Larry Smith's Sticky Buns
Created by Larry Smith
In Vermillion, South Dakota, people line up to buy baker Larry Smith's bread as soon as it comes out of the oven. For a grown-up brunch, forgo the frosting or serve it in a bowl for dunking. For children and sweet freaks, bring it on! Either way, prepare for laughter and tears and people following you home.
Servings: Serves 12
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 3/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts , optional
  • 4 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sprinkle the yeast and a pinch of the sugar over the warm water in a large mixing bowl; let stand until foamy on top, 5 to 7 minutes. In a small bowl, microwave the milk and butter until warm, 40 to 50 seconds (105° to 115°). Add the milk and butter mixture, the remaining sugar, and the egg to the mixing bowl. Add the flour, about 1 cup at a time (adding the last 1/4 cup flour if necessary), and salt and mix (5 minutes if using a dough hook, 10 minutes if kneading by hand) until firm but soft. The dough should gently spring back when poked. Do not over knead. Place the dough in a buttered bowl; cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts until fluffy. On a lightly floured surface, press or roll the dough into a rectangle, about 17"x14". Spread the filling evenly to all edges, leaving a 1/2-inch border along one of the long edges of the dough. Roll up the filling-covered dough, starting with the side opposite the edge with the border. When almost finished rolling, slightly dampen the uncovered edge with water; crimp firmly to seal. (Roll will stretch to 22"x3".) Using a serrated knife, cut crosswise into 12 thick slices.

Preheat the oven to 325°. Line a large jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Transfer the buns to the pan, spacing evenly. Cover lightly with a towel and let stand 30 to 45 minutes, until buns are slightly puffed (not doubled). Bake 25 minutes or until golden.

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Remove buns from the oven and allow to cool just 5 minutes, then frost.


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