Pecan Sticky Buns

Pecan Sticky Buns

Soft, sweet, flavorful and packed with decadence, these classic treats are quick and easy to make. A New Years Day tradition in the Luce household, they can be finished in a morning and ready for a lingering brunch. The very soft dough requires some handling tricks - spelled out below - but the end results are worth the effort.

Yield: Eight, 3-ounce sweet buns

Time to make: 30 minutes prep and assembly; 1 hour 20 minute proof; 40 minutes oven dwell

Equipment needed: 6-inch circular pie pan with non-removable bottom. Bakers parchment. Measuring cups and spoons. Medium bowl. Microwave proof small bowl. Small bowl. Stand mixer with paddle attachment. Rolling pin. Plastic wrap. Bench knife.

Topping Ingredients

1/2 cup coarse chopped pecans
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch salt
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter plus more for greasing baking dish
1 Tablespoon honey

Filling Ingredients

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Dough Ingredients

1 1/4 cup (183 grams) Corona Blend
3/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2/3 cup buttermilk
Canola or similar neutral oil for greasing work surfaces


1) Prepare the cake pan by greasing well with butter and lining with bakers parchment. Grease the bakers parchment.

2) Make the topping: In a medium bowl, blend the pecans, the brown sugar, the cinnamon and the salt. In a microwave-proof small bowl, melt the butter. Add the honey and stir well. Scatter the pecan mixture across the bottom of the prepared cake pan, then drizzle the honey-butter mix over this. Set aside.

3) Make the filling: In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the sugar and the salt. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Set aside.

4) Prepare a work area by spreading sheets of plastic to cover approximately 15 X 24 inches. Grease lightly with a neutral oil. Prepare a second sheet of plastic, also approximately 15 X 24 inches, by greasing lightly with neutral oil.

5) In the bowl of a stand mixer, blend together the Corona Blend, the yeast, the xanthan gum, the salt, the sugar and the baking soda. With the mixer running add the egg, then the butter in small chunks. Blend thoroughly, stop the mixer, and add the buttermilk. Run the mixer on medium speed until all ingredients are thoroughly wet, then let the dough rest for 2 minutes. Mix again for 1 minute on medium-high.

6) Turn dough out onto the prepared work surface. Cover with prepared second plastic sheet. Shaping the dough through the plastic, form a brick-shaped rectangle, then use the rolling pin to create a rectangular slab about 9 inches X 15 inches, and 3/8 inch thick. Remove the top plastic layer. Cover the dough with the filling and lightly press filling into the dough with the rolling pin.

7) Orient the work surface so the long side of the dough is toward you. Lift the plastic and use it to roll the dough into a loose "log", about 15 inches long. Use a bench knife to cut the "log" into 1 1/2 inch sections. Lift each section, turn on end, and place into the prepared cake pan. Fit all the sections into the cake pan - it is OK if they touch.

8) Heat the oven to 350 F. Cover the rolls with one of the prepared sheets of plastic and allow to rise - approximately 1 hour 20 minutes at 72 degrees.

9) Bake on a middle rack for 30 - 40 minutes, or until toast-brown, turning once. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to stand about 10 minutes. Place a plate over the top of the buns and invert cake pan. Gently lift the cake pan away from the buns, peel away the parchment, and allow buns to cool until safe to eat. Best served warm.