Sticky Pecan Caramel Rolls
This recipe for pecan rolls is one of those recipes you come across and think…I’m not skilled enough to make that!!! Wrong my friend!!! You can make this, and will make this darn it! After you see these puppies come out of the hot oven, you will be shouting to the Heavens…thank you God for these pecan rolls!!! 🙂
First off, let me say, this is NOT my own recipe. This recipe comes from one of my most loved cookbooks, THE NEW ARTISAN BREAD IN FIVE MINUTES A DAY, by Jeff Hertzberg, M.D., and Zoe Francois. I can’t say enough about this book people. It is so inspiring to flip through a cookbook and find simple recipes for all makings of bread. I use their cookbook for making super crispy pizzas, rustic french breads, baguettes, paninis, and of course, these here pecan rolls.
Are you intimidated by making bread? Don’t be!!!
I won’t lie, bread intimidates me. There’s kneading, and proofing, and rising, and kneading some more. Not in this recipe guys!!! This pecan roll utilizes their “master bread” dough and involves a few really simple steps. First of all, we measure out 32 oz (or 6 1/2 cups) of all purpose flour into our bowl, toss in 1 tablespoon of active dry yeast, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and 3 cups of “lukewarm” water (about 105 degrees). Per the book, “it should feel slightly warmer than body temperature. By using warm water, the dough will rise to the right point for storage in about 2 hours”.
This recipe yields a lot of dough!! You can make a few loaves of bread with it, or use about 16 oz of it to make these pecan rolls….which we’re gonna do…right? If you don’t knead (need, haha) this much dough, you can easily halve the recipe…16 oz flour, 1/2 Tbsp yeast, 1/2 Tbsp salt, 1 1/2 cups warm water. Easy peasy folks!!! 🙂
After you mix your ingredients, by hand, by danish whisk, or with your stand mixer, you allow it to sit at room temperature for 2 hours. The dough should double in size, so you want to use a bowl large enough to accommodate the rising dough. The book also says that if you forget about your dough and leave it on the counter longer than 2 hours, it won’t affect the results. You can use your dough right now, or you can pop it in the fridge where it will keep for 2 weeks. The longer the dough sits in your fridge, the more it will take on a sourdough taste…perfect for making a loaf of sourdough bread…right?? Of course!!
So, if you have a big old batch of dough already in your fridge, you can go right ahead and get started on these pecan rolls. These rolls are so delicious, I cannot even begin to describe how tasty they are…but I’ll try 🙂
Let’s get going already!!!
To get the party started, we make the caramel topping that will duh…be the topping to the pecan roll, and inner filling.
This mix consists of unsalted butter, sweet dark brown sugar, syrupy honey, ground cinnamon, and freshly grated fragrant nutmeg. This mix gets dumped into the bottom of a greased, 9-inch cake pan that we’ve rubbed with more butter. Next we sprinkle in some toasty little whole pecans straight from our hot skillet. Last but not least, we roll out our dough ball (about 1 1/2 lbs, about the size of a cantaloupe).
Once our dough is rolled out, a good old swipe of the caramel mix is laid down on top. We then roll it up into a log, cut it into 8 equal pieces (I usually cut it in half first, makes it easier to get those 8 equal pieces), and then set them cut side down into that same cake pan.
This little masterpiece bakes in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Your house will start to smell like a French bakery. That little nose on your face will begin to wake up and sniff…sniff some more. The taste buds will water. You will watch the oven timer and start to feel a little anxious. Will it turn out?? Did I really just make a pecan roll from scratch? Heck yes you did!!!!
Get ready to be impressed folks!! This cookbook is no joke and neither is this recipe. If you are just starting to make your own bread, or if you’re a bread vet, I really suggest investing in this book. I also highly recommend a danish whisk. With a few flicks of your wrist, a danish whisk incorporates all those ingredients. This saves you washing an extra mixing bowl since you won’t be using a stand mixer!!! Always an A+ in my book!
Happy baking….and eating!!!!!
Warning: This may require a really hot cup of black coffee!!! There’s nothing better than black coffee and sweets…is there? Maybe black coffee and sweets strolling through France or something..:) Who knows! All I know is, you’re family and your tummy are going to be thanking you for your efforts, minimal as they may be!!!
- 32 oz or 6 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 3 cups lukewarm water (105-110 degrees)
- 1 1/2 lbs of your mixed dough from the master recipe above
- 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for sides of pan
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, well packed
- 1/3 cup honey (I have also used maple syrup instead of honey)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cups whole toasted pecans (see notes)
- In a large bowl, add the flour, the yeast, the salt, and the lukewarm water. Stir until combined. Allow dough to rest covered lightly with plastic wrap on your counter. It should double in size. Dough can be used now, or stored in the fridge for 2 weeks.
- Weigh out 16 oz of dough (about the size of a small cantaloupe).
- Mix together the butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Grease a 9-inch cake pan with butter, then spread half the caramel mixture evenly over the bottom. Scatter half the whole pecans over the caramel mixture and set aside.
- Dust the dough ball with flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.
- Flour your work surface and roll out the dough to an 1/8 inch thick rectangle. As you roll out the dough, use enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the work surface, but not so much as to make the dough dry.
- Spread the remaining caramel mix evenly over the rolled-out dough, then finely chop the remaining nuts and sprinkle them over the top. Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log and pinch the seam closed.
- Using a sharp serrated knife or a dough scraper, cut the log into 8 equal pieces and arrange over the pecans in the prepared pan, so that the swirled cut edge is facing upward. All to rest for 1 hour, loosely covered with plastic wrap.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. A baking stone is NOT REQUIRED, and omitting it shortens the preheat.
- Place the pan on a baking sheet, in case the caramel bubbles over, and bake about 40 minutes, or until golden brown and well set in center. While still hot, run a knife around the outer edge of the pan to release the caramel rolls, and invert immediately onto a serving dish. If you let them set too long they will stick to the pan and will be difficult to turn out.
- To toast pecans, place pecans in a skillet set over medium heat, stirring off and on for about 5-8 minutes. Watch them so they don't burn. Once they start to smell amazing...you have yourself some toasted nuts!
- 2 hour rest for master dough recipe
- 1 hour rest for prepared pecan rolls