Saturday 31 March 2012

Apple Sticky Buns

I was given a bag of apples last week and, since I already had some apples on hand from our Good Food Box, I decided to use the gift to make sticky buns.  My husband loves them and considers them a special treat.  Those sticky buns made an extra special Sunday breakfast at our house last weekend. 

Ever since I made the buns I’ve been trying to write the recipe down for you but each attempt comes out longer than a Dickens novel.  I’ve edited it as much as I can now and it’s still an epic work.  Please do bear with me.  There are a lot of steps to making these buns but they’re worth the effort.

To make the apple filling, you’ll need:

(A double batch is depicted here)

  • 4 cups of apple cut into a half-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 Tablespoons Minit Tapioca

Stir the ingredients together in a heavy bottomed pot and set it over low heat.  The sugar should draw enough juice from the apples to prevent the filling from sticking  and scorching but, if the apples are not juicy, you can add a small amount of apple juice to help the filling along.

Stir the filling now and again so that it heats evenly.  When it boils and thickens, remove the pot from the heat and allow the filling to cool to room temperature.

When the filling has cooled, prepare the pan.  I used a 9-inch square pan this time but have had better results with this recipe when using a 10-inch round pan.  The buns cook more evenly in the larger, round pan. 

Butter the pan, line the bottom of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment. 

Make the sticky bun syrup for the bottom of the pan.  You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine these ingredients in a small saucepan and set it over medium low heat until the butter is melted.  Stir to combine the ingredients and pour them into the bottom of the baking pan.  Spread to distribute the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Some of the butter will separate out but that’s okay.

Once the syrup is prepared and spread in the bottom of the baking pan, prepare the bread dough.  You’ll need:

  • 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of lukewarm water
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup canola or other neutral flavoured vegetable oil
  • 3-1/4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Stir the sugar into the water until dissolved.  Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it rest until the yeast dissolves and foams up.

Add in the oil, flour, and salt, in the order listed.

Knead by hand or in a mixer until the dough forms a smooth, elastic ball that springs back when lightly touched.

Now you’re ready to assemble the buns.  Roll the dough out into a rectangle that measures about 18 inches by 8. 

Spread the apple filling out onto the dough.  

Roll the dough and filling into a long cylinder than when viewed in cross section looks like a pinwheel.

Cut the cylinder into thirds, then cut each third into three pieces.

Place the pieces on top of the syrup in the prepared baking pan.

Allow the buns to rise until doubled in size. 

Bake the buns in a 375˚F oven for about 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.  If the tops of the buns darken too quickly cover the pan loosely with foil.

When the baking time is finished, use a knife to gently open one of the seams between the buns at the center of the pan.  The dough in the center will take the longest to bake and you want to make sure that the bread is completely cooked.

When the buns are baked, immediately turn them out of the pan, inverting them onto a cookie sheet or cutting board.  Remove the parchment.

Allow the buns to cool completely.  While they’re cooling, make the frosting.  You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Icing sugar (Powdered sugar)

Cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla.  Add icing sugar a bit at a time, mixing until smooth after each addition, until the icing reaches the consistency and flavour you prefer.  If it gets too thick, you can add a little milk to thin it down.

Invert the cooled buns onto a serving plate and ice them. 

I prefer my sticky buns without icing.  My husband likes his with icing.  He eats more sweets than I do so this is what compromise looks like at our house.

See?  Lots of steps but an excellent end result.

These buns would make a nice treat for Easter breakfast.  Because the filling is moist, they can be made ahead and will keep quite well in an airtight container.



Ilke said...

I think I would love this much better than cinnamon buns. I have never been a fan of frosting. I will take it your way :)

Aunt B said...

Thanks Ilke. I enjoy them because they're a little less sweet than a traditional cinnamon bun, hence my choice to eat them without the frosting. I hope you enjoy them too. :)