Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Sticky Buns

I’m hungry. But I’m not going to make anything. I’m not happy with my weight. So I’ll find sustenance in words.

My favorite time of all is a cool morning. That’s probably why I miss the ocean so much. When I lived in Cal (or visited NJ here), every morning felt brisk. A fresh, fragrant breeze suggested my sweater be at the ready. Hot coffee and freshly prepared food made every day a pleasure to begin. I just remembered driving to the beach in New Hampshire during my undergrad, leaving Manchester before sunrise. We had no money to buy anything, including food, but it sure smelled grand. Greeting the first waves of the day is special to me ...

Places and friends change; I know none of those locales or people anymore. But I can still open my door as it is right now and smell the richness outside. The woods are nothing like the beach, but they hold their own magic.

This recipe started in Gourmet Magazine, but I have changed it a lot. It takes a while to make, but seems to be perfectly timed for getting up early and welcoming everyone else when they arise. The prep time is perfect for a cup of coffee and a shower; the cooking time fits nicely into arranging the table and cleaning up.

I’ve had great sticky buns (including at OCNJ), but there’s nothing like making your own. I love the syrup still dripping from being freshly baked. It’s just not the same from a bakery. These buns – if any are left over, which is rare – nuke quite nicely.

Sticky Buns

Prep Time: 1 hour 5 minutes; Cook Time: 45 minutes

2-1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup raisins
1 (8 ounce) frozen Bread Dough
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

You can buy the bread dough from the freezer section of the store. I put one loaf in the fridge overnight to defrost.

Butter an 8 by 4-inch pan.

Melt 2-1/2 T butter in small saucepan over low heat. Whisk in 1/4 cup brown sugar, corn syrup, and lemon juice. Increase heat to medium and whisk until sugar melts and syrup boils. Pour syrup evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with pecans.

Put dough on floured surface. Roll out dough to 8 by 12-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with 1/4 sugar and cinnamon. Starting at one short side, roll up dough jelly-roll style. Cut crosswise into eight 1-inch-thick rounds.

Arrange dough slices cut side down in prepared dish, spacing evenly. Cover with plastic. Let rise in warm draft-free area until doubled, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake rolls until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Turn out onto platter. Cool slightly. Serve warm.

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