Bacon Pecan Sticky Buns with Maple Caramel

Yield makes 9 buns
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 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
Recipe notes
These irresistible sticky buns include bacon as their secret ingredient. The perfect weekend baking project, these buns combine a beautifully soft, springy dough with toasted pecans, maple caramel, and our famous Applewood Smoked Bacon.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pour the caramel mixture into prepared baking pan. Add pecans in an even layer. Add coarsely cut bacon in an even layer. Set aside.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together finely chopped bacon, cinnamon, and remaining ¼ cup brown sugar; set aside.
  7. 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.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Place pan on a baking sheet and bake until rolls are nicely browned and firm, about 30 minutes.
  10. 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.