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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


It’s winter, almost, and time for sticky buns

When we were in Hawaii we fell in love with Lava Java, a coffee shop/restaurant on the south end of town, where we spent the mornings drinking great coffee and eating the plate-sized sticky buns.
I talk about them often in class, and two years ago a student, Jeri, noted that we had some freshly made brioche dough, some sugar and pecans. She asked if she could try to recreate them and I immediately took her up on the offer. I knew they would be good only because Jeri is about the best baker I have ever met.
The resulting sticky buns were as good if not better than those at Lava Java. They were sweet, bready, sticky and messy and had loads of buttery flavor and cinnamon.  
Going through some sites this week, Jeri ran across an article in the Kona Historical Society’s recipe section that covered Portuguese Sweet Bread or Pao Doce. Noting that this somewhat resembles Brioche, the Mad Baker went to work in her lab, recreating a spot-on version of Lava Java’s delectable buns. The earlier effort was fantastic, but this version was completely on the money. It was Jeri for the win.
As I go through the recipe, I am in awe at how simple the dough is. Of course, if you have never made bread before, then it may not be perfect. I can bake bread now, but it took a lot of practice. You have to get used to the smells and feel of the dough. Once you get that down you will be on your way.
In my music room I have a couple of ukuleles that we bought in Hawaii, and we learned while we were on the island that the Portuguese were responsible for bringing these with them in the 19th century at the same time that they brought their bread-making knowledge.
Travelling to the south end of the Big Island, there is a bakery that specializes in Hawaiian sweet bread, and I never put it together that this was a gift from the Portuguese until Jeri and I started talking about it, but it makes complete sense. And it definitely makes sense that the newly revised sticky bun recipe is so reminiscent of those buns of vacations past.
Since we are moving into the chilly months, this is an unbelievably warming way to wake up in the morning. Of course you will not find these in anywhere on your diet list, so just get that out of your mind right now. And don’t you dare try to replace the Magic Goo with some mystery sweeteners; there are rules and should be laws about it.
Just make sure that you have plenty of ice-cold milk and coffee on hand. As I have a monstrous sweet tooth, I tend to eat a lot of these, and nothing goes with sticky buns like whole milk, and if you happen to know a dairy farmer, all the better!
I have a feeling that once you know how to make these rolls, they will find a permanent place in your kitchen. Just using them may be the key to getting people out of bed in the morning. And should you ever make your way to Hawaii, make it a point to explore the sweet bread that the Portuguese were so kind to bring with them.
Jeri’s World-famous   Sticky Buns
Makes 1 13×9 12 pan
or about 12 rolls
1 c. Warm water
2 packages Dry Yeast
1 c. Sugar
1 sticks melted butter
2 eggs
4 c. Bread flour
Magic Goo (recipe follows)
2 c. pecans, whole
Combine the yeast and warm water
Stir in the sugar, butter and eggs
Add the flour one cup at a time until it makes a sticky dough
Flour a clean surface and turn the dough out, adding some more flour as you need to make a light and quite loose dough
Knead for 3-5 minutes and put back in the bowl and cover
Let stand, warm, until doubled in size
Punch it down and roll it into a rectangle
Brush with some melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar
Roll it up into a tight log
Slice the cinnamon rolls and set aside
Fill the bottom of your pan with the Magic Goo, top with pecans, and place the rolls on top, leaving about ½-1 inch between the rolls
Cover and proof in a warm spot until they have doubled
Bake at 350F for anywhere from 18-30 minutes, depending on your oven and your preference of doneness
When you remove the rolls, allow to cool for a few minutes and then invert onto a platter.  The Magic Goo will drizzle down the sticky buns and you will be ready to brew a pot of coffee, pour a tall cup of Joe and get back in your pajamas!
The Magic is in the Goo
2 c. Brown sugar
2 c. White sugar
½ c. Honey
½ tsp. Cinnamon
1.2 tsp. Salt
Melt together over medium heat until combined. Do not boil.