Hey guys! Guess what? It’s my week to choose the Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe! Woo-hoo! No joke, I’ve been looking forward to this since I joined the group this spring. I chose the Sticky Buns with Toasted Almonds, and as with so many recipes from this cookbook, I wasn’t disappointed. Melissa’s recipe produces a wonderful soft bun scented with orange zest, which seems to continue the trend in her book of using citrus in unexpected places (I think it might be fun to try a mixture of lemon and orange in this recipe). The sticky sauce was delicious as well, although mine became very hard very quickly after the buns were removed from the pan. My roommates, however, have actually requested that I make just the sauce and let it harden into toffee, they liked it so much.
This dough came together really easily, even though I don’t have a stand mixer (I actually did everything by hand without much trouble). The dough took a little bit longer on its first rise than stated in the book, probably because the yeast is not dissolved in water and sugar before being added to the recipe. Once it rose, though, I had no trouble rolling out the dough. I also thought it was interesting that the recipe uses an egg wash inside the rolls instead of butter. The sticky sauce also came together very quickly, and then everything was set in the refrigerator overnight. The next day was a quicker rise than I had expected, and then baking the buns. My only major complaint about the buns is that they are done way before the time listed. I tented mine with aluminum foil at about 25 minutes to prevent over-browning, but ended up taking them out at 35 minutes, which was still a little bit late (and may have attributed to the toffee-like consistency of the sauce). I also really liked that the toasted almonds are added after the buns are baked, so people who aren’t such fans could omit them.
Please make these buns! They’re wonderful! If you’re not much of a sticky bun fan, you can make them without the sticky sauce and top them with cream cheese frosting after they’re baked for regular cinnamon buns.
Please go to the blogroll and check out what all the other bakers thought of these buns, ok?
Sticky Buns with Toasted Almonds- Makes 12 buns
from the Sweet Melissa Baking Book pages 39-41
For the Dough:
1 large egg yolk
1 c. whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Zest of 1 orange
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 1/4 tsp. (1 package) active dry yeast
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 c. sugar
For the sticky sauce:
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 c. firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the egg wash:
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. whole milk or heavy cream
For the cinnamon sugar:
1 Tbsp. plus 1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
1 c. whole natural almonds, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
To make the dough (first rise)
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine the egg yolk, milk, vanilla, zest, and one-third of the flour. Mix on medium speed until it is a smooth paste. Add the butter in pieces and mix to combine.
2. Change the mixer attachment to a dough hook. Add the remaining flour, the yeast, salt, and sugar and mix on low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the dough forms a ball and is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. The dough should be nice and elastic. If it is very sticky, slowly add up to 1/2 cup more flour.
3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
To make the sticky sauce
1. Generously butter a 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and cinnamon, stirring until it reaches a rolling boil.
3. Remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan. Set aside to cool.
To make the dough (second rise)
1. When the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is 12 inches wide by 18 inches long.
2. For the egg wash: In a small bowl, using a fork, whisk together the egg and milk. Using a pastry brush, brush it over the surface of the dough.
3. For the cinnamon sugar: In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle over the dough, leaving unsugared the bottom 1 inch of one long side of the rectangle.
4. Starting at the top edge of the rectangle, roll the dough toward you jelly-roll style and pinch the bottom seam closed. Slice the roll into 12 pieces approximately 1 1/2 inches thick, and place them cut side up about 2 inches apart on top of the sticky sauce in the pan. Spray the buns lightly with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap (or lighly butter one side of the plastic wrap). Refrigerate overnight.
To complete the buns
1. When you are ready for the final rise, remove the buns from the refrigerator. Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil. Place an empty roasting pan large enough to hold the water on the bottom of your cold oven. Pour the boiling water into the pan.
2. Remove the plastic wrap from the buns. Position a rack in the center of your oven. Place the pan on the rack in the oven (do not turn it on!) and shut the door. The steam of the water will help the buns in their final rise. The buns will just about double in size in 30 to 45 minutes. (If your fridge is on a super-cold setting, the buns may need a little longer to rise. If they need more time, just boil some more water and refill the roasting pan.) When the buns have doubled in volume, remove them (and the roasting pan filled with water) from the oven.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Using tongs, turn the buns over onto a serving dish. Pour the sticky sauce in the pan over the buns and sprinkle with the chopped almonds.