Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sticky Buns

I have always wanted to eat and make Sticky Buns. While growing up, the closest thing to Sticky Buns that I've had were Cinnamon Rolls from Cinnabon. YUM!! But, I always wondered what a Sticky Bun would taste like. Would it be too sweet? Would it be cinnamon-y? Would it be soft and fluffy? Would it taste like a regular old Cinnamon Roll? The more I type this, the more I wonder. Finally, I decided to make Sticky Buns. As I began my search for a recipe, I was trying to find the best one. Then it hit me! I remembered watching a Sticky Bun episode on "Throwdown with Bobby Flay". Joanne Chang supposedly has the best Sticky Buns in the country. That's a pretty big title to uphold. Since it's the best, I might as well try it, right? However, there has been different recipes that were posted of Joanne Chang's Sticky Buns so I had to choose which one. I just decided to use the Food Network recipe because that was the first place where I first saw Joanne Chang's Sticky Buns.

So, I got to work. I was shocked to find out that this recipe uses more than a pound of butter!! If it uses this much butter it better be good. Because of this, I decided to halve the recipe for the dough since the dough is a "double batch". This recipe definitely is time consuming, labor intensive and requires a ton of patience. The dough takes up most of the time whereas the "goo" and the Sticky Bun filling only took mere minutes to prepare. When making the dough, I practically did it all by hand. Talk about muscle power! I did it by hand because the dough burned out the motor in my mixer!! :'( I think my mixer is broken now..... After that ordeal, I put the dough in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, I started on the "goo". Super easy to do. Put everything in a pot and let it do its thing. When that was finished, I poured it into two 9-inch cake pans instead of the 9 x 13 baking pan. While that was cooling, I rolled out the dough, spread the filling, rolled it into a log and cut Sticky Buns out of it. I placed the Sticky Buns into the cake pans and let them proof. Then I baked them until golden brown.

When they came out of the oven they looked delicious and they made the house smell great!! I couldn't wait but I knew I had to. I find that when you make something like this, you have to let it cool, almost completely, or else the center has a "doughy" quality to it. It isn't until it cools that the center loses the "doughy" quality. I was patient and waited. When I took out the first Sticky Bun covered in the "goo", my jaw dropped! They looked decadent so I had to try it. The brioche was light and fluffy, the "goo" was sweet with the flavor of butterscotch and a floral note from the honey and the pecans gave a nice crunch and nutty-ness. YUM!! If you have a sweet tooth, this is for you! So, after 20 hrs of creating them, sore arms and a broken mixer. These were worth it. Well, let me take that back. It was worth it except for the BROKEN MIXER part!! Now I have to go and buy a new one!! :( Darn Sticky Buns!!! Here's the recipe!

Sticky Buns
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks; 170 grams, 6 ounces) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups (345 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (110 grams) honey
1/3 cup (80 grams) heavy cream
1/3 cup (80 grams) water
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Basic Brioche Dough (recipe follows)

1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (100 grams) pecan halves, toasted and chopped

First, make the goo. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, to combine (it may look separated, that's ok). Remove from the heat and whisk in the honey, cream, water, and salt. Strain to remove any undissolved lumps of brown sugar. Let cool for about 30 minutes, or until cooled to room temperature. You should have about 3 cups. (The mixture can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

Divide the dough in half. Use half for this recipe and reserve the other half for another use.

On a floured work surface, roll out the brioche into rectangle about 12 by 16 inches and 1/4-inch thick. It will have the consistency of cold, damp Play-Doh and should be fairly easy to roll. Position the rectangle so a short side is facing you.

In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and half of the pecans. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the entire surface of the dough. Starting from the short side farthest from you and working your way down, roll up the rectangle like a jelly roll. Try to roll tightly, so you have a nice round spiral. Trim off about 1/4- inch from each end of the roll to make them even.

Use a bench scraper or a chef's knife to cut the roll into 8 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2-inches wide. (At this point, the unbaked buns can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 1 week. When ready to bake, thaw them, still wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, then proceed as directed.)

Pour the goo into a 9 by 13-inch baking dish, covering the bottom evenly. Sprinkle the remaining pecans evenly over the surface. Arrange the buns, evenly spaced, in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm spot to proof until the dough is puffy, pillowy, and soft and the buns are touching-almost tripled in size, about 2 hours.

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 350 degrees F.

Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool in the dish on a wire rack for 20 to 30 minutes. One at a time, invert the buns onto a serving platter, and spoon any extra goo and pecans from the bottom of the dish over the top.

The buns are best served warm or within 4 hours of baking. They can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day, and then warmed in a 325 degree F oven for 10 to 12 minutes before serving.

Brioche Dough
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
2 1/4 cups (340 grams) bread flour
1 1/2 packages (3 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast or 1-ounce (28 grams) fresh cake yeast

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (82 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup cold water
6 eggs
1 3/8 cups (2 3/4 sticks; 310 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 to 12 pieces

Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and 5 of the eggs. Beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the ingredients are combined. Stop the mixer, as needed, to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for another 3 to 4 minutes. The dough will be very stiff and seem quite dry.

With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough. Continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It is important for all the butter to be thoroughly mixed into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer occasionally and break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.

Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn up the speed to medium and beat until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny, another 15 minutes. It will take some time to come together. It will look shaggy and questionable at the start and then eventually it will turn smooth and silky. Turn the speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute. You should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Test the dough by pulling at it; it should stretch a bit and have a little give. If it seems wet and loose and more like a batter than a dough, add a few tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together. If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it develops more strength and stretches when you grab it. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in 1 piece.

Put the dough in a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Let the dough proof (that is, grow and develop flavor) in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to overnight At this point you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Philadelphia Sticky Buns on Foodista
-Aaron John
My Food Outings: AJ's Food Adventure
Facebook Fan Page


  1. Those are always so hard to make. Yours turned out great!

    Somehow I missed that episode of throwdown. Now I have to find it.

  2. Thanks!! The only hard part was the dough. I mean, you really just need to follow the steps correctly. Other than that, it was simple.
    And yes!! watch the episode!! I loved it. In fact, I love any episode from the show.

  3. Loved that episode on throwdown! :D Yours looks good too :)

  4. These do look great! I've never been able to make proper sticky buns at home but I'll have to give it another go with this. Like the overall blog as well! Specific recipe keeping, great photos, clear voice, and simple yet thorough ingredient listing makes the posts easy and fun to read and follow for even a novice! Nice :)

    -Pastry Ninja

  5. Mmmm those sticky buns look like perfection! I can almost taste the sweetness now... :) And I am impressed you used brioche dough! Nice work!

    Thanks for visiting my site! :)

  6. These sticky buns look yum! I've never tried these before but anything with brioche sounds good! These are somewhat similar to what we call chelsea buns here in NZ. Chelsea buns use normal dough though and are filled with raisins and cinnamon instead, with a buttercream/icing sugar glaze.

  7. These look fantastic!! Your blog is pretty awesome :)

  8. Michelle: Thanks!

    Pastry Ninja: Thank you!! I try to find and make recipes that have ingredients that mostly everyone has on hand so they can whip them up anytime.

    The Cilantropist: Thanks a bunch!! These were so buttery and delicious! :)

    Le: We have what you call "chelsea buns". We call them cinnamon rolls. I'm going to make those sometime for my blog. But it's basically the same thing as what you describe as a "chelsea bun". It's a basic dough filled with cinnamon and sugar, rolled like the sticky buns, cut and baked. Then it's frosted with a cream cheese frosting. Really good too!

    Hello :) : Thanks!! I started following your blog :)

  9. i love anything that's sticky and gooey! yours look more than fantastic since you did it by hand! :D

    ps: get a kitchenaid!!

  10. Anything hand made is always good!! Especially the sweet and gooey baked goods!! haha
    And yes!! I need a kitchen aid!! My mixer that broke was a hand mixer.... XD Kitchen Aids are sooooo expensive though. I guess I know what I'm going to wish for, for my birthday that's coming up. lol

  11. I can never resist these and it looks like you've done a great job, even without the Kitchenaid. (It definitely makes life easier...I sometimes wonder what I did before it! I'll agree it was a splurge though; I was lucky enough to receive mine as a wedding gift.)

  12. Aaron, nice blog! Thanks for checking mine out as well. I am now a follower of your blog and I hope you will follow mine I like the pictures you have up, they actually made me hungry and feel like baking even though I'm not much of a baker. Keep up the good work!

  13. When I read that this bread has loads of butter, I know it has to be good. Then when I scrolled down and saw that it is a brioche bread, I understood why. Brioche is one of the most yummy bread one can get - reminds me, I am still trying to experiment with Empanadas. These brioches topped with cheese and cream are really popular in the Phillippines.

  14. baking.serendipity: Thank you!! I really want a Kitchen Aid. It's time to stop shopping for clothes and saving up for one now. haha

    Andrew: Thanks! I just followed your blog! Thanks for following mine! :D

    Shirley@ Kokken69: Oh!! I know what you're talking about!! Ensaymada right? My family always get that from the Red Ribbon Bake Shops every time we visit family in California. It's such a filipino thing to eat those. I might make those with this brioche.

  15. Those look delicious! Perfect swirls! :)

  16. Hey Aj...u do have an awesome blog and the pics are brilliant super impressed with ur an amateur and a lazy one at that :)

  17. Thank you!! Your cooking looks great too!! :)

  18. hey aj, thanks for dropping by my blog
    These look absolutely delicious! I saw Joan Chang's throwdown with Bobby Flay and I have this recipe in my "must do" list :)
    so bad about you KA mixer though, I know stand mixers are horribly expensive but they are very strong and worth every penny. Moreover, they would probably last a lifetime :)

  19. Hi, thanks for stopping by at my blog and left a comment. You have an awesome blog and I love all the beutiful pictures that you took. May I know what camera you used?

  20. beautiful pictures...and delicious looking sticky buns...I'm jealous. I have not the time or patience to make them...perhaps when all the kids are back in school again.

  21. Nicole: Def. try this recipe!! It's soooo good! I really need to get me a stand mixer!! It's a must now!!

    ICook4Fun: Thanks!! I get this question a lot and I'm kind of shocked about the compliments about the pictures. I just use a good ol' point and shoot sony cybershot. I'm glad that my pictures come out decent enough without the use of those fancy expensive cameras. I know a lot of people use the fancy nikon ones but I just don't have that kind of money to buy a $1000 camera.

    Joanne: Thank you! These are time consuming but for a special occasion, why not? haha

  22. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I don't see the cheesecake, but I guess it is coming up on the 19th.

    These sticky buns look AMAZING! I love making and eating brioche. I'm bookmarking this recipe.

  23. WOW! These look great! I would LOVE to wake up to these for breakfast!

    Nice blog, love how you list what you will be making next!

  24. Memoria: Yeah, I got bored today so I made the cheesecake. I will be posting it in the next couple of days. Thanks for the compliment. The recipe is def. worth the ingredients if you have a sweet tooth! :)

    Mackenzie: Thank you!! I ate these for breakfast 3 days straight (and snacked on these the entire day XD) and gave some away to friends! Super tasty!!

  25. These look great! Well done!

  26. AJ - I followed your link from my blog and wanted to say that your blog is great. I love all the creations! Sticky buns are delicious - I've never made them either, only regular cinnamon rolls. I'm adding this one to the list of recipes to try.

  27. Hi AJ! Just discovered your blog and am lovin it so far :-)

    These sticky buns look sooooo good and sticky I want to dig in with a big ol glass of milk. Yum!

  28. Peggy: Thank you!! :)

    Jen: Thanks for stopping by!

    Lovely Lacey: Thanks!! Glass of milk is a must!! haha

  29. Oh no! Sorry to hear about the broken mixer. These rolls look AMAZING though. I've been looking for a good sticky-roll recipe, so might just have to try this one.

  30. This one is def. my go-to recipe if I make sticky buns again!!

  31. Nice blog! I just moved to Seattle and just started blogging and recently joined gonna add you as a friend :)

  32. Maria: Thank you!! I'll be sure to check out your blog! :)

  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

  34. Your site looks great I bake about 4 brioches a week, two becomes cinnamon buns, one a loaf of bread (not the beautiful flower mold) generally the last one becomes a tart or a pocket pastry.

    If you have time cheek out my blog on cinnamon rolls.

    Thank You,

  35. These look sinful, just what I need for my hips :-)

  36. I made these and they were absolutely delicious! thank you so much :) I'm sooo glad I found your website on pinterest; it is filled with wonderful recipes. Thanks again!


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


Related Posts with Thumbnails