How you doin’, sweet buns?

Ever have the overwhelming urge to catcall your baked goods? Me neither. However, I tried something new and exciting this week- STICKY BUNS!

The challenge? It’s gotta be sticky, it’s gotta be cinnamony, it’s gotta be fluffy, and it’s gotta have just the right amount of brown sugar– how come you taste SO good?

Patience and doing things by the book isn’t really my thing. However, this time I was going to follow the recipe… almost. You tell me to mix all-purpose flour and whole wheat pasty flour? NO! I’m using entirely whole wheat flour! Because my sugar and butter buns are going to be healthy, dangit!

Ingredients:

DOUGH
  • 1 cup milk alternative of choice (I used sweetened vanilla, which I never use, but it was on sale!)
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 packet rapid rise (instant) yeast (~2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar (regular, white)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour (the recipe suggested more, but I didn’t need 3 cups….)
FILLING
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon (up these amounts if you like extra filling, as there wasn’t much)
STICKY GLAZE
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped (or walnuts, which is what I used and loved)

Remember how much I hated flouring a surface and using it to knead my dough? Well, I did it again. The things I’ll do for sugary goodness….

As for tools, aside from the usual mixing bowls, measuring spoons, and things of that nature, it’s also suggested that you use an 8×8 pan. However,  I didn’t have one and I didn’t want to buy one, so I used my springform pan. Worked for me!

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Now, let’s do this!

For the dough:

  1. In a bowl in the microwave (at 30 sec increments), heat the almond milk and 3 Tbsp Earth Balance until warm and melted, never reaching boiling. Remove from heat and let cool to 110 degrees, or the temperature of bath water. Or just take a bath and scoop the water. Basically, just make sure it’s luke warm, but not too hot to touch. (Luke Water… I am your baker!)
  2. Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and sprinkle on yeast. I noticed that it just sat there and looked at me. I don’t think you mix it yet, just let it be. Let it activate for 10 minutes. Then add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Now you can stir.
  3. Next add in flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so until it forms a loose ball, adding more flour as you go and as it will absorb.
  4. Rinse your mixing bowl out, coat it with canola or grape seed oil, and add your dough ball back in. Roll around to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. About 5 minutes before the hour is up, prepare sticky glaze! Weeeee! Mix butter and brown sugar. Try not to eat it all. Spread it in an even layer on the bottom of an 8×8 baking dish. Top with nuts and set aside.

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6. On your lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin rectangle. If you don’t have a rolling pin, like moi, just whack and beat that dough into something that resembles a rectangle.

7. Brush with 1/4 cup melted vegan butter and top with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1Tbsp cinnamon.

8.Starting at one end, tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. This might not look as pretty and tidy as you like, but as long as you have a rolled up tube of deliciousness, it will work.

9. Then with a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 2 inch sections.

10. Position in your 8×8 dish with the glaze layer on the bottom (you should have about 10 rolls.)

11. Cover with plastic wrap and set on top of the oven to let it briefly rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees.

12. Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 25-30 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

13. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully invert (this means to turn it upside down, dummy!)  Serve immediately. Or don’t. Whenever you’re ready.

Your fingers will get a little messy and sticky, do not panic. Lick the yummy stuff off your hands.

We started at the bottom.

 Now we here:
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I was shocked how good these turned out! Not super sweet or cinnamony. Even the whole wheat thing was okay, it wasn’t dry or hard at all. First my brother and sister-in-law tried one and loved it. Then my father and mother tried one. The response was, “I thought they were just being nice, but these are really good! I’d pay for one!”
Then I charged them $5 each and ran away, laughing.
This recipe was a total and wonderful success! If I were really selling these, I might make sure they were all the same size, and use a bigger baking pan, so they wouldn’t get squished together. Otherwise, I give this recipe 10/10 acorn nibbles.
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