We all have that one thing…that one dish that we think of when we think of our grandparents. For me, it’s that one thing that she was known for across the state. She was known as the Sticky Bun Lady…
I’d go to bed at night when she was just starting the dough. The next morning, I’d wake up early to the smell of cinnamon and brown sugar wafting through the house. Sheet tray after sheet tray laid out all over the house.
Like most of our grandparents, everything was a dash of this and hand full of that. Unfortunately that doesn’t work for efficiently re-creating a recipe. Most of that wonderful woman’s recipes weren’t even written down. It was all amazingly done by memory… every single time!
As my Mom-mom aged, she started to lose her mind, her memory and all her legacy that was her recipes, was lost.
Over the years, I’ve looked high and low and bought countless numbers of sticky buns. Any that I could get my hands on from anywhere I could. Don’t get me wrong….I’ve had lots of delicious sticky buns. Some were better than others. Unfortunately none of them came close to holding a candle to those that Mom-mom used to make.
I spent a long time making a batch of sticky buns about every other week. I’d taste them and tweak a thing here, and an ingredient there, and even the methods of mixing and proofing. My wife got so sick of them that she still won’t order them. My son…well…what toddler doesn’t love sugar and cinnamon…
After countless batches and a few pounds to my frame later, I invited my dad over for dinner. We talked, we reminisced, ate dinner and watched a movie. After everything was said and done, I broke out dessert. He was, needless to say, skeptical that they would come close. Nobody’s were her’s. He took one bite, in absolute silence. A tear, rolled down his face as he just looked up at me and said, “That’s it baby…That’s it…”
I’d done it! I recreated my Mom-mom’s Sticky Buns! In my opinion, there’s no sticky bun out there better. I think I’ve made that painfully obvious by now. So I thought I’d share with you the legacy that my Mom-mom, Anne Stahl took with her.
Now, this will take time. Like I said she’d start them as i was going to bed and they were just coming out of the oven when i woke up. so be prepared to clear your day for this. Most of it is just time spent proofing, but don’t go far. Maybe watch a movie, or do some quick yard work. I usually start them while I’m weed whacking, then do the next step, then Mow, etc.
1/3 C. milk
1/4 C. +1/8 C sugar
½ tsp. salt
1/4 C. butter
3 T water
2.5 tsp. dry yeast
2 ½ C. flour
3T melted butter
1 C. butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Prepare dough: Heat milk until bubbles form around edge of pan. Remove from heat. Add sugar and butter, stirring to mix. Cool to lukewarm and add yeast stirring until dissolved. Make sure to not take any yeast with the spoon.
Mix other dough ingredients in large mixing bowl and slowly add milk while beating. Knead 5-10 minutes, just long enough to bring everything together and become sticky.
Place in greased bowl. Grease top of dough and cover with plastic wrap. Keep in warm place to rise for 1½ hours. If it’s winter, I usually boil a pot of water, then set the dough and the pot on opposite sides of the oven with the door shut. This helps it stay humid and warm enough to rise. In the warmer months, just place it on a windowsill.
After 1 ½ hours, Punch dough down and knead for several more minutes. Cover again and allow to rise for another hour.
Punch dough down and knead for a few minutes. Roll out to form a rectangle approximately 18 inches long and 12 inches wide.
Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar ( just enough to coat). Roll dough width-wise (So it is 18 inches long) and seal edges.
Prepare pan: Melt butter in pan. Sprinkle brown sugar and cinnamon on butter and smooth everything out evenly.
Slice dough rolls into 8 pieces and arrange on topping. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in warm area to rise for 45 minutes. Make sure before baking, you have something underneath you’re dish to catch the excess run off from the butter and sugar. Trust me…you don’t want to forget this step unless you enjoy breathing in smoke for the rest of the evening…
Remove plastic wrap and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes to allow the sugars to cool just slightly. Turn the pan over onto a platter, leaving the pan in place for a few minutes so the topping can drizzle down onto the buns. Serve warm and enjoy! Let me know what you thought of my Mom-mom’s Famous Sticky Buns!
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