Although I frequently make my own bread and make pies in the summer, I’ve never thought of myself as a baker. Too precise, down to a science; in order to have something come out right, you can’t have the “improvisational flair” I tend to have when I’m creating a dish. You have to follow the recipe exactly and I always tend to veer off in another direction when I’m told what to do.
But when I actually DO follow a recipe, sometimes the most wonderful things can happen; the air in your kitchen will be filled with cinnamon and sugar and you will have small pillow of deliciousness to sink your teeth into. These sweet rolls, which came from the September 2008 issue of Cooking Light, is one of those recipes. I make it only on special occasions and no one will know it’s “low fat,” which I do use loosely; one roll has 275 calories and 7.6 grams of fat, yet it’s considerably less than one you’d pick up in a bakery. And you can be pleased you made it with your own two hands. This receives nothing but raves when I bring it along to family gatherings.
I will preface the recipe with the facts I used five bowls and a saucepan and I was up at 5 a.m. for these to be finished cooking by 9 a.m. And I found myself humming Christmas carols because cinnamon always reminds me of the holidays. But it’s well worth the extra effort in the end. And if you hum Christmas carols when you’re doing the dishes, it seems to make the job go quicker!
Pecan Sticky Rolls
(Note: As you’ll see I can’t help myself, there ARE some changes that I’ve made within the recipe, although none change the outcome, although using 1% milk might change the calorie and fat content.)
3/4 cup warm skim milk (100° to 110°) (Cook’s Note: I use 1%)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (Cook’s Note: I use 1/4 teaspoon)
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
1/2 cup egg substitute
3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
18 ounces all-purpose flour (about 4 cups), divided
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons hot water
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted (Cook’s Note: I don’t toast the pecans, I like their fresh flavor.)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. To prepare dough, combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir yeast mixture into milk mixture. Add egg substitute and 3 tablespoons melted butter; stir until well combined.
3. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 16.8 ounces (about 3 3/4 cups) flour to yeast mixture; stir until smooth. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes); add enough of remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly soft and tacky).
4. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; turn to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 45 minutes. Punch dough down and turn over in bowl; lightly coat with cooking spray. Cover and let rise another 45 minutes. Punch dough down; cover and let rest 5 minutes.
5. To prepare sauce, combine brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, and 2 tablespoons hot water in a small bowl; stir with a whisk until smooth. Scrape sugar mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray, spreading evenly over bottom of pan with a spatula. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly with pecans, and set aside.
6. To prepare filling, combine 2/3 cup granulated sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; pat dough into a 16 x 12–inch rectangle. Brush surface of dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Beginning with a long side, roll up dough jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam to seal (do not seal ends of roll). Cut roll into 15 slices (approximately 1 inch wide). Arrange slices, cut sides up, in prepared pan. Lightly coat rolls with cooking spray; cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 350°. (Cook’s Note: I turn my oven to 325° because mine tends to heat high, so I use a lower heat and a longer cooking time.)
8. Uncover rolls, and bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute; carefully invert onto serving platter. (Cook’s Note: This can be a little daunting and scary. I usually say a little prayer and hold my breath! Taking a spatula or knife to go around the edges can make the inversion easier. I do this on the counter with a plastic cutting board underneath the serving platter, just in case!)
Calories: 275; Calories from fat: 25%; Fat: 7.6g; Saturated fat: 3.8g; Monounsaturated fat: 2.6g; Polyunsaturated fat: 0.8g; Protein: 4.9g; Carbohydrate: 47g; Fiber: 1.4g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Iron: 2.2mg; Sodium: 146mg; Calcium: 37mg