When I first read Nancy Silverton’s Sticky Bun recipe, this week’s baking assignment from Tuesdays with Dorrie, it was the middle of a busy work week and I was skeptical. Were these sticky, calorie-laden guys going to be worth the two days and one-plus pound of butter it would take to make them? I decided to set down the recipe and come back to it on my day off, and boy am I glad I did. These buns are hot-out-of-the-oven proof that good things take time, patience….oh, and butter.
The recipe is actually two recipes in one (for complete details, go to one of this week’s hosts: Cookies on Friday and Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat). First, there’s the dough. This was my first time making a brioche dough and I was delighted how tasty and tender it turned out. I found making the dough quite easy — as long as you have a standing mixer and a little patience.
The second part of the recipe is the filling and forming of the buns…and here is where the butter gets a little crazy. I should say up front that I love butter. While I use olive oil for most of my cooking (and even some of my baking) I think there is an important time and place for butter. These sticky buns are absolutely that time and place. That being said, even I was a little alarmed when I was dotting the dough with 1 1/2 sticks of butter (this, after 1 1/2 sticks had already been incorporated into the dough). BUT who am I to argue with baking legend Nancy Silverton. So I took a deep, buttery, breath and continued dotting.
After the dough was enriched with additional butter and rested in the fridge for 30 minutes, I filled it will cinnamon sugar and pecans. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to work with this dough — it was supple and tender and rolled out beautifully. After freezing the logs, slicing the individual buns and nestling them in MORE butter and sugar, I covered with a towel and let them rise a final time. And here is where the magic happened. What was supposed to be a 2 hour rise turned into a 4 hour rise on my counter thanks to some errands that took longer to run that I thought. And boy am I glad they did! When I finally went to put the buns in the oven, they had plumped up and risen all the way to the edge of the pan……and when they came out of the oven and I popped them out of the pan they were amazingly light and fluffy thanks to that long rise. And when I finally bit into one, I immediately forgot the two long days of laboring involved. They were the most flaky and tender rolls I’ve ever tasted….and with that extra punch of cinnamon I added there were full of spicy goodness.
I may need to hang this picture in my office. These are truly the most beautiful baked-good I’ve ever made….and possibly the tastiest. While I may not make these buttery little devils very often, at least I know now that they are worth every dot of butter and every minute spent waiting for them to rise. I think they next time these will make an appearance is on Christmas….perhaps with a little orange zest and nutmeg in the mix….