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I’m so sorry. These photos might hurt your eyes—especially if you’re on a diet. I apologies but these puppies are worth every calorie. Every. Single. Sticky. Calorie.

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My girlfriend, Valerie, introduced me to making sourdough bread (check out her Poor Kids Supper Club HERE). It took me a good 6 months (ok, maybe longer) to get a consistently beautiful loaf of bread. Now that I’ve gotten it down pat, I love experimenting with the dough like making Pioneer Woman’s Cinnamon Rolls. The other day I was watching a travel piece on The Cooking Channel and they were at a bakery making sticky buns. I thought, “I can totally do that!”

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I loved how the bakery on the travel show rolled the dough with layers of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter. Then they sliced them and placed them in muffin tins on top of crushed pecans.

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I thought these sticky buns were perfectly beautiful just out of the oven, still in the muffin tin …

That’s until I flipped them out …

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That’s when the real magic happened. Yes, magic.

The smell of maple, vanilla, butter, sugar, sourdough bread hot of out of the oven is intoxicating. The bread soft and oozing with sticky buttery brown sugar, speckled with pecans is irresistible.

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I made my sticky buns with a sourdough starter but if you don’t have one, don’t fret. You can totally make your own. Here is a recipe for a Basic Sourdough Starter.

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Sourdough Bread Pecan Sticky Buns
makes 1 dozen 
1 cup sourdough starter
2 1/2 cups warm water
1/4 cup potato flakes
3/4 sugar
1/2 canola oil
1 Tbsp salt
5 cups bread flour


1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon maple flavoring
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


To feed the starter, stir together 1 cup of starter, 1 cup of warm water, potato flakes and sugar in a non-metal bow. Cover lightly with cloth and let sit 8-12 hours at room temperature. After 8-12 hours, split mixture and put 1/2 your starter back in a jar into the refrigerator.

To make the dough, use a mixer fitted with a dough hook to mix 1 cup starter, 1 1/2 cups warm water, canola oil, salt and bread flour until dough is a workable consistency and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl (add more or less flour as needed). Place on floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky. Place into a greased non-metal bowl and cover lightly with a cloth. Let sit in a warm place 8-12 hours or until doubles in size.

After dough has risen, butter a 12-cup standard muffin tin and sprinkle chopped pecans in bottom of each cup just to cover each bottom.

To assemble the rolls, remove half the dough from the bowl (I used the other half of the dough to make a loaf of bread—double the filling recipe if you want to make 2 dozen sticky buns). On a floured baking surface, roll the dough thin into a large rectangle.

To make the filling, whisk butter, vanilla and maple flavoring together. Pour melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use a pastry brush to spread evenly. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Generously sprinkle brown sugar over the top of the butter. Sprinkle more cinnamon on top of the brown sugar if you’d like.

Beginning with the long side facing you, tightly roll dough away from you into a log; pinch edge of dough to seal. Cut dough crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces until you have 12 cinnamon rolls.

Place each cross-sectional piece into prepared muffin cup, spiral side down. Lightly cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place. Let rise for 8 to 10 hours (or until doubled in size).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place muffin tin on top of a cookie sheet to catch overflow. Bake until tops are golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Invert muffin tin over serving platter. Let cool slightly before serving.


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