Sticky Buns

Caramel:

6 tablespoons salted butter
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons honey or corn syrup

Cinnamon Rolls:

½ recipe brioche (see below)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

For the caramel:

Melt butter in medium saucepan over moderate heat. Whisk in brown sugar and bring to a boil. Off heat, add heavy cream and honey, whisk to combine. Pour caramel in bottom of 7x11 inch glass baking dish.

For the cinnamon rolls:

Mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in small bowl. Roll brioche into 12x16 inch rectangle, about ¼ inch thick, and brush with butter. Sprinkle evenly with sugar-cinnamon mixture. Roll dough up jelly-roll style from the shorter end. Cut into 6 rolls with very sharp knife.

Place rolls cut side up in pan on top of caramel. Cover with plastic wrap and proof until puffy, about 3 hours. Bake at 350 for 22-26 minutes, or until golden.

(You can also freeze the unbaked rolls by wrapping them individually with plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the fridge, and proceed with the recipe by placing them on top of the caramel mixture.)

Brioche

1/3 c warm water (about 110 F)
1 package yeast
2 T sugar
6 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tsp orange extract
4 c bread flour, divided*
2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
1 large egg + 1 T water for egg wash

Stand Mixer Instructions
In a large mixer bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar, mix with fingers and let sit for 10 min. If the mixture doesn’t foam up, toss it and start over b/c the yeast was bad.

Add six eggs and orange extract, mix with paddle attachment until well blended. Add two cups flour, mix on low for about five minutes.

Add remaining 2 cups of flour and salt, mix for about another 5 minutes on low. With mixer on low, add softened butter 1 T at a time. Switch to dough hook and mix on low until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl (about 3 minutes total). Refrigerate dough overnight in large buttered bowl covered in plastic wrap.

The next day, bring dough to room temperature (about 1-2 hours). On a floured board, divide dough in half.

Take the first half and roll out slightly into a rectangle (should be about as wide as your loaf pan is long). Roll the dough into a log and press the seam together to seal, tuck under the ends if needed to fit into loaf pan. Place in pan, seam side down, cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

For remaining dough, you can either make another loaf or divide the dough into 12 equal pieces for mini brioche rolls. For each roll, stretch the dough slightly and tuck ends under in center, forming a ball. Place seam side down in muffin pan. Cover with damp kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Brush each with egg wash. Bake 350 – loaf for about 35-40 minutes, mini brioche for about 18-20 minutes.

Non-Stand Mixer Instructions
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar, mix with fingers and let sit for 10 min. If the mixture doesn’t foam up, toss it and start over b/c the yeast was bad.

Add six eggs and orange extract, mix with a hand mixer or wooden spoon until well blended. Add two cups flour, mix on low for about five minutes. (Note: do not use a hand-held mixer beyond this step, unless you want an excuse to get a new mixer.)

Switch to a workboard. Add remaining 2 cups of flour and salt and work the dough by hand until it starts coming off the surface of your workboard. It will be really sticky still. Stretch the dough out and add 1 T of butter at a time, folding the dough over and working to incorporate. Repeat until all butter is added, and dough pulls away from workboard and looks kind of shiny. (This takes awhile – about 25 minutes) Refrigerate dough overnight in large buttered bowl covered in plastic wrap.

The next day, bring dough to room temperature (about 1-2 hours). On a floured board, divide dough in half.

Take the first half and roll out slightly into a rectangle (should be about as wide as your loaf pan is long). Roll the dough into a log and press the seam together to seal, tuck under the ends if needed to fit into loaf pan. Place in pan, seam side down, cover with kitchen towel (I’ve also used a damp paper towel) and let rise for 2 hours.

For remaining dough, you can either make another loaf or divide the dough into 12 equal pieces for mini brioche rolls. For each roll, stretch the dough slightly and tuck ends under in center, forming a ball. Place seam side down in muffin pan. Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for 2 hours.

Brush each with egg wash. Bake 350 – loaf for about 35-40 minutes, mini brioche for about 18-20 minutes.

*Though you can use all-purpose flour, I’ve found the results to be much, much better using bread flour. If you’re going to take the time to make a special bread like brioche, make sure you have bread flour on hand.