caramel brioche sticky bun

Ever since I came back from my trip to New York City, I’ve been obsessed with trying to recreate the fabulous foods I had – the melt in your mouth sticky buns at Maialino, the pretzel croissant at City Bakery, the goat’s milk ice cream at Victory Garden, and the Chocolate Green Tea Lava Cake at The Spot, among others.

I found a recipe for Caramel Brioche Sticky Buns from a new blog discovery, Noshings: Culinary Questings for the Deliciously Sublime, that looked and sounded delicious.  It’s been years since I made sticky buns from scratch, but I was eager to give this a try.  I followed the recipe as written, but I had a few hiccups along the way.  In retrospect, I don’t think I kneaded the dough enough because it wasn’t as smooth as what was pictured in Noshings’ post.  In part, that is probably why it didn’t rise as much as it should  have.  I let it rest about an hour longer than the recipe suggested, but it hadn’t doubled at that point.  It could also be the yeast, which has been in my fridge for a bit.   I still rolled it out and continued on with the recipe and the second rise was better, although it did not double in size.

I love the photos in Noshings’ post of the plump, properly-risen dough, but, alas, mine did not look like that.  Then, to top it off, I baked it for 35 minutes, which was a little too long, and it was a tad dry. I normally check the oven about 5 to 10 minutes before the time suggested in the recipe, but I was distracted and did not check.  That’s the thing with baking, there are so many factors that differ from one kitchen to another that someone else’s masterpiece is my solid first effort that could use some improvement.

Please don’t get me wrong. The resulting sticky buns  were still yummy, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for.  I will be adding this to my recipe file, to be sure, because they were delicious, despite my slight difficulty.  But for now, I am still in search of my perfect sticky buns, the light and fluffy Maialino-style brioche caramellato.

I couldn’t fit all the rolled dough in my smaller pan so I put a few of the rolled dough in a muffin tin and made cinnamon rolls with some cream cheese frosting.  For the frosting, I combined 4 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature), 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1/4 cup unsalted butter (room temperature), and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat until combined.


Since I followed the recipe exactly as written, I won’t be reprinting it here. Here is the link for the original recipe that is found in Noshings. Be sure to have a look around there and get inspired.

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15 thoughts on “caramel brioche sticky bun

  1. You say these didn’t turn out, but your photos say otherwise! Lovely! 😉

    As for the hiccups you ran into, I think you’re likely right on both accounts — since sticky bun dough is so rich, the gluten has to be extra well-developed to support all that butter and egg fat. The yeast could have been a problem, too, but if the gluten was underdeveloped then it’s possible that the dough didn’t have the strength to hold in the CO2 produced by the yeast (which could be why it didn’t rise as much as it should have).

    PS: That molten green tea lava cake is on my “TO EAT! list” for when I visit NYC in about 2 weeks. 😀

  2. Daisy – what an honest post. My husband does alot of baking and I am sure that he’ll find this an interesting read; he and yeast have a love/hate relationship. (ie, he loves donuts but cannot make them.) Look forward to hearing more about your sticky bun escapades!

  3. If that first photo is your sticky bun, it looks pretty good. Yeast doughs can be tricky if you don’t make them all of the time. Extra kneading will give you lightness and if you have doubts about your yeast, throw in a tiny pinch of sugar while it is proofing — if sugar doesn’t give you healthy bubbles, your yeast may have died.

  4. I love that when you go places and eat delicious things, what you want to do is cook them! The best sticky bun recipe I have ever encountered comes from a funny cookbook I was given when I was 12 years old and an aspirational bread baker called the Southern Heritage Breads Cookbook. I keep meaning to blog that recipe because I want to share it with the world. It uses something like a croissant dough — needless to say, the sticky buns it creates are HEA-VEN-LY. I will have to plan a brunch (so I don’t eat up a billion calories worth of sticky buns myself) and post the recipe, and I’ll tag you.

  5. Don’t you love food travels and getting inspired to recreate those things at home? I added some of your destinations to my list for when I go later this month, can’t wait to try them. Beautiful sticky buns!


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