Tuesday, May 15, 2012

TWD -- Pecan Sticky Buns

In short, the Pecan Sticky Buns for our latest Tuesdays with Dorie assignment were good, but not worth the 12-hour effort and the pound of butter it took to make them. After reading through the recipe, I decided at the outset to make only one pan of buns and to turn the other half of the dough into a loaf of brioche. I have always wanted to make brioche, so I'm glad I had this experience, but I doubt if I will repeat it.

I made the mistake of not making the brioche dough the night before baking the buns, so I had to accomplish the task in a day. I started at 9 a.m. and finished at 9 p.m. And, I skipped one step in the lamination process, to save both time and butter.

My KitchenAid was up to the task of mixing the dough for 15 minutes. I did find I had to add a bit more flour, but hestitated adding too much for fear I would throw off the proportions of flour and butter. I was sorely tempted, however, but glad I didn't cave in, for my dough was easy enough to roll after the 4-hour refrigeration. The extra flour would not have been needed.

After letting the dough rise twice (once at room temperature and once in the fridge) I was ready to laminate half of it. The other half was shaped into a bread pan as described in "Baking with Julia" by forming the dough into three balls and placing them side by side in a 9 by 5 bread pan. I let that dough rise at room temperature. The laminated dough went back in the refrigerator for half an hour.

After the 30-minute cold rest, it was ready to roll for the sticky buns. I liked the method of painting the dough with the egg wash. Although I have made sweet rolls all  my adult life, I had never used egg wash using a whole egg. My previous experiences were to either use butter, water or egg white. I used a ground pecan mixture for my nuts, a product I buy in bulk from a Mennonite store in Ohio. I was doubtful if there was enough cinnamon/sugar mixture, but after tasting the buns, I found it to be just right.

After rolling up the dough and slicing it (using the dental floss method by wrapping a length of floss around the dough, then criss-crossing the ends to get a perfect cut, I found I needed to make eight rolls, not seven. If I had cut seven rolls they would have been too tall, especially after the two-hour rise. I found two hours to actually be too much and wished I had let them rise a shorter time period. My rolls were, perhaps, overrisen as they were immense after coming out of the oven.

I first baked the brioche bread, which turned out lovely, then baked the rolls. I put the rolls in a carrying case, then drove them 10 miles north to the bakery where I volunteer. I thought, "Who better to judge the quality of these rolls but my baking companions?" Their verdict? Good, but perhaps not worth all the time and expense. A simpler sweet dough might have been just as tasty with far less time and butter involved. There was one roll left, which I brought home to my husband. He gave it a big thumbs up, even though he is not a sweets lover. He thought the brioche dough resulted in a much more tender and tasty sweet roll than a normal sweet dough would have made. So, perhaps, I will make these again.


  1. I wish I had made a "plain brioche" and not 2x buns!
    I've cheated on the butter and luckily the brioche turned out fine (it needs more salt and sugar, though). I did not like the sticky topping, but will remake the modified brioche. With this recipe we surely gained experience (and probably weight!)

  2. I have one of the brioche logs in the freezer. I haven't decided yet what I'll do with it. We loved these sticky buns! Yours look delicious.

  3. I thought this was a nice dough, but will probably revert to my normal enriched dough for future projects.
    Your bread & rolls both look like they came out beautifully.

  4. I've never used the dental floss method. Interesting. Looks like it turned our well!

  5. Your bread and rolls look wonderfully delicious! I forgot about the dental floss method…Thanks for the reminder!