Let’s admit it…when company comes (especially the In-laws) you like to make recipes with a little wow factor. These Pumpkin Pie Whiskey Sticky Buns will do just that…wow…and make everyone’s tummies happy. 🙂
The whiskey cooks out so if you are worried about the littles getting tipsy off them, no need to worry. Unless,of course, you want them a little tipsy. 😉 I’ve made cinnamon rolls and sticky buns a ton of different ways, but my favorite will always be with brioche. It’s definitely an extra step but when you are trying to impress it’s the way to go.
This is a pumpkin brioche which I have featured a few times in various forms on the blog. But this is the first time it’s become sticky buns and I must say holy yum! If you aren’t into pumpkin pie flavor you can just add more cinnamon (the pumpkin brioche really doesn’t taste like pumpkin it just makes it really soft and wonderful). You can also omit the whiskey if so desired.
And because you are trying to impress the family you need to make sure you are using my favorite butter…Plugra European Style Butter! In fact, all holiday baking should probably involve Plugra butter. If you are making baked goods for friends as a gift you want to be using the best…and Plugra is the best. I think we all know my feelings about it at this point…but I won’t stop singing its praises just in case someone doesn’t know yet how awesome it is!
So when the relatives are over make these! Not only because they are delicious but for when your Mother-In-Law says why is the whiskey out you can say for the buns! And if she questions why your breath smells like whiskey…quality control! 😀
Pumpkin Pie Whiskey Sticky Buns
For the Sponge:
¼ cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 ½ tsp active dry yeast
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup bread flour
Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment ans whisk until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the pumpkin puree, sugar, and flour, forming a thick batter. Cover with plastic film and let rest in a warm environment until bubbles form, 30-40 minutes.
For the Dough:
5 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
8oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter; at room temperature (I used Plugra)
Add the flour and salt to the sponge, then add the eggs. Mix on low speed for 2 minutes, or until the eggs are absorbed. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes.
The dough will begin to slap around. Hold on to the mixer when necessary.
On medium-low speed, add the butter, 2 TBSP at a time. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally( I switched to the dough hook at this point).
Knead until the dough is shiny and smooth, about 5 minutes. Scrape out the dough, wash and dry the bowl, and coat it lightly with oil.
Place dough in the oiled bowl and turn it so that the top is coated with oil. Cover with plastic film and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
After the dough has doubled in volume, press down to deflate, folding one half into the other. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. This is the second rise.
YOU NEED ONLY 1/2 BATCH OF THE DOUGH FOR THE BUNS.
For the Glaze:
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces (I used Plugra)
1/3 cup whiskey
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cup pecans
For the Filling:
1/3 cup sugar brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Plugra)
For the buns:
1/2 recipe dough for Pumpkin Brioche
Generously butter a 9 x 13-inch baking pan or 10-inch round pan.
To Make the Glaze:
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, whiskey, and honey to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar.
Pour the glaze into the buttered pan, evening it out as best you can by tilting the pan or spreading the glaze with a heatproof spatula.
Sprinkle over the pecans.
To Make the Filling:
Mix together the sugar and spices in a bowl. If necessary, in another bowl, work the butter with a spatula until it is soft, smooth and spreadable.
To shape the Buns:
On a flour-dusted work surface, roll the chilled dough into a 16-inch square. Using your fingers or pastry brush, spread the softened butter over the dough.
Sprinkle the dough with the spiced sugar, leaving a 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you.
Starting with the side nearest to you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can.
With a chef’s knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends of the rolls if they’re very ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into 1-inch-thick buns.
Fit the buns into the pan cut side down, leaving some space between them.
Lightly cover the pan with a piece of wax paper or kitchen towel and set the pan in a warm place until the buns have doubled in volume, about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
The buns properly rise when they are puffy, soft, doubled and, in all likelihood, touching each other.
Baking the buns:
When the buns have almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F.
Remove the sheet of wax paper and put the pan on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Bake the sticky buns for about 30 minutes or until they are puffed and gorgeously golden: the glaze will be bubbling way merrily. Pull the pan from the oven.
The sticky buns must be unmolded minutes after they come out of the oven.
If you do not have a rimmed platter large enough to hold them, use a baking sheet lined with a silicon mat or butter foil. Be careful-the glaze is super-hot and super-sticky.