My Grandmother Ruth was the driving baking force on my mother’s side of my family. Grandma was born and bred in Cincinnati, Ohio where she learned her craft from her mother who learned her craft from hers. These graced the table at every Christmas breakfast. She made these beauties well into her nineties. These sticky buns and their variations where my Grandfather Joe’s absolute favorite. She also made an orange infused version of these that incorporated raisins. When she made them he literally could not keep his hands off them. The batch was always short a few by the time they made them to the table as they found their way to my grandfather’s belly first. He was also a man who got fired from his job as a boy delivering ice cream from a local parlor because he ate too much of the ice cream. Feel free to use different nuts. I am working on an almond and whole grain flour riff.
MAKES 2 DOZEN
- 3/4 cups milk, scalded
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup warm water (105F-115F)
- 2 packets yeast
- 1 egg
- 4 cups unsifted flour
- Scald milk (In a small saucepan bring milk to just under a boil…little bubbles will form at the edges). Take off the heat. Stir in sugar, salt, butter, and let cool to lukewarm.
- Measure warm water into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir in lukewarm milk mixture, egg, and half of the flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in the remaining batter to make a stiff batter.
- Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours. The dough may be kept in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Pecan Sticky Buns:
- 1 batch of dough (recipe above), made at least two hours before.
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
- 2-1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1-1/2 chopped pecans (Grandma didn’t toast them but you could)
- Butter two muffin/cupcake pans that equal 24 muffins/cupcakes in total. Prepare dough as described above. Before shaping dough, melt all of the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in 1-1/2 cups of the brown sugar and 1 cup of the pecans. Spoon equally between muffin pans
- Divide dough in half. Roll out each half to an 12 inch square. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar and pecan mixture between the two rolled out doughs.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Roll up lengthwise and cut into 1 inch slices and place into prepared pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place (free from draft Grandma says) until double in bulk…about 1 hour.
- Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. Cool a bit and turn out. Serve warm or hot from the oven if you can’t resist like Grandpa…somehow the burnt fingers were worth it! They can be re-warmed in the oven but cold out of the fridge works too!