Incredible Sticky Buns

This recipe is provided for the serious baker only. To get these right might take you several tries, but they are truly one of the best breakfast pastries in the world. The only special equipment you'll need is jumbo 1-cup muffin pans and some room in the fridge. Check at your local baker's supply store for the tins before you get started. If you have any problems, e-mail us, or better yet, drive down to the Café Kevah around 9:30 one morning and have one of ours. Well, here goes, and good luck.

Yield, eighteen buns

Proof Yeast - in medium bowl

  • ½ oz Yeast
  • ¾ cup Warm Water
  • 4 TBSP Granulated Sugar
  • 3 TBSP AP Flour

Whisk together in bowl. Let mixture sit 5-10 minutes in warm place until foamy.

The Dough

  • ½ cup plus 4-½ tsp. Non-fat dry milk powder
  • 2 1/3 cups Cold water
  • 2 ½ # (8 cups) All purpose flour
  • 1 TBSP plus 2 tsp. Unsalted butter

Add to yeast mixture and knead lightly. The dough should be ragged and lumpy, which shows it hasn't been overworked. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until dough had doubled in size. (About 1 to 2 hours)

Butter Slab

  • 1 ½ # Unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP All purpose flour

Cut butter in 2-inch cubes. Knead the flour into butter until it's well incorporated and mixture is smooth. Sandwich between two pieces of parchment paper and shape into 10 by 12-inch rectangle. Wrap in plastic and chill in refrigerator.

Rolling the Dough

Roll the chilled dough into an 18 by 12-inch rectangle on floured surface. Unwrap chilled butter and lay it on the upper two thirds of the rolled dough. Fold the lower (unbuttered) third over the center third. Bring the upper third down over center, as if you were folding a letter. Tug on the corners to make an even rectangle. Position the dough so that the short ends are at 6 and 12 o'clock. Measure it. With even pressure on the rolling pin, roll dough until it doubles in length. Roll toward open ends, not toward the folds. Fold the dough in thirds as you would a letter. Rotate 90 degrees again and roll out to double length. Seal dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours. Repeat procedure two more times, refrigerating 2-4 hours each time, followed by refrigerated rest of at least one hour, but preferably over night. Dough may be frozen and saved at this point. If dough is resistant to rolling, let it rest a moment. Then gently hold ends of dough and flap against table as if shaking out a towel. Relaxes dough so you don't overwork it.


  • 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. Cloves

Mix ingredients and reserve.

Shaping and Baking the Buns

If dough has chilled overnight, the dough will look like a puffy pillow. If it has rested only a short time, it will look just slightly larger than when the turns were completed. A longer rest gives the buns a more pronounced yeasty flavor. Roll out the finished dough; dust it with a sugar and spice mixture. Roll into a tight coil. Cut into individual rounds. Place round dough spirals in 1 cup, jumbo greased muffin tins. As you put the buns into muffin tins, press gently on the tops to be sure dough touches bottom of pan.

Cover and let the shaped buns rise in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, test the proof by lightly poking the side of the pastry. If indentation stays, buns are ready to bake.

Bake in preheated 350 oven for 25 minutes. Put a piece of foil on the shelf beneath to catch any drips. If the tops start to burn during baking, cover with foil. Turn buns out onto a cool baking sheet.