Sticky Buns

This recipe came to me in a dream – I kid you not – and the results are out of this world.

Yields 16 buns.



SODIUM CONTENT: 32 mg per bun

INGREDIENTS

DOUGH:
2 1/4 t. dry active yeast
1 2/3 c. warm milk
1/3 c. warm water
3/4 c. honey
2 eggs, beaten
6 T. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 t. ground cinnamon
7-7 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

FILLING:
1 c. chopped walnuts
1 1/3 c. seedless raisins
1 1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground allspice
2 t. pure vanilla extract
4 T. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
1/4 c. milk

TOPPING (FOR BOTTOM OF PANS):
1/2 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T. unsalted butter, melted
1/8 c. pure maple syrup
1/8 c. milk

DIRECTIONS

To make the dough, measure the yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add the warm milk, water and honey and stir well to combine. Add the beaten eggs, melted butter and cinnamon and stir. Gradually add in the flour, a half cup at a time, stirring until dough begins to form. Once you’ve added 7 cups of flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together. Begin to knead, adding a little flour as necessary. Knead 7-8 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Butter a large mixing bowl and place dough inside. Cover well (I like to use plastic wrap with a rubber band at the top to keep it secure) and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

When dough is close to doubled, prepare the filling and topping. For the filling, measure the walnuts, raisins, brown sugar and spices into a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Add the vanilla, butter, maple syrup and milk and stir well. The filling should be thick and sugary. Set aside. For the topping, measure the brown sugar into a small mixing bowl, add the melted butter, syrup and milk and stir well. Pour the topping into the bottoms of two baking pans – a 9×13-inch casserole and an 8×8-inch casserole – and set aside.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Once the dough has risen, remove cover and punch down. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches in thickness. Spread the filling across the surface of the dough, then roll dough tightly away from you – starting from the long end – so that you are left with a long cylinder. Gently pinch the long seam shut. Using a serrated knife, very carefully cut the long cylinder into 16 equal-width sections, each about 1-2 inches wide. Carefully place each of the circular sections (buns) cut face down in the pans (there will be twelve buns in the 9×13-inch pan and four in the 8×8-inch pan). Place the pans on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool a minute, then carefully run a knife around the edge of both pans. Carefully invert each pan over a baking sheet. The buns should come out of the pans easily. Serve warm. Cover any leftovers with aluminum foil. Leftover buns taste best if reheated briefly in microwave, about 20-25 seconds each.

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