Flour Bakery Sticky Buns. You’ve probably heard of these, or had them at least once. And if you’ve had them once, you’ve probably had them many times, because they are just that good. Joanne Chang is a veritable culinary genius, cranking out some of the best pastries in this city – or really, some of the best I’ve had. I’ve cooked from her Flour Bakery Cookbook many, many times in the past, but have always been a bit daunted by these beauties.
Brioche and I have a long, troubled past. It has never really worked out for me. Often I end up with a rather dense, slightly dry final product, barely even reminiscent of the real thing. I got close once, but it wasn’t quite perfect. This time it was perfect. These buns were my first truly successful attempt at producing a pliable, luxuriously shiny, rich and butter-filled brioche dough. In fact, I have to admit that when it came out of the mixer, I carried the giant ball of dough around the kitchen to show everyone, I was so proud. Those moments are my absolute favorite in the kitchen, when you masterfully execute something that has always eluded you. it’s such a rewarding feeling!
After I put down my dough and stopped gloating, putting the rest of the pieces together was a piece of cake. The assembly of these buns is relatively simple, though I can’t say I didn’t cringe continuously throughout the process, as I added pounds of fat and sugar together into a recipe that only yields 8 servings. Yes, only 8. I didn’t even let myself go so far as to try and calculate the calories in each one, because it was not something I was prepared to comprehend.
When these were out of the oven and ready for eating, I vowed I’d only have a few bites… which became a half of one… which ultimately (obviously) resulted in the consumption of an ENTIRE sticky bun. Two days in a row. I felt a bit guilty for so obnoxiously showing up my hours spent in the gym, but not that guilty.
Bottom line: some things are worth indulging in, and this recipe is one of those things. The dough bakes up into this magical pillow of buttery, yeasty perfection, which gets completely enveloped in a sweet caramel topping. Subtle hints of cinnamon come through, and there are plenty of pecan pieces to go around (I actually used walnuts for this recipes since it’s all I had!) With these, every bite you take has a bit of all the components, making it satisfying from the first bite to the last. I just can’t even say enough good things.
You can find the recipe on the Food Network website, where it was shared after Joanne trumped Bobby Flay on his Throwdown show. It’s certainly a labor of love, but I’ve possibly never been more pleased by a result before. And if you just don’t feel like making these yourself, you should probably head to Flour (1, 2, 3 or 4!) and grab one for yourself.
If you prefer baking from a book, check out the cookbook - and while you’re at it, pre-order Flour, Too! I came across this when I was perusing Amazon the other day, and I haven’t been so excited for a cookbook release in such a long time. Can’t wait!