Some say the earliest cinnamon roll may have descended from a medieval fritter, while others credit the Swedes or Germans as creators. Today, there are many variations, including this American-style caramel and pecan-laced sticky bun. The recipe is best eaten on the same day – although that shouldn’t pose a problem!
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 75 g caster sugar
- 125 ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk
- 3 eggs
- 375 g (2½ cups) plain flour,
- plus extra, to dust
- 135 g unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes, at room temperature
- 125 g unsalted butter
- 75 g dark brown sugar
- 125 ml thickened cream
- 60 ml (¼ cup) maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 180 g pecans, toasted, chopped
- 125 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 165 g (¾ cup firmly packed) dark brown sugar
- 3 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 160 g (1 cup) pure icing sugar
- 15 g unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tbsp milk
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make dough, place yeast, 1 tbs sugar and milk in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 5 minutes or until mixture bubbles. Lightly beat 2 eggs, then whisk into yeast mixture until smooth.
Combine yeast mixture, remaining 3 tbs sugar, flour and 1 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed until a very soft, sticky dough forms. With the mixer running, add 125 g chopped butter, one cube at a time, ensuring each piece is mixed through before adding the next. Knead on medium–high speed for 8 minutes or until dough is soft and silky. (The dough will initially be very sticky; there is no need to add additional flour, as dough will become firmer during kneading.)
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Melt remaining 10 g butter and brush over the top of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size.
To make caramel, stir butter, brown sugar, cream, maple syrup, vanilla and 1 tsp salt in a small saucepan over high heat until combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes or until reduced by one-third and glossy. Pour two-thirds of the caramel into a 35 cm x 21 cm x 5 cm baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides, then sprinkle over one-third of the toasted pecans. Set aside remaining caramel in a warm place.
To make filling, using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and ½ tsp salt on medium speed for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Stir through half the remaining pecans. Set aside.
Punch down dough, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin dusted with flour, roll out to a ½ cm-thick 30 cm x 40 cm rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough, leaving a 2 cm border. Tightly roll up dough like a Swiss roll, then trim edges and cut into 12 even-sized pieces. Place cut-side up on top of caramel in prepared baking dish.
Loosely cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draught-free place for 1½ hours or until dough doubles in size.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Whisk remaining egg with ½ tsp water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake for 45 minutes or until buns are golden brown and filling is bubbling. If the buns are browning too quickly, cover with foil. Cool for 5 minutes, then spoon over remaining caramel. Scatter over remaining pecans and allow to cool in pan.
Meanwhile, to make icing, combine all ingredients in a bowl until smooth. Drizzle cooled buns with glacé icing and stand for 10 minutes to set before serving.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 11, pg60.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.