Friday, March 13, 2009

Cooking Light's Sticky Buns! A step towards conquering my fear of yeast...

Yes, you can lump me in with the masses of fresh-faced, aspiring bakers who is, terrified of yeast. In order to overcome my fear (dubbed completely irrational by Chris, who regularly churns out fantastic pizza doughs that rise beautifully) of the little buggers, we tried our hand at these home-made sticky buns from Cooking Light.

And the result? Well...

They turned out fabulously! No issues with rising, even though they're intended to rise twice and we quickly grew impatient (not to mention hungry) and skipped that whole second-rising part. :)
These buns were everything a yeast-bread sweet roll should be- fluffy, tender, gooey, sticky and deliciously flavored with caramel and cinnamon.

Cooking Light's (Faux Double-Rising) Pecan Sticky Rolls

3/4 cup warm skim milk (just heated up a bit in the microwave)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup egg substitute (we used real eggs)
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
18 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 cups), divided
Cooking spray

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons hot water
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted (quick toasting tip: to skip the oven/skillet method, you can just zap them in the microwave in a dish for about a minute, or until the nuts are fragrant)

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

1. To prepare dough, combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.

2. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir yeast mixture into milk mixture. Add egg substitute and 3 tablespoons melted butter; stir until well combined.

3. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 16.8 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) flour to yeast mixture; stir until smooth. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (CL says to do this for about 8 minutes, but I'm not sure we did it for that long); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly soft and tacky).

4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes. Punch dough down and turn over in bowl; lightly coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes. (We totally skipped this first rise!)

5. To prepare sauce, combine brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons hot water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Scrape sugar mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly over bottom of pan with a spatula. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly with pecans, and set aside.

6. To prepare filling, combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat dough into a 16 x 12–inch rectangle. Brush surface of dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 15 slices (approximately 1 inch wide). Arrange slices, cut sides up, in prepared pan. Lightly coat rolls with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

7. Preheat oven to 350°.

8. Uncover rolls, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; carefully invert onto serving platter.

9. Be happy! Yeast is your friend!

I wouldn't necessarily call them "Light," at nearly 300 calories per roll, but eh- what's the point of eating sticky buns if you're going to worry about how quickly they'll migrate to your hips, tum, or bum, anyway?

(Side note: These buns are, in fact, "Light" when compared to a Cinnabon cinnamon roll, which weighs in at over 800 calories!)

Verdict: We both love them and were so proud! We'll be making them again- hopefully for a fun family breakfast, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. They're sure to impress. :)



  1. Claire and Chris - love this - could we make these this weekend? You guys crack me up -luv ur guts.

  2. These would be perfect for this weekend! Can't wait!