Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday Morning Sticky Buns

It didn't take me long after seeing a pin for "Fastest Cinnamon Rolls" someone posted on Pinterest, to try them for myself.  The recipe was originally from Fine Cooking, then adapted by Don't Forget Delicious, then pinned by Jane Wang.  Now that you know where it came from, wait until you see where it is going.  Don't get me wrong, I love my Super Size Cinnamon Roll recipe and find the dough really easy to work with, but it takes a little planning since it does take some time to proof.  When I saw this yeast-free recipe, it seemed like a perfect dough to whip together this morning.  Only, I didn't want to betray my usual cinnamon roll recipe, so I opted to use the dough and make pecan sticky buns instead.  I had a few bobbles in the kitchen so the recipe wasn't as easy to put together as it should have been and the rolls probably didn't have the texture they should, but they were still delicious!  It's saying a lot when you can screw up a recipe and still want to eat the whole batch.

The recipe called for buttermilk, which I pretty much never have in the house unless I know I am going to use it for something.  I do however always have milk and lemons.  So instead of buttermilk, I made a little "sour milk" by combining lemon juice and milk and letting it sit for a few minutes.  The recipe calls for 9 oz. flour, which should be about 2 cups.  Maybe it was because I was going back and forth between putting the dough together and tending to my 3-month-old daughter, but I forgot to zero out the scale when I was measuring the flour.  I only ended up putting about a cup and a quarter or so of flour into the mixture.  I think this made the dough a little more difficult to work with and made the end product a little too soft.  I should have known, but the recipe said the dough would be soft, so I just went with it.  I realized later what I had done.  The rolls themselves were tender, but were just a little doughy in the centers.  I bet if I had used the correct amount of flour, the rolls would have seemed a little less gooey in the end.  The dough comes together really quickly in the food processor and since they don't have to proof, you can make the rolls and have them eaten in under an hour.

I surfed around the web to find different combinations to make the "sticky" part of these buns, ultimately settling on one from Simply Recipes that included honey and light corn syrup.  I love using honey in anything I can.  My spatial reasoning not being what it should at 7:00am, I poured the mixture into a 9x13 pan as the recipe stated, but then realized I only had enough rolls made to fill a 9x9 square pan.  So, I scraped the caramely-pecany filling out of one pan and into the other.  In the end, it was just a little too much "sticky" in the buns.  I should have halved (have halved? sounds funny, doesn't it?) the topping recipe.  So, if you're going to try this recipe, do as I say and not as I do.

Sunday Morning Sticky Buns (printable recipe)

3/4 c. whole milk ricotta
1/3 c. milk
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
9 oz. flour (just shy of 2 c.)
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 c. plus 2 T. firmly packed brown sugar
2 T. unsalted butter
1 1/2 T. honey
1/2 T. light corn syrup
3/4 c. pecans, coarsely chopped

Heat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a 9" square baking dish by coating it with cooking spray.  Combine lemon juice and milk in a glass measuring cup and let sit a couple of minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine ricotta, milk mixture, sugar, melted butter and vanilla.  Process until smooth (about 10 seconds).  Add the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Pulse the mixture until the dough starts to clump together.  The dough will be soft and moist.  Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and kneed it with floured hands until smooth.  It should only take 4 or 5 kneads.  Roll the dough out until it is about a 12 x 15 inch rectangle.
Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving a half inch border on one of the long edges.  Sprinkle the buttered area with the cinnamon sugar, then roll the dough tightly and evenly starting from the buttered long edge.  Slice the roll into pieces about 1 3/4 inches wide (I got eight).

Place the brown sugar, butter, honey and light corn syrup in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the butter and sugar are melted and well combined.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Top with chopped pecans, then top with the rolls.  I did two rows of three on the sides and then two in the middle.

Bake until golden brown, about 22 minutes.  Immediately turn the rolls out onto a plate or serving platter.  Let cool slightly, then serve warm. 

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