Wow! Bacon and pecan topped cinnamon buns with a sticky maple syrup glaze. A fantastic start to gameday.
Submitted to YeastSpotting
I've made cinnamon buns but never sticky buns. I use a recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. This recipe always makes delicious cinnamon buns and it also has instructions on how to turn the same buns to sticky buns. Since my gameday theme seems to be bacon I thought maybe I could try bacon sticky buns. I see bacon in desserts and sweets all the time, I see candied bacon, bacon cupcakes, and I'm sure I am not the first to come up with this idea. These were spot on. warm, soft, sticky, sweet, and bacony. With 3 sticks of butter, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, and 1 pound of bacon these are not ideal for every day consumption. But they are perfect for a rare and special treat.
****WARNING: NOT HEALTH FOOD**** (but definitely comfort food)
(Modified slightly from The Bread Baker's Apprentice)
8 oz warm water
.25 oz active dry yeast
3.25 oz granulated sugar
16 oz bread flour
1 oz powdered milk
.25 oz salt
2.75 oz butter at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
For filling and glaze:
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup pecans
1 pound bacon
2 sticks butter at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
Warm the water to about 100F (it shouldn't feel warm to the touch but not cold either). Pour the water into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle on the yeast. Stir in the sugar and let sit for about 15 minutes until it gets foamy and bubbly (this means the yeast is alive).
Add the rest of the dry ingredients, and then the wet. Stir with the paddle attachment, on low speed, until the dough forms a ball. Then switch to the dough hook and knead for about 10 minutes until dough is tacky but not sticky, smooth, and elastic (you may need to add more flour and/or water to reach this consistency).
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl. Roll to coat on all sides with oil then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
While dough is rising prepare the filling and glaze. First cook the bacon. Cut the bacon into about 1/2 inch pieces and then fried until crispy. Lay on a paper towel to drain and cool.
Place the raisins and 1/2 cup of pecans in the bowl of a food processor add the cinnamon sugar (about 6:1 ratio of sugar to cinnamon). Pulse, with the chopper blade, until well chopped and mixed. Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
In the food processor bowl add the 2 sticks of butter, sugar, and maple syrup. Mix, with the plastic blade, until well whipped and combined. Then spoon into a 9 by 13 inch pan and smooth along the bottom to about 1/4 inch thick. Finally sprinkle the bacon on top of the butter mixture and roughly chop the last of the pecans and sprinkle on top as well. Set aside.
Once dough has risen, turn out onto a smooth surface. Roll the dough out to a rectangle of about 14 by 12 inches (long side facing you) and about 2/3 of an inch thick, too thin and buns will be tough. Brush the top of the dough with butter or bacon grease and sprinkle on the raisin, pecan, cinnamon sugar mixture. Use as much as you like, I ended up only using about half. Then roll the dough into a log pinching the seam to seal.
Cut the log into 8 roughly equal pieces. For this I use a serrated knife dipped in flour. Lay the dough pieces on top of the butter mixture in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.
The next day take the buns out of the fridge 3-4 hours before baking to allow to proof. The buns should grow into each other and almost double in size.
Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 30-40 minutes, turning half way through for even browning. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then, to remove from the pan, run a knife along the edges of the pan, cover with a cookie sheet and flip over. Scoop any run off glaze back on top of the buns and let cool for 20 more minutes.
Eat and enjoy.