Sweet, Sticky and Fragrant
- Servings: Makes a pan of about 12 spiraled rolls.
This recipe was given to me years ago by a lovely woman who was briefly married to a college friend of my husband's. She was wonderful; he was not. She took the recipe with her after the divorce but I was lucky enough to get a copy before things ended.
- For the Dough:
- 1 package of active dry yeast (Fleishmann's is a good choice), about 2 1/2 teaspoons
- 1/4 cup warm water (about 110º F; use an instant thermometer to check)
- 1/4 cup butter unsalted butter, plus extra to grease the baking pan
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3 to 4 cups all purpose flour
- For the Filling:
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted pecans or walnuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and then cooled
- For the Glaze:
- 1 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon or orange juice
- Making the Dough:
- Place the warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast over it to dissolve and proof. This will take about 5 minutes. It will be proofed when the surface is beige and foamy.
- While the yeast is proofing in the warm water, warm the milk in a saucepan so that it's almost hot. Add the butter, sugar and salt to the warm milk and stir until everything combines and the butter melts. Remove from the heat.
- Place 3 cups of the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and water mixture, the warm milk mixture, and the egg and stir to combine, adding more flour a quarter-cup at a time until the mixture forms a sticky dough that can be kneaded.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until it is silky and has a smooth surface and a pliable texture.
- Transfer to a lightly buttered or oiled bowl (use a tasteless oil like canola) and cover with plastic wrap and let rise to twice its size. This can take up to 2 hours.
- At this point the dough can be refrigerated overnight.
- Making the Rolls:
- When ready to bake, punch down the dough and then let rest another 10 minutes.
- Prepare a 9-inch square or round baking pan by greasing it with 1 tablespoon softened butter. You can also use a cookie sheet or sheet pan that has been
- Using a rolling pin and working on a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 12 by 9-inches.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the surface of the dough with the melted butter.
- In a small bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts. Using a spoon or your fingers, sprinkle this mixture over the entire surface of the butter-brushed dough, using your fingers to gently press the mixture into the dough.
- Working from the long side so that you create a 12-inch long roll, roll up the dough like a jelly roll with the filling on the inside.
- Using a sharp or serrated knife, cut the long roll into 12 1-inch pieces.
- Place the pieces, cut side up, into the buttered baking pan or cookie sheet. If you're using the baking pan, the rolls will touch one another; if you're using a cookie sheet place them about 1-inch apart.
- Let the roll again rise, for about 30 minutes, until they're double in size.
- Preheat oven to 425º F.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Prepare the glaze by combining the sugar with the milk and fresh lemon or orange juice to your taste. Make it thin enough so that you can drizzle the glaze over the warm buns.
- Let the glaze set for a few minutes but serve the buns while they're still warm.
Tip: You can toast the nuts either before or after chopping them. Spread on a sheet pan and place in a 350º F oven for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan periodically and watching the nuts closely so that they don't burn.