This recipe comes from one of the Cooks Illustrated issues from 1994 but I’ve never seen it republished by them, nor have I seen it republished in one of their compilation cookbooks. Back in the day, Cooks Illustrated had a lot more independent writers and this recipe came from Judy Kravitz from Cezanne Desserts which according to Yelp is now closed. I made this when I was at MIT and wow they are rich, giant, gooey buns with hints of cardamom in the dough.
To keep the dough soft and fluffy, Kravitz recommends kneading by hand, as a mixer increases the likelihood of over-kneading.
As soon as the dough becomes smooth, about 5 minutes after the flour is incorporated, it is time to stop. The dough should be only slightly springy, not elastic and bouncy like stiff bread dough. I recommend lining the pans with parchment if you dislike cleaning caramel from baking pans. The picture below on the right shows the buns after they have been proofed a second time.
The final step in making these buns requires some extra care. When you finish, the buns will be sitting on a rich caramelized sugar syrup. Flip the pans onto a rimmed baking sheet that is deep enough to catch the hot syrup and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. I recommend lining it with parchment, as cleaning this can be a bear.
Recipe: Bakery-Style Sticky Buns
Summary: Awesome sticky buns from the now defunct Cezanne Cafe and Bakery in Cambridge, MA
- 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ⅓ cups lukewarm milk
- 4 each whole eggs
- 2 each egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 6 ½ cups all purpose white flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ pound unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ cup dried currants
- ½ cup finely ground walnuts, use a food processor
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Brown Sugar Glaze
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ½ cups packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup honey
- ¼ pound unsalted butter
- For the dough, sprinkle yeast and sugar over milk in a large mixing bowl; let stand until yeast bubbles, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk eggs and yolks together in a small bowl. Whisk in vanilla and salt.
- Sift flour and cardamom together and set aside.
- Stir egg mixture into yeast. Add butter and mix by hand until butter looks like small curdles. Mix in enough flour mixture to form a loose dough. Turn dough onto work surface sprinkled with remaining flour mixture. Knead, incorporating remaining flour, until dough is smooth and springs back slightly when touched, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 2 hours.
- For the filling, mix filling ingredients except butter; set aside.
- For the glaze, grease sides of 2, 10-inch round cake pans (not springform). Pour half melted butter into each pan; sprinkle each evently with half brown sugar; set aside. I lined my pans with parchment paper instead to eliminate cleanup mess.
- Punch down dough and turn it onto a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out into an even 18-by-12 inch rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.
- Brush dough with melted butter and sprinkle with filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border on long sides. Use a rolling pin to embed filling into dough.
- Fold long edge of dough over twice and then proceed to roll dough into a tight log. Use dental floss to slice log into 12 1 1/2-inch pieces.
- Place buns, cut side down into prepared pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise by 50 percent, 45 minutes to one hour.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake until bun tops are golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
- For the syrup, bring honey and butter to simmer over low heat in 2 quart saucepan. Simmer until thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Bring 2 burners to low heat. As buns come out of oven, pour hot syrup over them and place each pan over a warm burner. Using oven mits to hold each pan, shake to distribute syrup and caramelize glaze, 2 to 3 minutes. Use a thin spatula to separate buns from edge of pans and each other. Immediately invert buns in each pan onto a rimmed baking sheet. Cool for 10 minutes and serve.
Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12