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Pecan sticky buns

by Sarah Alcock

Serves: 12

Sweet dough is on the menu this week for TV's Great British Bake Off-ers. Prepare for a week of buttery brioche, cinnamon buns, regional tea loaves and undoubtedly a few sticky situations.

When it comes to sweet doughs, you can't get sweeter and stickier than Emma Gardner's pecan sticky buns, which aren't just delicious, they're as pretty as a picture, too.

What's your favourite sweet bun recipe? Tell us in the comments box below.

Pecan sticky buns


  • For the dough:
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 40g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 250g strong white bread flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 x 7g packet of fast-action dried yeast
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • For the filling:
  • 50g pecan halves
  • 75g soft unsalted butter
  • 75g light brown soft sugar


  1. Heat the milk and cubed butter in a small saucepan until the butter has melted. Pour into a bowl and leave to cool until lukewarm.
  2. Sieve the flour into another bowl and add the sugar, yeast and salt.
  3. Stir the milk mixture, then add to the dry ingredients and stir until it starts to come together.
  4. Knead on a floured surface for about 7 minutes (or use the dough hook on a food mixer for 5 minutes) until it springs back when pressed.
  5. Form into a smooth ball, then return to the bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place for 2-3 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, put the pecans in a small frying pan and toast over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Tip on to a chopping board and cut into small chunks.
  7. In a bowl, mix the soft butter into the brown sugar until you have a paste. Spread a teaspoon of this paste into the base of each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin. Divide half the pecans among the holes of the tin.
  8. On a clean surface, knead the risen dough briefly to knock out any air. Form into a rectangle, then roll out, keeping the edges straight, to the size of an A4 piece of paper.
  9. Spread the remaining sugary butter evenly over the top of the dough, then sprinkle with the rest of the toasted pecans. Roll up from the long edge into a sausage.
  10. Use a sharp knife to cut the sausage into half, then quarters, then cut each quarter into 3, giving you 12 rounds. Place one round into each cup of the muffin tin, pressing the swirl down lightly.
  11. Cover loosely with clingfilm, then leave for 30-40 minutes until the dough is puffy. Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4.
  12. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Watch them carefully towards the end of the cooking time, as they can suddenly burn.
  13. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then tip on to a rack to cool completely, scraping any glaze left in the tin back over the buns.


Prepare up to the end of step 5 a day ahead; chill the dough in a lightly oiled covered bowl overnight and bring back to room temperature before rolling. Or bake the buns a day ahead and store in an airtight container. They can also be frozen.

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