This morning was an early morning in our house. For some reason, my son decided that he was up and ready to face the day, not long after the sun had come up. We snuggled in bed, reading books, for as long as he would sit still. But, eventually, I had to drag myself out of bed and face the day.
I decided to make a batch of sticky buns, or caramel pecan rolls as they are technically called. Now, please don't get the wrong impression here - I love to bake, but, I do not bake, especially things that require kneading and rising, this early in the morning. It just won't happen in my house. Let me get up and have my coffee first, then, maybe. Maybe. But, due to my early riser, I had felt like half the morning had gone by before I saw 8:30. So, I figured I would make the most of it.
This particular recipe is an adaption from an family recipe, and it's actually quite easy. It's just a little time consuming with the rising. It's the perfect thing to mix, knead and prep when you wake up, but the rising in between, and then baking time, gives you plenty of time to hop in the shower and get ready.
Caramel Pecan Rolls
Makes 14 medium rolls.
- Dough -
3 1/4 cups of flour, spooned and leveled
1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp, or 1 packet, of active dry yeast
1 cup of water
2 tbsp butter
- Filling -
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
2 tsp cinnamon
- Topping -
1/2 cup of butter
1 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, whole or chopped
In a small bowl, stir together topping ingredients, except the pecans. Spread in an ungreased 9" x 13" pan, or 2 - 8" pie plates. Sprinkle desired pecans on top. Set aside.
In the bowl of your mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine dry dough ingredients, reserving 2 cups of the flour. In a small saucepan, heat up water and butter until melted, but not simmering. Pour into dry ingredients. Add egg and mix on low until combined. Once incorporated, stir in flour. Fit with dough hook and continue mixing, but on medium, for another 2 to 3 minutes. While the dough is kneading, mix the filling ingredients in the toppings bowl. Set aside. The dough should come into a clean ball once kneaded. Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to a 15" x 7" rectangle. Spread the filling mixture onto your dough. Beginning with the long side, start rolling dough, tightly, and press ends to seal. Trim ends off with a knife, and slice into 1" slices. Place each roll, trimmed side up, onto the topping in your pan. Cover and let rise for a good 30 - 45 minutes in a warm place, ideally near a fire or stove - until doubled in size. While waiting, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once buns have rose to the right size, bake for 20 - 25 minutes until golden. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes, before turning out onto your serving plate to continue cooling.
For this recipe, I use freshly grated cinnamon. I just use cinnamon sticks that I buy in bulk, and grate them on my fine rasp. I find this gives a more refined cinnamon taste than the powdered cinnamon. It's more coarse so it's not as evident, but it's still there, just a little more subtle.
My cousin called just as they were rising. I told her I was putting coffee on so she better get over here so we could enjoy them while they were warm from the oven!
They were delicious. Not as airy as ones that I usually pick up from our bakery in town, but I think I could improve that with a little more practise!
They were so yummy in fact, that I enjoyed a second this afternoon, while browsing through the new Martha Stewart I picked up last night. I still am waiting to get my hands on a copy of the new Flea Market Style, but it's still not out here! Until then, this month's MSL is the gardening special issue! It's all about gardening and focuses mainly of growing your own food! I looking forward to getting lots of inspiration for my own little patch. Oh, and by the way, it's GORGEOUS here today. I'm sitting on my couch, basking in the sunlight, and I had to open my window slightly because it was getting so warm! Spring is on it's way!!