13 September 2014

Sticky Buns for the feast of St John Chrysostom

For the feast of this "golden-tongued" doctor of the Church, these golden sweet rolls were fun to make and got our morning off to a great start! I was kind of mostly following this recipebut I made some changes so I'll write out our version here.

One of the symbols often associated with Saint John Chrysostom is a beehive, because of his eloquence (the "sweetness" of his words). To tie the rolls more in with his feast, I swapped the white sugar in the original recipe for honey... Local honey also helps build up immunity to pollen allergens, so I can pretend I'm cooking more healthfully by using it instead of the white sugar.

1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons honey
4 1/2 teaspoons yeast (2 packets)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
2 well-mashed bananas
2 eggs
6 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
2 bananas, sliced thinly

In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of milk with 2 tablespoons of honey over low heat until the honey has completely dissolved. Allow it to cool to 110 F, then add yeast. Set it aside to proof for about 20 minutes. (That sounded like a ridiculously long time to me, but it really worked!)

Melt together the stick of butter and the honey. In a large bowl, combine them with 1/2 cup of milk and the salt. Beat in bananas. When well combined, thoroughly mix in the eggs, then beat in the yeast mixture.

Slowly beat in the flour. If your stand mixer can handle a stiff dough with 6 1/2 cups of flour, congratulations! Mine can't, so my wooden spoon got a good workout. The dough will be sticky, but not never-letting-go-of-your-fingers sticky, if that makes sense? Definitely the consistency of a dough and not a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, at least 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, roll it out into a rectangle about 1/4" thick. Spread the softened butter over the rectangle. Sprinkle and gently pat down the brown sugar over the butter. Shake cinnamon over the brown sugar, then evenly scatter with pecans and bananas:

(Make the corners less round than I did here, and the next step won't be as messy for you!)

Roll into a log and cut into rounds. I didn't measure before I started cutting, and wound up with 11; if you start in the middle and subdivide, it shouldn't be difficult to get 12 rolls out of this recipe.

Lay the rounds on a greased baking sheet and let rise while your oven preheats to 350 F.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

The original recipe called for a caramel frosting, but I skipped it and thought they were fine without. Matt thinks they would benefit from something, maybe whipped cream or a coffee glaze. If you give them a try, let me know what you think!

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