Bee Sting Sticky Buns with dandelion-infused raisins & oranges
Up to 1 week ahead, to make the infusion – first:
pick 4 cups dandelion flowers, fresh (just the petals)
Then pour over top:
4 cups boiling water
Let infusion sit overnight, we used a large jar for the mixture (24 hours is best). Then drain off dandelion flowers and retain infused water. Discard dandelion flowers.
To Dandelion-infusion, add:
1 cup raisins
1 cup peeled, cut oranges, pith removed
1 cup sugar
Simmer ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Let mixture cool and sit overnight or longer, in a cool place, such as the refrigerator.
I use this recipe is from WHAT YOU KNEAD by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc., in 1997:
1 package active dry yeast (0.25 ounce)
1/4 cup warm (110º to 115ºF) water
1/2 cup warm (110º to 115ºF) 1% low-fat milk
3 large eggs, at room temperature
4 1/2 to 5 cups Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water and mix with a spoon until the yeast dissolves. Let the mixture proof for about 5 minutes. Small clusters of chalky-looking bubbles should appear on the surface. Stir in the milk. With a fork, beat in the eggs one at a time. Set the mixture aside.
To make the dough in a bowl, mix together 4 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, and salt. Break up the butter over the dry ingredients and work it in with your hands until a crumbly mixture is obtained. Add the yeast mixture and mix with your hands until a ball of dough is formed. Add additional flour if necessary to obtain a dough that is soft but not too sticky.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead it for 3 to 4 minutes, until a smooth ball of dough forms. Let the dough rest on the work surface for 10 minutes, covered with a towel or inverted bowl. Knead the dough again for 5 minutes, until smooth and no longer sticky.
Lightly spray a large bowl with cooking oil spray or lightly coat with butter. Gather up the dough, place it in the bowl, and turn to coat. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
When the dough has risen to approximately two times its size, use two fingers to make two indentations into the center of it. If the indentations do not close up, the dough is sufficiently risen and ready to use.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup of honey (from your own bees if you’ve got them!0
1 – 2 cups of pecans or almonds or walnuts
In a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt butter & honey together. After the two are melted and incorporated, add the nuts. Pour this mixture immediately into the bottom of the half-sheet pan that is prepared for the sticky buns. Spread with a knife to cover bottom of pan as well as you can. Put aside for sticky buns.
to prepare buns:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
I lined a baking half-sheet pan with parchment. This pan must have sides if you will be pouring sticky bun topping onto the sheet. Otherwise, some of the filling may ooze over into the oven and burn.
Pour sticky bun topping, if you’ve prepared it, onto the pan.
Roll dough out to 12 x 18 rectangle, 1/2 inch thickness on a very lightly floured surface. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the surface to your taste. I used about 1 cup of sugar with 2 tablespoons of cinnamon.
Using a slatted spoon, transfer soaked raisins and oranges, minus excess liquid, onto the top of the cinnamon sugared surface. Spread thinly with back of spoon to cover most of the middle of the dough. Leave a 1″ uncovered edge around all four sides of the rectangle.
Roll the entire dough, tucking fruit and sugar into the middle if it should pop out the sides. Roll long side across the shorter width.
When you’ve made an 18″ long roll(or a bit longer or shorter, everyone is different), then slice the roll into 3/4″ slices. Carefully place slices onto the sticky bun topping-prepared baking pan.
Let pan of buns rise, covered, for 1/2 hour in a warm, draft free place.
Fill cookie pan, you may end up with 20 buns or so – It depends on how successful you were in rolling it out.
The pan is ready for the oven.
I bake mine for 12 minutes and check. The tops will brown pretty quickly. The usual time on a batch in my oven is 17 minutes. If you take them out to check on them, stick a toothpick into the lightest buns to make sure they do not come out doughy.
When you’re satisfied with the level of doneness of your sticky buns, turn the whole pan upside down onto a large rectangular serving/cutting board. It is important to use proper oven mitts that allow you to hold a hot pan and manage a large flip. I marry the board up to the top of the buns, then flip the entire tray upside down in one fell swoop. The buns will all turn out and then the topping will be on top. Scrape any extra topping onto the top. Serve warm.