Bacon Pecan Sticky Buns with Maple Caramel
D'Artagnan | Yield: makes 9 buns
We’re firm believers in the adage, “Everything tastes better with bacon.” These ooey-gooey sticky buns are a prime example. The perfect weekend baking project, these buns combine a beautifully soft, springy dough with toasted pecans, maple caramel, and our famous Applewood Smoked Bacon.
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, divided use
- 1¾ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2½ cups (320g) bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
- 1 pack Applewood Smoked Bacon
- ½ cup packed brown sugar, divided use
- ¼ cup grade B maple syrup
- 1 cup pecan halves, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- Reserved bacon fat
- Make the dough: In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together milk, sugar, and 6 tablespoons of the butter. Heat until butter is just melted. Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a dough hook; cool until mixture reaches about 110 degrees F. Sprinkle yeast over the top and stir gently. Let sit until yeast blooms and is slightly foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Add flour, egg, and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Mix on medium-low until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Remove the dough, kneading into a smooth ball, then return to the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Proof the dough in a warm place until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes. While the dough rises, prepare the other components.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Arrange bacon slices on a rack set over a rimmed sheet pan. Bake until bacon is cooked through and just crisped, about 15 minutes. Cool the bacon. Carefully pour the rendered bacon fat into a small bowl and set aside. Take 3 bacon slices and chop very fine; set aside. Take remaining bacon and coarsely chop; set aside. Brush a little reserved bacon fat into an 8” square baking pan.
- To a medium saucepan over medium heat, add remaining 6 tablespoons butter, maple syrup, ¼ cup brown sugar, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook until mixture reaches 212 degrees F on a candy thermometer; remove from heat.
- Pour the caramel mixture into prepared baking pan. Add pecans in an even layer. Add coarsely cut bacon in an even layer. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together finely chopped bacon, cinnamon, and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar; set aside.
- When the dough has risen, remove to a lightly floured surface and knead gently a few times. Roll dough into a 10” square. Brush dough with a generous layer of reserved bacon fat. Spread sugar/bacon filling evenly over the surface. Starting at the bottom edge, roll dough up tightly into a log. Using a serrated knife, cut log into 9 even slices. Place rolls cut side up in the pan, cover with a tea towel, and proof until rolls are doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until rolls are nicely browned and firm, about 30 minutes.
- Cool pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes then place a serving plate or tray on top and invert. Carefully remove pan (caramel will be hot!) and allow to cool a bit before serving. Leftover rolls can be kept covered at room temperature for about 2 days.