Tuesdays with Dorie BWJ: Pecan Sticky Buns

May 15, 2012 at 12:01 am | Posted in breakfast things, BWJ, groups, sweet things, sweet yeast breads, tuesdays with dorie | 31 Comments
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pecan sticky buns

I’ve been getting a lot of practice making breakfast pastries lately.  A couple of months ago, the owners of the shop I work for decided that we should open three hours earlier and have a menu of morning baked stuff.  I now have to wake up basically in the middle of the night to walk to work and make this happen.  I’m thinking about quitting soon….but you didn’t hear me say that, and you certainly didn’t come here for banal griping.  You came for Nancy Silverton’s Pecan Sticky Buns!

It’s pretty much a given that sticky buns have a lot of butter in them, but this recipe uses a sh*t-ton of butter.  There’s brioche dough..no, make that laminated brioche dough (unlike the other sticky buns we did about–yikes– four years ago)…and then there’s the sticky top part.  The only component without butter is the pecan-cinnamon swirl inside.  When everything’s tallied up, it comes to five sticks for a whole recipe!!  My mind immediately went to work wondering where I could shave off a few tablespoons.  First off, a whole recipe makes two 9-inch pans, or 14 buns, and I certainly didn’t need that many for the two of us.  A quarter of a recipe would be fine…I knew I could squeeze four slightly smaller buns out of that and bake them in a 6-inch pan.  I ultimately decided on making a half recipe of brioche dough, and only taking half of that to make buns with (I’m saving the other half for another project).  I kept the full amount of butter in the dough itself.  Best not to mess around with that.  I used about two-thirds the butter called for in the laminating step and half for the topping.  I don’t think I missed out too much…my buns were sweet and soft and flaky.  I plan to experiment more with this laminated brioche thing later on…it’s a cool technique.

By the way brioche is a lovely dough to work with…if you can keep it cool enough while you shape it, that is.  It’s so soft and nice to touch.  And it rises beautifully.

pecan sticky buns

It took me like an hour to figure out how to put two pics side-by-side in Photoshop, btw…wow.

I made my base dough on day one, parked it in the fridge overnight after its first rise, and finished off the laminating and rolling the next day.  I did my dough in my stand mixer.  Since I just made a half a batch, my KA had no problem cranking it out.  It was really such a small about of dough, though, that I think even the whole recipe would have been just fine.  Despite my earlier talk about breakfast pastries, my husband and I actually ate two of these sticky buns for dessert.  After getting up so early for work now everyday, I can’t manage to get up early enough on the weekends to have buns proofed, baked and cooled before brekkie.  The other two baked buns were wrapped up tight and stuck the freezer, to be defrosted and enjoyed properly one weekend morning with a cup of coffee.

For the recipe, see Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan or read Lynn’s Eat Drink Man Woman Dogs Cat and Nicole’s Cookies on Friday.  There’s also a video of Nancy and Julia making the buns together.  Don’t forget to check out the rest of the TWD Blogroll!


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  1. Wow, Love your bakes, lovely! =)

  2. They look fabulous! I’ve always wanted to make buns like that at home, better get on it! 🙂

  3. They look great!
    I did mess around with the butter and luckily the dough was still good (apart from the salt and sugar – I need to increase them in the brioche dough).
    Did not like the sticky topping, though

  4. your first pic is fabulous!!! i thoroughly enjoyed the recipe despite the effort!! would have enjoyed it more if someone else made them for me!! 🙂

  5. beautiful sticky buns. i cut the butter down in mine too. Only one stick went into the brioche, and I probably only used 2T to laminate each roll of dough. I just couldn’t use the full amount.

  6. Love your side by side photo. (the buns look delicious too.)

  7. Gorgeous shots…

    TWDBWJ member

  8. I love your photos – and your buns look great. Everytime I try to line up pictures in photoshop it takes me forever!

  9. Your buns look great!

  10. Oh yours look so fabulous after that last rising. Mine didn’t even come close to that, though thankfully they baked up just fine. I too was terrified by the amount of butter in this recipe, BA has a recipe in the latest issue that looks less time consuming, I might try that one next time. Beautiful buns 😉 haha

  11. Yummy they look sooo good ! The results were definitely worth the effort

  12. Great pictures, as usual!

  13. your butter reductions look spot on. beautiful buns!

  14. Nice photos. It is a sinful amount of butter. If I make these again I may try playing around with reducing it where I can as well.

  15. Gorgeous photos!

  16. yum..they look great! I love how big and fat yours turned out:)

  17. Such beautiful looking sticky buns…absolutely perfect! Nice job!

  18. Your stick buns look drippingly good. I cut down on the butter for the topping so I didn’t get the coating, but looks like yours turned out great!

  19. Yours look GREAT!

  20. Photoshop and I are still learning to be friends with each other…
    Lovely job!

  21. Your sticky buns look awesome! Sorry to hear about the middle of the night wake up calls. But I am jealous that you get to walk to work. That must be nice.

  22. Beautiful buns! great photography too.

  23. Gorgeous!

  24. These look delicious! I admire your dedication at cooking at home when you work so early. Very beautiful.

  25. They look so good! Mine look so tiny compared to yours – I had 5 in my 6″ ring and there was still space around each bun…

  26. The buns with the dripping caramel picture is cool! Getting up so early to go and bake sounds very tiresome…

  27. I did the early shift at a bakery in college and it was rough. Sleeping in on days off is needed! I think these buns certainly qualify as dessert with all the butter

  28. Your buns turned out beautiful..yum 🙂

  29. Absolutely stunning pictures of your Pecan Sticky Buns – your blog is terrific and the photos are just soo pretty! I am glad that I got to comment, I will make sure to follow your posts in the future – thank you also for your kind comment!

  30. Yeah, well that “sh*t-ton of butter” you describe is the reason I sat this one out. Now that The Swimmer has exited the building, taking his appetite to college with him, not to mention all those swimmer buddies of his that dropped by for sampling/eating/cleaning up all food hanging around, I figure I don’t need this sort of temptation anywhere near me…my pool is open and swimsuit season has arrived. Excuses, excuses, I know. I figured I would just come out and drool over the ones you made. Drool-worthy indeed. And, btw, now I not only have to compete with your photos each post…I have to compete with side by sides???!! That bar just keeps getting raised higher and higher.

  31. look delicious!

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