Pecan Sticky Buns


Bun Dough

  • 23 cup very warm water
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 112 tsp fine salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 23 cup sour cream
  • ~4 cups all-purpose flour


  • 34 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 12 cup packed brown sugar
  • 14 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans


Minimum time: ~3 hours 30 minutes + cooling

Make the dough (~1 hour 30 minutes)

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 23 cup water and 2 tsp yeast and let sit until frothy (~10 mins)
  • Melt 6 tbsp butter in a small bowl in the microwave
  • Add 112 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 egg, the melted butter, and 23 cup sour cream to the yeast mixture and whisk together manually
  • Add 3 cups flour and mix using a dough hook attachment
  • Continue adding flour until very soft and a sticky dough is formed that barely pulls away from the sides
  • Knead for 5 minutes
  • Cover and let rise until doubled (~1 hour)

Make the filling (async, < 5 minutes)

  • In a small bowl, combine 34 cup brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

Make the topping (async, ~15 minutes)

  • Butter a 13x9″ baking dish
  • Chop and lightly toast pecans
  • Melt 6 tbsp butter (minus what you used on the dish) in a small bowl in the microwave
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk 12 cup brown sugar, 14 cup granulated sugar, 1 pinch salt, the melted butter, and 3 tbsp water until smooth
  • Pour into the baking dish and spread to cover the bottom
  • Scatter pecans evenly over the mixture

Make the buns (~1 hour 15 minutes)

  • Transfer dough to a floured work surface
  • With lightly floured hands, press and stretch the dough into a ~18x15″ rectangle
  • Arrange it in landscape orientation
  • Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the surface, leaving a 2″ strip on the edge away from you
  • Press the sugar mixture into the dough
  • Moisten the bare edge lightly with a bit of water
  • Roll dough into a log, pressing firmly along the moistened edge to seal
  • Score the dough into 12 equal portions
  • Use some kitchen string (or floss) to cut the dough along the marks (it’s too soft for a knife)
  • Transfer buns into the baking dish, with the doughier sides facing up (this will be the bottom)
  • Cover with plastic wrap and
    • let rise again until doubled in size (~1 hour)
    • OR refrigerate overnight

Bake and finish (~45 minutes)

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Bake until golden brown (~30–35 minutes)
  • If tops are getting too browned, cover with foil
  • Let cool on a wire rack for exactly 5 minutes
  • Turn pan over onto a serving platter and replace any missing topping