Sticky Buns

If there is anything more comforting than homemade cinnamon rolls or sticky buns, I would like to know what it is. Like, right now. Because nothing I have ever made comes even close to the warm, spicy enveloping feeling of a mug of hot coffee and these buns. It’s like a snuggly blanket for your soul. Note: I did not say snuggie. Because eww.

As with many delicious and heavily carbohydrated things, it’s all starts with Joanna’s five minute bread. If you haven’t already, read the first four steps, as they will give you the bread of your dreams, and they will also bring you up to the place where we’ll start the sticky bun recipe. For the sake of clarity, however, I’ve listed all the ingredients and steps in this entry, too. And because I’m nice like that.

If you have time to make this in the morning, it would be the best morning ever, but it also makes for a very happy afternoon snack, dessert, or as a method of wriggling into the hearts of your roommates forever and ever. No snuggies necessary.

STICKY BUNS

Ingredients:

. Three cups lukewarm water

. One and a half tablespoons granulated yeast (two yeast packets from the grocery)

. One tablespoon salt

. Six and a half cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

. Up to one cup of brown sugar

. Two tablespoons cinnamon

. One half cup butter

. Confectioners sugar, for sifting

Instructions:

1. Mix the yeast and water in a big mixing bowl – the biggest you have – and let it rest while you measure out the flour and salt.

2. Mix in flour and salt until everything is fully combined. You can do this in a KitchenAid mixer, or by hand.

3. Cover the dough in Saran wrap and let it rest at room temperature for at least two hours, but up to five is fine.

4. While your dough is rising, mix the sticky bun filling, which is, like so many other things on this blog, a mixture of the heart and of the preference, more than a mixture of the measurements. Cream together butter, cinnamon and brown sugar until well combined and spreadable, adding more spice or sugar to taste, and more butter if you need more to work with. It’s not exact, which is what I love about cooking. If you do not love that about cooking, this may not be the blog for you, and for that I do not apologize, but I do propose that perhaps we go have a drink sometime? You seem nice. We could still be friends.

5. Uncover the dough. By now, it should have risen a considerable amount and be sticky, wet, and quite stretchy. If it isn’t, move it to a warmer spot and let it continue to rise.

6. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. While the oven is heating, roll the dough out into a large circle, of medium thickness. Remember, you don’t want sad, overly thin, anorexic buns, but they also need to be small enough to fit into a cupcake pan, which was a genius idea if I do say so myself.

7. Spread half the creamy filling across the dough, all the way to the edges. Then, roll it up into a large log, taking care not to flatten it.

8. Cut the dough log into bun sized increments.

9. Spread the remaining half of the filling into each indentation in the cupcake pan. If you were to do this in a pie pan, or a large cake pan even (the normal way to do sticky buns), you would just spread the filling across the bottom of the pan and group the buns together so they stick, both to the filling, and to each other. At the time of bun making, my pans were otherwise engaged, so I thought popping them into a cupcake pan would be both workable and tidy! Turns out, I was right. My favorite thing.

10. Drop the buns into the pans and bake for 15 minutes. My oven runs hot, and our buns were on the petite side, so just pay attention the first time you do this to know what precise time works for you.

11. Done buns should be bubbling and well coated in the filling, which by now, has risen up and over the tops of the buns to glaze it in a beautiful caramel color. They should not be burning however, so again, just pay attention. Put down the wine glass, woman/man/person who is cooking right now! Glossy and bubbly, not burnt or too brown.

12. Sift confectioners sugar over the top and serve with hot coffee or a cup of tea.

Delicious, no? Yes!

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