|above photo by Jonathan Lovekin via MarthaStewart.com|
Still, I wasn't completely sold on them until I read a few other sticky bun recipes and decided that these "healthier" ones actually seemed like the least amount of work. Teddy's a little over three months now, and even though my mom was in town visiting for the week and helping out a ton (Thanks, Mom!), a low work to high taste-reward ratio is still a major factor when choosing recipes these days.
The only thing I didn't like about this recipe was that it didn't mention letting them do their final rise overnight in the refrigerator so that in the morning—when one typically eats a sticky bun—all you have to do is bring the dough to room temperature and bake it. But even without Martha's express permission, I took the overnight-rise approach anyway.
And well, while I really loved these sticky buns and would make them again, they were a little dense. My first thought was to blame the whole wheat flour. But perhaps they didn't rise properly overnight (though I know I've done this before with success). I don't think substituting ground flax seeds for the wheat germ did it, but maybe?
Point being, the brunch was so much fun even if Teddy did have a minor meltdown at the beginning. And I know what you're thinking: What? No photo of Teddy to round out this post? Sorry! The good news is that Matt and I recently shot a bit of an epic video attempt for part of a super fun, network-wide collaboration for PBS Digital Studios that features Teddy in a big way. It won't run until early May (can't wait to share it with you!), but in the mean time, if you need to see exactly what Teddy is up to (and who doesn't?), go here!
p.p.s. (Relatedly?) My friend Kate's book, American Afterlife, is out! Go ahead and get yourself a copy today!
Whole-Wheat Brown-Sugar Sticky Buns from Martha Stewart (with a couple of notes from me)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ (or ground flax seed?)
1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast (from 1/2 envelope)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 large egg, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
Lightly brush a medium bowl with butter; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment, combine flours, wheat germ, yeast, salt, brown sugar, water, egg, and butter. Mix on medium-low speed, scraping sides and bottom of bowl once, until dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Brush a 9-inch round cake pan with butter; set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt until smooth and fluffy. Spread half of mixture over bottom of pan; sprinkle with half of pecans.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Gently roll into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle. With an offset spatula, spread remaining brown-sugar mixture on top, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Starting at a long edge, roll up dough like a jelly roll, then cut crosswise into 10 pieces. Place pieces in pan cut-side down, spaced evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are just touching and almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Or like I did, overnight in the refrigerator. Just bring them to room temperature before baking in the morning.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns until golden brown and topping is bubbling around sides of pan, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. With a serving plate centered over pan, hold plate and pan together and carefully flip over. Lift off pan and scrape out any remaining topping onto buns. Serve immediately.