Pecan Sticky Buns

Presented by Brandi Jones, Honey Butter Bakery

Servings: Makes 9

Dough

  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">2/3 cup whole milk
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">2 large eggs, room temperature
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l2 level1 lfo1;tab-stops:list .5in">1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted

Topping

  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">1 3/4 cups chopped pecans (about 8 ounces)
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">3/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">3/4 cup heavy cream
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">1/3 cup honey
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l1 level1 lfo2;tab-stops:list .5in">1/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest (optional)

Buns

  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">1 large egg
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l0 level1 lfo3;tab-stops:list .5in">Coarse sea salt (such as Maldon)

Preparation

Dough

  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l4 level1 lfo4;tab-stops:list .5in">Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth. Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l4 level1 lfo4;tab-stops:list .5in">If you don't have a stand mixer, fit your food processor with the standard chopping or dough blade. Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add milk mixture; process until combined. With processor running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Process until dough is soft and silky, 2–3 minutes longer. Dough will be sticky but should not be greasy. If it is greasy, process for an additional 1–2 minutes.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l4 level1 lfo4;tab-stops:list .5in">Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic; chill.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l4 level1 lfo4;tab-stops:list .5in">Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours (or 2–2 1/2 hours if dough has been refrigerated).
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l4 level1 lfo4;tab-stops:list .5in">Chill dough for 2 hours.

Topping

  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l3 level1 lfo5;tab-stops:list .5in">Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out nuts on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until fragrant and slightly darkened, 10–12 minutes. Let cool completely. Set 1 1/4 cups nuts aside for buns.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l3 level1 lfo5;tab-stops:list .5in">Melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, cream, honey, salt, and orange zest, if using. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until glaze is golden brown and glossy, 3–4 minutes. Pour 1 cup of glaze into baking pan, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Set aside remaining glaze. Sprinkle 1/2 cup toasted pecans over bottom of baking pan and let cool.

Buns

  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l5 level1 lfo6;tab-stops:list .5in">Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and kosher salt in a medium bowl until light and fluffy, 2–3 minutes. Set filling aside.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l5 level1 lfo6;tab-stops:list .5in">Punch down dough; transfer to a floured work surface. Lightly dust top with flour. Follow our step-by-step guide for assembling buns with filling and 3/4 cup pecans. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill buns and remaining glaze separately. Store remaining pecans airtight at room temperature.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l5 level1 lfo6;tab-stops:list .5in">Loosely cover pan with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let buns rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour, or 1 1/2–2 hours if dough has been chilled overnight.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l5 level1 lfo6;tab-stops:list .5in">Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 350°. Whisk egg with 1/2 tsp. water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Bake, rotating pan halfway through and tenting with foil if browning too quickly, until buns are golden brown, filling is bubbling, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of buns registers 185°, about 50 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Spoon remaining glaze over. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pecans over. Let cool in pan on a wire rack.
  • class="MsoNormal" style="mso-margin-top-alt:auto;mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; mso-list:l5 level1 lfo6;tab-stops:list .5in">Lightly sprinkle sea salt over. Serve buns warm or at room temperature.