BBA#8 – Cinnamon Sticky Rolls

Brought to you on location here at Lake Powell…..the BBA Sticky Buns!!!!

Well hello folks, thanks for joining me for the next edition of this weeks Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge recipe. I had the wonderful opportunity to spend a week on my grandparent’s houseboat on beautiful Lake Powell. I could not resist the urge to use the huge upstairs kitchen to make the Cinnamon Sticky buns this week. I pretty much grew up with my grandmother’s pecan rolls and I thought it would be very interesting to make PR’s recipe so my grandma and I could compare notes on the two versions. Without further ado, here are my sticky buns:  

Dough ingredients:


 Salt, bread flour, AP flour, sugar, cinnamon, egg, lemon, butter, milk, and yeast!


 Here is my mise-en-place


 Started off my creaming the sugar and butter together – I did not lug my Kitchen Aid to the Lake so I made do with a vintage hand mixer that only had two speeds – off and on! This was really roughing it!!

Next in a separate bowl, I combined the dry ingredients: flours (half all purpose, half bread flour), salt, and yeast.


 I cracked the egg, zested the lemon, and added them along with the milk to the creamed sugar and butter. I then slowly added the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until the flour was well incorporated.  

 I had miles and miles of gorgeous granite counter space to work on, so I dumped the shaggy dough onto a bed of flour and started kneading.


 And kneading…..


 Until I had a gorgeous soft and smooth dough. There was about 10 or 12 minutes of kneading but it wasn’t too bad since I had an amazing view.


 I thought the dough was pretty close, so I tried a window pain test. It tore a little so I continued to knead for a few more minutes.


Finally, it was ready for the first rise. I oiled a bowl and set the dough inside for about 60 minutes until it had doubled.


While that was rising, I prepared the sticky pecan glaze for the tops of the rolls.

Here are the ingredients: 


Salt, butter, sugar, light corn syrup, vanilla, brown sugar and pecans.


 I measured the ingredients and combined them with the hand mixer again.

 This little guy, my nephew Preston, showed up just in time to help me lick the beaters! He informed me that he was a “taster” and would be required to taste everything going forward. Fortunately, I passed his inspection and was allowed to proceed.


 I spread the glaze into the bottom of the pan and dropped the pecans on top.

Note: I used the entire glaze recipe, which turned out to be too much! I know – I couldn’t believe it, I didn’t think there could be too much of a good thing, but I’m here to tell you that it basically turned the rolls soggy. Next time I will make half a batch of glaze.   


By this time the dough had risen. I rolled it out and sprinkled on a layer of cinnamon sugar.


I started rolling it into a log


 Until it looked like this


 I started slicing them into rolls and placed them in the pan, on top of the glaze and pecans.  


It was a tight squeeze, but I manged to make them fit. Next time I will be alittle more precise with the sizing.

The rolls rested for another 60 minutes or so until they were ready to put in the oven. 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. I wasn’t used to cooking at a higher altitude and realized after the fact that they should have stayed in about 5 or 10 more minutes.


 WARNING! WARNING! The photo you are about to see is terrible, horrible and small children should look away. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

………… This is what I found when I took off the pan. Eeek!


Disappointment City.

They had not browned, and the glaze had not caramelized, and it was dark and I used the wrong photo setting on the camera…I’m sorry, but I wanted to show you the unadulterated truth so you could possibly benefit from my mistakes.

Here is what I learned:

  • Use only half the recipe for the glaze
  • Adjust cooking time for higher altitude
  • Life a corner of the rolls and check if they are done before inverting them on to a cookie sheet!
  • Measure the log before cutting into rolls – this could have benefited from the use of a little math

The good thing it that it was just my family that got to witness this failure of epic proportions. Amazingly, the rolls were still edible and actually quite moist due to all the extra glaze. The addition of lemon zest was very surprising and I really liked the added flavor.

In a head to head comparison of this recipe to my grandmother’s tried and true pecan rolls, these lost – hands down. But, if I had a chance to make these again, I would. I think with the changes listed above they could be much better. This really wasn’t a fair contest though. They went up against 50 years or more of the Norgren pecan rolls, and I’m not sure any recipe on the planet could top them.

It was really fun to make these -especially using the ginormous kitchen on my grandparent houseboat – so thanks to GGma and GGpa for allowing us to come up and spend time with them for a week. They really are the best grandparents on the planet and I an so fortunate to have them in my life. Thanks, you two, for EVERYTHING you do for me =)

Next up: Cinnamon Walnut Raisin Bread!


5 responses to this post.

  1. So glad they were great tasting. I didn’t do the sticky rolls but just used the icing on top.
    Nice baking along with you,


  2. Posted by roundthetable on July 14, 2009 at 6:30 am

    That truly is one heck of a view! I would have missed an ingredient or two by being so distracted by the beauty out the window, so I think you did pretty well, considering. Try making the rolls with frosting next time – they were delicious and no need to worry about how much glaze to use!


    • Thanks roundthetable, the view was amazing! It was a good thing that I did a mise-en-place or I would have forgotten something for sure. I would like to try the rolls with a lemon frosting next time, since I’d really like to get them right!


  3. Uhh…if I had that view the last thing I would be doing is baking. I am attempting it on Friday and definitely taking your advice to heart.

    P.S. love love love the vintage hand mixer!


  4. I feel your pain. I just took mine out of the oven (it’s the 4th time I made them so I should have known better) and I used too much glaze and it bubbled over all over the oven floor. The glaze burned and instead of a delicious cinnamon aroma I have smoke and burnt sugar. Lucky you to spend that special time with your grandparents in such a beautiful location!!


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