Tag Archives: sticky buns

Baklava Sticky Buns

17 Feb

I often get a craving for baklava, but very rarely does it actually get satisfied. Unless you are in the vicinity of a decent Greek restaurant or willing to make it yourself, good baklava is hard to come by. Honestly, I think the last time I had some was when I made it with homemade phyllo (which was a project-and-a-half, let me tell you!) so it is long overdue. I made these sticky buns to serve along with the Montreal bagels I made for brunch last month, and as I couldn’t get baklava out of my head, I made them according to that flavour profile: a finely chopped nut filling of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, and a sticky honey goo flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, and orange zest. These sticky buns might be missing the crunchy phyllo element, but they really do taste like baklava!

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Lemon Rosemary Sticky Bun Twists

9 Mar IMG_9897

Lemon and rosemary might not be a flavour combination you’re familiar with in a sweet context, but man oh man, does it ever work! I stumbled across a recipe for Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns and bookmarked it immediately because it sounded so intriguing, and I planned to make them using one portion of challah dough. Then I saw Sawsan’s beautiful cinnamon twists and decided to use her technique instead of just making plain old spirals.

The result is these very tasty, very pretty Lemon Rosemary Sticky Bun Twists.

I used Meyer lemons for these, and it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten my hands on them. I’ve been hearing about Meyer lemons for quite a while, but had never seen them in any grocery stores – until a week ago, when they started popping up everywhere! A Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, and has a sweeter, tart taste and thinner skin than a regular lemon. Quite honestly, I’m still not sure what all the fuss is about. They are tasty, but they don’t quite have the tang that a regular lemon does, and I think a good, ripe, organic lemon would give you just as much (maybe better?) lemon flavour. If you love Meyer lemons, go ahead and use them here, but don’t worry if you can’t find them – regular lemons will be just fine!

These smelled AMAZING coming out of the oven, and once I’d smothered them in a lemon-cream cheese glaze, they were pretty irresistible. The first sweet bite revealed subtle lemon and floral rosemary, the combination of which somehow reminded me of rosewater. Really unique, and really delicious. I found the flavour to be even better the next day (if they last that long, that is!).

Lemon Rosemary Sticky Bun Twists

Filling and glaze adapted from Eats Well With Others; twist technique from Chef in Disguise. This recipe uses one approximately 1 1/2 -pound portion of challah dough. Makes 8 twists.

When handling the dough, DO NOT knead it. While a certain amount of man-handling is necessary to roll and twist the dough, try to be as gentle as possible and use only a minimal amount of extra flour to keep it from sticking. If you feel you’ve over-worked the dough, let it have a longer rest before baking.

On a lightly floured surface, place:

approximately 1 1/2 lbs of chilled challah dough

Divide the dough into three roughly equal pieces, and gently shape/roll each piece into a 10-inch circle, using just enough flour to stop it from sticking. If the dough resists rolling, let it rest for a few minutes, then come back to it. Set the rounds aside while you make the filling.

Filling

In a bowl, combine:

1 cup white granulated sugar

1/4 tsp nutmeg

zest of 2 lemons

1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary

Mix together with your fingers until it resembles damp sand, then stir in:

2 tbsp lemon juice

Have ready:

3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Assembly

Place one round of dough on your lightly floured work surface. Spread it with about 1 tbsp softened butter, then with half of the lemon-rosemary-sugar filling.

Top it with a second round and spread it with 1 tbsp butter and the other half of the filling. Place the final round on top and spread it with the last 1 tbsp butter. With a large, sharp knife, cut the round into 8 wedges. Flour the knife blade if needed, and make single downward cuts to keep things as neat as possible. With the tip of the knife, cut a ~1-inch slit in the middle of each triangular piece.

Pull on the sides of the triangle to widen the hole, then tuck the point of the triangle into the hole. Gently pull it through to form the twist.

Arrange the 8 pieces in a circle with their sides touching on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Pinch together the two points at the base of each triangle.

Cover the twists lightly with plastic wrap and let rest for about 1 hour at room temperature (or refrigerate for several hours or overnight). It’s OK if some of the sugar-lemon mixture seeps out while the twists are resting.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F and bake the twists for 20-30 minutes, until nicely browned and baked through in the middle.

While the twists are baking, prepare the glaze.

Glaze

In a small bowl, cream until light and fluffy:

2 oz cream cheese

With a whisk, beat in:

1 tbsp lemon juice

Mix until smooth.

Add:

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

The glaze should be about the consistency of honey. Drizzle the glaze over the warm twists.

These are fantastic warm from the oven, and if you happen to have any leftover, the lemon-rosemary flavour is even better the next day.

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

2 Mar Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

Here they are… the caramel pecan sticky buns that started my obsession with making bread the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day way. They are so good that I am sure they will also start your obsession.

This is one way to use up a portion of this challah dough. Roll it out, spread it with cinnamon-sugar-butter and sprinkle it with pecans, sit it on a bed of brown sugar-butter-pecan goodness, let it rest, let it bake, and then you will be in caramel pecan sticky bun heaven.

I’m telling you, these are GOOD, and although they require some waiting time, they don’t require a lot of physical effort. They don’t even have to be particularly pretty or neat looking to still taste out-of-this-world amazing. There is a TON of butter and sugar in this recipe, so if you’re looking for something diet-friendly, you might want to pass on this one… but I wouldn’t recommend it ;).

The pecans are calling your name. Make these sticky buns. You know you want to…

Caramel Pecan Sticky Buns

From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Makes 8 buns. This recipe uses one 1 1/2-ish lb portion of challah dough.

Caramel-Pecan Topping

In a medium bowl, cream together:

6 tbsp unsalted butter, soft

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of a 9″ round cake pan. Sprinkle it with:

1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans (you can leave them whole if you prefer)

Set aside.

Filling

In a small bowl, cream together:

4 tbsp unsalted butter, soft

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Set aside.

In a 375˚F oven, toast:

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Toasting the pecans keeps them from getting soggy inside the rolls. They should take about 20-25 minutes – watch them carefully and stir several times. Set aside to cool.

Assembly

Place a 1 1/2-ish lb portion of chilled challah dough on a lightly floured surface. Using your hands and a rolling pin, roll and stretch it into an 18″ x 9″ rectangle. Keep the dough lightly floured to prevent it from sticking, but try not to over-flour it.

Spread the rectangle of dough evenly with the filling, then sprinkle it with the toasted pecans. From one of the long edges, roll up the dough securely to enclose the filling.

With a sharp serrated knife, cut the roll into 8 pieces. Arrange them over the caramel-pecan topping mixture in the baking pan. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 1 hour.

After an hour, the buns should have expanded quite a bit. With a few minutes left in the rest period, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Remove the plastic wrap, place the pan on a cookie sheet to protect against bubbling-over caramel (I didn’t do this and my oven was a mess of melted butter and molten caramel!), and bake at 350˚F for about 40 minutes, until golden brown and cooked all the way to the center of the pan.

Place the pan on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes, until the bubbling caramel subsides. While still hot, run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the buns and invert them onto a plate (if you wait for them to cool they will stick to the pan). Scrape out any caramel and pecans left behind.

Devour!

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