Thursday, February 14, 2013

Butter Rum Quick Bread Sticky Buns

Today is a great day when we share our love with those special people in our lives.  I am a lucky lady today because I have the day off work!  That means I didn't have to get out of bed this morning before the sun did, I get to have lunch with my husband (bonus, our town's roadside BBQ master is in business this week!), and I have plenty of time to prepare a delicious Valentine's dinner for tonight.  It's going to be a great day!

And while we are celebrating the ones we love today, I'm going to share with you something that I love--sticky buns.  What's not to love about sticky buns?  A sweet bread rolled up with cinnamon, sugar, and butter then outlandishly topped with gooey, buttery caramel is enough to steal anyone's heart!  The only hang up is that they take so darn long to make.  Until now!

The reason sticky buns, an extravagant cousin to cinnamon rolls, take so long to make is that they are a yeast bread.  That means they require time for the yeast to do its magic and make the dough rise.  This is not hands-on time, but it is still time that is standing between you and the amazing goodness that is sticky buns.  I don't like that kind of time.  So I decided one Saturday morning that I was going to make dough for sticky buns without yeast.

My inspiration for this idea actually came a long time ago, back in my dark years when I was terrified of the little microorganisms known as yeast.  It's amazing how something so tiny can strike such fear in the hearts of bakers!  Anyway, in those days, I wanted to make homemade cinnamon rolls, but I wanted to do it without yeast.  So I did some research and found a website, which I have long since forgotten, that claimed baking powder could be used in a bread recipe instead of yeast.  I never actually tried it back then, but a few weeks ago, I decided the time had come to put this to the test.
I made the dough, which took just a few minutes to do.  As I was rolling it out, another idea came to me.  What if I made sticky buns instead of regular cinnamon rolls?  And then, while rummaging through my refrigerator, I found a container with some leftover butter rum sauce I had made for an apple pie cake.  To say that this butter rum sauce needed to be used is an understatement.  I adore this stuff.  And I hate waste.  And if you hadn't noticed, they aren't giving butter away at the store!  So I decided that instead of making the usual caramel mixture to put at the bottom of my pan, I would just use my leftover butter rum sauce.  It's got much of the same stuff as caramel, but it also has rum.  So, yeah, it's pretty good!

Were these quick-bread-like sticky buns a success?  As they say in the Great White North--you betcha!  They were totally decadent, soft, buttery, sugary, cinnamon-y, gooey, and so many other great things that I'm drooling a little bit right now just thinking about them!  I will say that they didn't rise as much as a yeast bread cinnamon roll would have.  That could also be in part because I did use half whole wheat flour, which can make breads a little more dense.  (Hey, I had to do something to make me feel a little better about devouring these for breakfast!)  
So the texture of the bread wasn't quite as light and airy as yeast bread.  In that regard, they reminded me a little more of the kind of cinnamon rolls you get from the can, like Pillsbury.  But they tasted amazing.  So if you want sticky buns, and you want them pronto, I would totally recommend making these.  

The butter rum sauce is also really easy to make, and apparently keeps very well.  Ridiculously well.  And, of course, if  you prefer you can always use your own favorite caramel topping.  But I always say "when life gives you butter rum sauce, you eat it."  Okay, that's the first time I've said that, but I mean it!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Butter Rum Quick Bread Sticky Buns
For the Rolls:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp melted margarine
3/4 cup skim milk
For the filling:
1/2 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
For the topping:
1 cup butter rum sauce
To make the rolls:  With stand mixer, or hand mixer, combine dry ingredients.  Add melted butter and milk and mix until a soft dough forms.  Do not over mix.
Form into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured work surface.  Roll into a 1/4 inch rectangle (about 14 inches long).
To make the filling:  Mix together margarine, brown sugar, and cinnamon until combined (I mixed mine in my stand mixer while I was rolling out the dough).
Using a spatula, spread filling mix over the rolled dough.  Starting at long end, roll into a log.  Seal edge.  Using a sharp knife or a unflavored dental floss, cut dough into 12 ( about 1 1/2-inch long) rolls.
Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish, or 9-inch pie plate.  Pour 1 cup of butter rum sauce onto bottom of baking dish.  Add rolls.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.  Immediately invert onto serving platter.  Make sure you use a spatula to get out all the sticky good stuff before it hardens.  Eat warm!

Butter Rum Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
5 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp rum, or rum extract
Combine brown sugar, sugar, butter, and milk in small saucepan and mix well.  Bring to a boil and cook for one minute.  Stir in rum.

Note:  This will make more sauce than you need for this recipe.  So go ahead and make this apple pie cake as well.  Or just drink the sauce with a straw.  It's your call!

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