Last week I had the idea to make some sticky buns on my days off, not only because I enjoy them and have them so seldom, but also I wanted to contribute something to this long neglected blog of mine on TFL. The problem was I wanted to do something a bit different from the usual cinnamon and walnut/pecan variety of sticky bun. Often a flavour combination will come to me right away, but not this time, so I put it on the back burner knowing I'd eventually come up with something promising. Earlier this week I hit upon the idea of using pineapple in the buns, inspired by memories of one of my childhood favourites, the classic Pineapple Upside-down Cake, with it's delicious combination of caramelized sugar and pineapple. As far as a different type of nut to use, macadamia nuts were my first choice for their lovely subtle flavour and texture, and with ginger replacing cinnamon for the spice component of the buns. The dough itself is based largely on the Sweet Roll Dough from AB&P, but using whole milk instead of powdered , and increasing the percentage of yeast, as the osmotolerant yeast called for in the AB&P formula isn't readily available to me. Instead, I used the percentage (6.6%) that Jan Hedh calls for in his Sweet Bread formula from 'Swedish Breads & Pastries' . All of the formulas will be included in links below for anyone who'd like to try this variation on an old favourite for themselves.
The makeup is similar to sticky cinnamon buns , but you will need some rings of tinned or fresh pineapple as well as some chunks for the the filling. The rings are cut in half, each half going into a small foil tart pan that's been smeared liberally with Sticky Bun Glaze. Place a half maraschino cherry cut side up, inside the inner semicircle of the pineapple and sprinkle some chopped nuts on the other half of the foil.
This can be prepared while the dough is chilling in the fridge. When the dough is well chilled it can be rolled out to a thickness of 3mm/1/8in and approximately 41cm/16in wide. Brush the entire piece of dough with some of the syrup reserved from the pineapple, or water, then sprinkle the ginger sugar evenly over the entire dough except for the bottom 50mm/2in . Apply small chunks of pineapple and chopped nuts over top of the sugar so that the dough is evenly covered to the borders.
Roll the dough up as you would for cinnamon rolls.
and slice into 115gram pieces, placing each in the prepared foil pans. Let rise for 45-60 minutes at room temperature and place 4-6 foil pans on a sheet pan at a time per bake, keeping the others in the fridge, and bake in a preheated 385F oven for 20-25 minutes. Once the buns have a light to medium brown colour remove them from the oven and turn them upsidedown onto parchment paper.
Note: Please be careful when doing this, using gloves or tongs to prevent a hot sugar burn.
Allow to cool for 1hr or longer before serving. This is easier said than done apparently in my case, since I was only able to last about 40 minutes before trying one out. The buns have a beautiful soft crumb that soaks up just enough of the glaze to impart the caramel flavour in every bite. It's everything you'd expect from a sticky bun and a nice variation on a traditional favourite.
Below are the links to the recipes used . The first is for the Sticky Bun Glaze, the second for the Sweet Bun Dough