Two posts ago I had to bread out on you yet again when I made challah. Ahh, remember that? Soft and buttery. Yum. Now, I love bread as much, if not more, than the next person. But I have to admit that whenever I make challah dough I’m tempted to use it to make these sticky rolls instead. So here we go, people. The diets are going out the window! 🎉
Sticky rolls or caramel rolls? Sticky buns? Or maybe cinnamon buns? What do you call this wonderful bakery staple filled with pecans? Up here in Minnesota I’ve noticed most people go for caramel rolls. After all, you make some delicious caramel goo. Then when you have the kind smeared with cream cheese frosting the lines kind of blur. These are more likely called cinnamon buns here. I guess we never really use the term sticky bun. That always conjures in my mind something like a hot cross bun or some monkey bread. But I’ve definitely found that I’m in the minority with my use of caramel rolls. In a lot of places when I say caramel roll people say “You mean sticky rolls?” So Minnesota is just weird. 😀 Whatever you call these, you’ll be asking for seconds.
I have no problem kneading dough and putting some time and tlc into making sticky rolls. I find it relaxing. But these are sticky rolls for when you want things to go just a tad faster. The dough rises like a dream. And don’t forget that the challah is made with a generous amount of butter, eggs, and honey. You know what that’s going to do to the sticky rolls. It’s going to make them do a happy jig! 💃
These sticky rolls are soft, delicious, and definitely the perfect way to start the day. I don’t know about you, but there is something about the combination of coffee and a sticky roll that makes me as content as a cat with a bowl of cream.
Sticky rolls have got to be one of my favorite things to make (along with pie.) I just love making the dough and the whole darn process. I really feel like I’m creating something from nothing. Of course all baking and cooking involves that, but I guess those two just put me in my happy place. What are your favorites?
(From a pecan sticky roll recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff, Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois.)
- 1½ lbs (or a cantaloupe-sized portion) of challah dough
- For caramel topping:
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 30 pecan halves
- For filling:
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ cup chopped and toasted pecans
- For the caramel topping: Cream together the butter, salt, and brown sugar.
- Spread evenly on the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan. Scatter the pecans over this and set aside.
- Dust the refrigerated challah with flour and cut off your cantaloupe-sized piece. Dust with a little more flour and shape into a ball.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin. Careful not to add too much flour to the dough or it can dry out. Aim for a ⅛ inch thick rectangle.
- Make the filling by creaming together the butter, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
- Spread the butter mixture evenly all over the surface of the rolled-out dough. Scatter the pecan pieces over it.
- Starting with the long end, roll the dough up into a tight log. (If your dough seems too soft and hard to work with, chill for twenty minutes, then try again.
- Once you've formed the log, cut it into 8 equal pieces with a serrated knife.
- Place each piece on top of the butter/pecan mixture in your prepared pan, with swirl side facing up.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour if your using chilled dough or 40 minutes if it's fresh.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the buns for 40 minutes, or until golden brown and set in the center.
- While hot, run a knife around the edge to loosen the rolls from the pan. Invert the pan onto a serving dish and serve while warm.