Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pennsylvania German Tuesday-Sticky Buns

Last week I shared how Diana wanted homemade Chicken & Waffles for dinner after her return from the south. Several of you thought it sounded strange but yummy. There was, however, a vocal minority who were of the opinion that few things could be more vile. How sad.

Well, this week I will share with you the next recipe Diana was craving. I believe this will have much wider appeal. Now many of you may think the name "Sticky Buns" is either a bit off putting or may snicker at the double entendre. Some of you may mistakenly assume I mean Cinnamon Buns, those things smeared with white icing. You may even think I mean those things you can get out of a tube at the grocery store. Perish the thought! (Though I will confess to making my share of those over the course of a lifetime.)

Sticky Buns are a Pennsylvania German bit of heaven. As a child we used to go to the farmer's market every weekend to get our produce, potato chips, pretzels, and deli meats for the week. Some times we'd stop by the Mennonite stands selling deliciously roasted chickens or homemade ice cream. As far as I was concerned the big treat was when we got sticky buns. And no, that did not occur when we sat on a bench where someone stuck an old wad of gum. Sticky buns are just that...buns that are very sticky. You can have them with nuts or raisins or just plain, but they are all a sticky gooey mess because of the sugar and molasses all over the top of them.

Now to the recipe, which I took from Boyertown Area Cookery or The Boyertown Housewife & Kitchen Efficiency Guide & Companion. (Doesn't that title smack of vapid women in pumps and pearls and frilly little aprons? Well, ok, in the case of PA German country it smacks of women with unflattering haircuts, no make-up, and frumpy calico aprons and I say that with genuine fondness for the less glamorous look and the women who wear it.) Actually I halved the recipe since I only had 5 people to feed rather than twice that number. I will add some clarification in with the directions from the book.

1 package yeast dissolved in
1/4 C. lukewarm water
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
3 Tbsp butter
3 1/2 C. all purpose flour
3/4 C. lukewarm milk

The recipe says to let rise twice.

What it doesn't say is this...Obviously you have to mix it all up first. I softened the butter and rubbed it into the flour before beating the egg and adding all the liquid. Then just knead it until it's nice and smooth. I like kneading. It's a zen thing. The Pennsylvania Germans don't call it zen. they call it taking pride in doing a job well, but they are happy in attending to those minute details some people like to rush through. Just knead it around and breeeeeathe. Enjoy the kneading. Be the dough.

I covered the bowl with a wet towel while the dough was rising. How long does it take to rise? I dunno, how warm is your kitchen? Just let it double in size then punch it down. That's a good opportunity for visualizing deflating some arrogant jerk you know. Between the zen of kneading and the punching down I bet you never knew how therapeutic all this could be did you? Just wait until you wrap your mouth around these things. Your healing will be complete.

Ok, so now it rises the second time then you punch it down a little and plop it on the table to roll it out into an oblong shape. Also a little zenlike. Roll it till it's maybe a half inch thick. Take your time. Be nice to the dough. Roll, roll, roll your dough, gently on the counter...Now spread it with soft butter. Don't skimp and, good heavens, do NOT use margarine, you heretic! Slather it up good and then sprinkle it with cinnamon and brown sugar. If you want nuts now is a good time. I grew up with walnuts in my sticky buns but I didn't have any walnuts so I used pecans. It was still good. Now you want to roll it up and then slice it into one inch thick rolls. Like below. Sorry I didn't take pictures of the earlier steps. I was very into the zen of dough.

See, slices. Groovy, no?

Next you need to have your pan prepared. Well ok, maybe you should have done that earlier. The recipe tells me to melt 2 Tbsp of butter in this 9x13 pan. I used more. Butter.not.margarine. Listen margarine is all fat too. Either way it's fat. If you're going to eat fat it may as well be all natural tasty fat, not grody chemical fat. Ok, so melt the butter then generously sprinkle in brown sugar and on top of that pour molasses. Here is where I will cut you some slack. My family is not overly fond of the strong taste of molasses, though I am. You can use dark corn syrup, or honey too. Just use a bunch of it so the buns live up to their name.

Next, arrange the cut rolls in the pan and let them rise until they are doubled. I forgot to cover them this time but it was ok. Once they are big and fluffy stick them in a 375F degree oven for about 30 minutes.

When they are done let them cool a bit then flip them out onto a cookie sheet or platter. Abscond with the baking pan so you can scrape out all the gooey bits left in it after they cool (extra treat for the baker).

Try to wait until they cool before eating them. It will help if you remember the boiling, syrupy mess will take 4 or 5 layers of skin off the roof of your mouth if you eat them immediately. But dear me, doesn't that look good?

Can I eat one yet?
Not yet.

Can I now? Oh please, oh please, oh please?

Now is when you may lie and tell the kids they are still too hot while you sneak off with one so you can have a private moment. Oooohhhhh.....


barman said...

Oh my that does sound yummy. I think I might just have to split one in half or risk a sugar comma. Oh man, now I am drooling again.

Nothing like a Lime recipe, even if it is only customized or commented by Lime. You make everything so much more fun.

SignGurl said...

I think I just had an orgasm.....

M said...

mmmmmm.... i agree with signgurl. i was excited as soon as i saw the title of the post. some primal part of me actually thought seeing pictures would satisfy my sweet tooth. mmmmmm....

Craver Vii said...


G-Man said...

( Visibly Drooling too much to speak...)

Suldog said...

Aaaarrrggghhh! Why did I read this at 9:45 in the morning? Now I'll be craving a sticky bun all day.

I'm printing this out. I'll give the recipe a go, soon. Thanks!

Cheesy said...

OMG!! I will try your recipe fer-sur!
I have to admit though- I think you left out a step.... Before biting into the lovely gooey mass don't fotget that extra pat of butter on top~hehehheh

Sweetie.. is it 1/4 CUP? of sugar?
I will try the toping with sorgum.. a little less molassesy..is that a word? lol

Oh and "be the dough" LOLOLOL~~~

Breazy said...

I have actually had one of them before! A lady made some for some gathering we were having at church and oh my my, they were delicious!

I will have to copy down the recipe and make them for my family.

Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

lime said...

cheesy, yes, it's 1/4 C of sugar. thanks for catching that. i have no fixed it. and as for the extra pat of butter....girl, i like the way you think!

VE said...

That's just not fair...I haven't had breakfast yet.

Logophile said...

Ooooooh, I've had those!
They are good.
Once about every 3 or 4 years I make cinnamon rolls. I'm just not willing to work that hard for my food. Especially if I can get Mr. Logo to do it instrad :p
Those do look amazingly good though.

Jeni said...

You are sooooo right on several levels in this post -one, there ain't nothing better under the sun that a yummy, sticky, gooey fresh-baked cinnamon-nut bun! And two, kneading bread is a wonderful way to release tension and you finish off the tension relief by eating the delicious hot bread, with butter (yep, real butter) melting into the bread! Heaven on earth, for sure!

Kathryn said...

Oh. My. Word.

John-Michael said...

I have been fixated on these images for a ridiculous span of time. Those things are the definition of YUMMIOSITY!!

Lovin' Yu ...

ciara said...

i don't really eat sweets, but it looks super tasty if i did. the rest of my family would probably love that though!

david mcmahon said...

That sounds (and looks) divine, Ms Lime.

Thank you for the lovely comment on my dementia post.

S said...

OMG pant pant,
Now youre talking girl!
Sticky buns are worth all the fat and calories and stuff!
Still out on the chicken and waffles tho! How sad, but then now there's more for you.


BTExpress said...

They sound so yummy. I just wish I liked sweets.

Thanks again for a new bit of info from my Penn Dutch side of the family. My mom's side were, and maybe still are, Mennonite.

tsduff said...

And of course, yours have NO calories. Yum yum yummy!

Beach Bum said...

The pictures have induced a sugar shock alone. They look fantastic.

Anonymous said...

total foodgasm..i love sticky buns. My grandmother used to make them... excuse me...i need a towel...

Mona said...

Those buns are so delicious because they are 'Creative Buns'

Be the buns...they have zen enrolled in them too! Like they say, make it with love & it tastes better!

I cook as passionately too! It is one of my hobbies!

Ps> do we pour that yummy syrup in the end over them?

This recipe sounds like a must try!

Hey Lime! have you tried making aalo parathas & mixed vegetables paratha & minced chicken stuffed parathas? I will send you some recipes if you want!

The Zombieslayer said...

I was not at all feeling it until I saw the pics. Then that changed everything. Now, I'm all about the sticky buns. Gotta find me some.

Looks like too much work to make on my own right now.

RennyBA said...

I want Sticky Buns now!! I'm sitting here in my office with a cup of coffee and it would have been perfect!

At least give some to your Norwegian Troll - they just love it :-)

Polt said...

Sticky buns and chicken & waffles...yeah we got that stuff over here in southcentral PA too. :)

Although, we call them all Pennsylvania Dutch...which is of course a modified version of PA Deutsch, which of course means PA German....but STILL we call them PA Dutch. :)


KFarmer said...

Just looking at those delish delights reminded me of my Mom and Christmas morning...the smell...ahhh~

thanks limey woman :)