You’d think that after a year and a half of French Fridays with Dorie, I’d know better than to attempt Dorie’s brioche-based pecan sticky buns in one day. Alas, my procrastination got the better of me, and I was left waking up very early on Saturday morning to make these pecan sticky buns before my mother and baby nieces left Chicago on Sunday. I’ll admit that the time-consuming process was rather therapeutic, but it was difficult to concentrate with baby-centric activities and commotion swirling around me. (By the way, I now have a greater appreciation for all those mothers who find the time to make these weekly recipes and still blog about it on time.)
Despite the sleepless night and the dual babysitting duties (for babies and the rising brioche dough), the dough came together beautifully, making the appropriate slapping sounds in my Kitchen Aid stand mixer and puffing out after every resting period. I will say that I was slightly concerned about Dorie’s recommendation of using a cake pan “with high sides”, as I don’t know what that would look like. I have a normal cake pan with regular sides, I suppose. And I have a springform pan with higher sides. To be safe, I made buns in each type of pan. The normal sided cake pan produced nice high rolls that didn’t grow out over the sides, which I was afraid of, and there was no spillage during the baking process. However, it was a little tense when some of the boiling butter splattered onto the floor during the flipout.
As for the springform pan, the rolls were nice and high as well, but the butter was seeping a bit from the bottom during baking, making good use of the parchment paper catcher underneath it. The flipout from the springform proved less problematic as no butter escaped the pan, and the circular shape of the buns stayed close to form as I could keep the springform ring in place without worrying about sticking.
My mother absolutely adored these buns and gushed about their flaky, buttery texture. She ate two in a row! The babies split one and kept exclaiming, “Yummy!” I tried to feed them bites from one bun so their hands wouldn’t get sticky, but they weren’t having it. Many hand washing were required afterwards. Personally, I enjoyed the soft texture and loved the look of the brioche dough’s lacy strands. I can definitely see myself making these again.