Boozy Pecan Sticky Buns

Sometimes nothing can beat a sticky bun. Whether it's a midnight snack (which it was), or your breakfast (which it was, too). Here's my take on the cinnabon - cinnamon swirls with a pecan crunch, bathed in a sticky smokey caramel sauce.

Boozy Pecan Sticky Buns

I've died and gone to southern-style sticky bun heaven.

For the boozy goo:
3/4c butter
1 1/2c brown sugar
2/3c heavy cream (you can use soya cream too)
1 heaping tsp mannuka honey
3tbsp kentucky bourbon (Jim Beam was my man)

In a small pan, heat the butter until it is melted. Use a wooden spoon to slowly stir in the brown sugar until it's dissolved, then remove from heat. 

Stir in the cream, honey, salt & bourbon until the mixture is well blended and leave to cool. 

Your boozy goo should be a dark caramel colour and have the texture of a thick liquid.

For the buns:
500g bread flour
10g salt
20g sugar
10g fast action yeast
30g butter (at room temperature)
2 eggs
250ml tepid water
sunflower oil (for kneading, and lining the proofing bowl)

For the filler:
1/4c brown sugar
1/4c granulated sugar
1/4tsp cinnamon
1c chopped pecan halves (half for the filler, half for the goo topping)

In a large glass bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, yeast*, butter and eggs. Use your hand as a mixer to crumble these ingredients together.

*Remember to add the yeast and salt to opposite ends of the bowl - salt kills yeast; this will help to tame the beast. 

Next, slowly add in the water while continually using your hand to blend the mixture.  Your dough will be extremely wet & you may find it hard to work with - this is normal! 

Tip the wet dough onto a well greased surface. Knead and work the dough until it becomes stretchy & slightly holds it's shape - this will take 10 to 15 minutes. Your resulting dough will still be sticky.

Tip the dough into a well-greased, clean glass bowl. Cover with cling film & a damp tea towel, and leave to prove until it doubles in size (1 to 2 hours).

Prep the filling in a small bowl by mixing together the two sugars, cinnamon & half the pecans. Set aside

Once risen, tip the dough onto a floured surface. Work the dough for another 8-10min - this will knock the air out of it & help it to keep a better shape.  

Use a flour-coated rolling pin to roll the dough into a long rectangle, keeping the long side towards you.

Evenly sprinkle the filling over the entire surface of the dough. Then starting from the long side farthest from you and working your way down, tightly roll up the rectangle like a swiss roll.

Use a sharp knife to trim the edges (this will ensure your buns are equal in size - unless, like me, you like a few monster buns in your batch!), then equally cut your roll into 12 portions.

Add your boozy goo to a well greased baking tray, and evenly sprinkle the remaining pecans onto the goo.  Evenly space your cut swirls into the tray. Cover and leave to prove for approx 40min - the edges of your swirls should now be touching.

Pop into a pre-heated 220C oven for 20-30min. Take care to rotate the buns while they are baking so that they turn a lovely golden brown.

To serve, flip the buns upside down onto a plate & spoon any remaining boozy goo onto the top.

From my kitchen to yours. xx


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