Baking takes time.
It takes patience.
I do not have either of these things…
… but when I know that the result of putting time and patience into a recipe will get me delicious, sweet, buttery, crunch on the top and soft on the bottom sticky buns…
I am motivated to give whatever time and patience I have.
Big thank you to Ellen Brown for one of my favorite cookbooks: the new cast iron skillet cookbook, where I got this glorious recipe!
If you do not feel like waking up at the crack of dawn to wait the 3 + hours to make the rolls and allow for rising in the morning…
(which is completely worth it)
… you can always cover the skillet with plastic wrap after the rolls have risen for the last time, and store in your refrigerator overnight.
Just pop them in the oven in the morning, and you’re good to go!
This is one of my favorite uses for my cast iron skillet. You make the glaze in the skillet, and then bake the buns in it too! Your family and friends are going to think you are a wizard…. and after making these buns, you might believe that too.
skillet pecan sticky buns
from the new cast iron skillet cookbook
makes 12 sticky buns
You will need a 12 inch cast iron skillet for this recipe, or make the glaze in a separate skillet and transfer to a 12 inch baking dish.
2 lg eggs, at room temp
1 c water, at 110°F- 115°F
3 T sugar
1 (1/4 oz) package of active dry yeast
1/2 t salt
4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 1/4 c all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
glaze & filling:
2 c chopped pecans, divided: 1 1/2 c and 1/2 c
6 T unsalted butter, divided: 4 T and 2 T- melted and cooled
1 1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar, divided: 3/4 c and 1/2 c
1/4 c light corn syrup
2 T heavy cream
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t grated nutmeg
vegetable oil spray
1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs. Add the water, sugar, yeast, salt, and melted butter, and whisk together. With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir in the flour until completely incorporated. Cover with a damp towel, and leave bowl in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.
2. Meanwhile, make the glaze and filling. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread pecans in an even layer on a baking sheet, and toast for about 5 minutes, or until they are browned and fragrant. Remove pecans from the oven, and turn off oven.
3. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium high heat and add the 4 T butter, 3/4 c brown sugar, corn syrup, and cream. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently. Once the glaze is bubbling, sprinkle the 1 1/2 c pecans on top and remove from the skillet from heat.
4. In a separate bowl, combine the 1/2 c pecans, 2 T butter, 1/2 c brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle counter top and a rolling pin with flour. Be generous with your flour- this is a very sticky dough! Spray your hands with vegetable oil spray to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands.
6. It is time to roll the dough. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 10 x 15 inches. Sprinkle the filling over the dough evenly. Roll the dough in the direction where the two longer ends will be meeting. Do not worry if you get any small tears in the dough. Patch up any holes you can, but the tiny rips will end up rising into each other later. Once the dough is rolled into a log, cut into 12 pieces. Because the dough is so sticky I find it easiest by using kitchen shears. If you have kitchen shears, spray them with cooking spray and use them to cut the roll. Space your rolls, cut side down, in the skillet over the glaze evenly. The rolls should be touching each other slightly. Flatten them a bit if they are taller than the edge of your skillet.
7. Cover skillet with a damp towel and place the skillet in a warm place. Allow the rolls to rise for about 1 hour, or until they are very puffy and have grown at least 50% in size.
8. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake the buns for 30-35 minutes, or until browned, turning the skillet 180° half way through baking. DO NOT allow skillet to cool for more than 5 minutes after baking.
9. It is time to flip your glorious buns. Place a platter on top of the skillet (top of platter touching the buns), and carefully flip so skillet is on top of platter. Lift skillet off platter, and your buns should release onto the platter with ease. Spoon any remaining glaze out of your skillet and onto your buns. Serve while still warm from the oven.
To make ahead, prepare buns and cover the skillet with plastic wrap after the sticky buns have risen for the last time, and store in your refrigerator overnight. Allow the skillet and sticky buns to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.