Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sourdough Sticky Buns

The kids and I were watching an old episode of a food network show about sticky buns. I was drooling the whole time. All the kids were fascinated and wanted to know if we could make sticky buns someday. Well, all the kids except for the 2-year-old. He just thought that "sticky buns" was a really silly word, and giggled and repeated it every time someone on the show said it.

I had my sourdough starter all active and bubbly, having just used it that morning to make pancakes. I figured that I would treat the family to a batch of delicious sourdough sticky buns.

I used my new favorite recipe for sourdough bread, because it makes bread that is very soft and not too sour. I combined a couple recipes for the sticky, gooey glaze, and came up with these fantastic sticky buns. Best served warm, so the glaze is caramel-soft.

I didn't make these buns super duper sticky. The caramel topping can be doubled if you want the kind of sticky buns with oozing caramel that drips down your fingers. But any mess the kids made while eating these is a mess I would have to clean up! So I stuck with a smaller amount of topping, one that would leave a minimal amount of sticky on the fingers, face, table, floor, and clothing.

Sourdough Sticky Buns
1/2 batch Velvety-Soft Sourdough Bread dough
3 tbsp. softened butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp. cinnamon
Caramel Topping:
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 tsp. honey
4 tbsp. melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans are traditional, I used almonds)

Prepare bread dough (mix sponge, rise, add flour to make dough, rise twice). I start the sponge early in the evening the previous day, then mix it into dough and set it to rise right before I go to bed. When I get up I punch it down and let it rise again, then punch it down again and it's ready to shape.

Roll out dough into large rectangle. Smear the 3 tbsp. softened butter over the rectangle of dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the butter. Roll, starting with long side. Cut into 12 segments. Cover while you make the topping.

In a bowl, combine brown sugar, honey, 4 tbsp. melted butter, and vanilla. Spread into greased 9x13 pan, then top with chopped nuts. Arrange buns on top of caramel topping and nuts. Cover and let rise until double.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake buns 20-22 minutes. Let sit in pan for about a minute. Invert onto another pan, or serving platter. Let the caramel drip over the buns a bit before removing the baking pan. Scrape any leftover topping out of the pan and spread over top of sticky buns.

I set aside a couple of these to give my husband when he gets home from work. It's taking all of my self-control and all of my love for my husband not to go in and eat them right now. I. Must. Be. Strong...

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