heavenly. Set that aside.
Now take your dough, which should have doubled in size, and slap it between two sheets of parchment or waxed paper. Roll it out into a rectangle that is about 60cm x 25cm (2 feet by a little less than 1 foot).
Spread your cinnamon butter all over the rectangle, leaving a 1cm border all around.
Sprinkle that with 1 cup toasted pecans (I had no pecans, so used raisins instead. I like raisins).
Take your dough by the long side and roll it up tightly into a happy tube.
Trim the edges of the bun so everything is even and cut it into 12 equal disks.
Place the pieces cut side up in the maple glazed baking tin, cover with another damp tea towel, and leave somewhere warm to rise for another 45-60 minutes or until they’re doubled again.
I took advantage of a cold day to sit them in front of the fire. This is the proofing stage.
Here they are all puffed up.
Preheat your oven to 350°F and place your baking tin on a baking sheet (to prevent burning sugar spillovers). Bake for 20 minutes, cover with aluminum foil, then bake for another 15-20 minutes, until all golden and lovely and fully cooked.
I erred on the side of caution and resisted the urge to continue to bake mine after 35 minutes. The dough around the sides was soft and pale and I wasn’t sure it was cooked but it totally was and made a nice moist bun.
Let those stand in the pan for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool (you might want to line your rack with some parchment to catch drips). I think I may have cooked my maple glaze a bit long because it hardened quite a bit. It was still super good, but not as sticky as I thought it should have been.
Final step: EAT THEM.