Now, since the first time we've ever had these they've become our Christmas morning tradition. I usually make the dough a few weeks in advance and keep it in the freezer. I thaw it in the fridge and then proceed to make the buns and cook them the day before Christmas. I wrap them in foil and reheat on Christmas morning. We have these with coffee or hot chocolate while we sit around the tree unwrapping presents.
The dough (this is enough for two batches of sticky buns. I separate the dough and freeze in two balls) -
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 packages active dry yeast
8-9 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 cup butter
Combine sugar, salt, yeast and 2 cups of flour in a large bowl. Put milk and and butter in a saucepan and warm over low heat until it reaches 120 or 130 degrees (very warm but butter doesn't need to be completely melted). Gradually add milk to the dry ingredients with a mixer at low speed. Mix completely at medium speed for about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs and 2 more cups of flour.
After this is well mixed, set the mixer aside and using a wooden spoon, stir in enough flour (about 4 1/4 cups) to make a soft dough. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. This will take about 10 minutes.
Put dough into a greased bowl and turn so all sides are oiled (this will prevent the dough from forming a crust while it is rising). Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until the dough doubles.
Punch down the dough and divide into two pieces. At this point you can wrap the dough well in plastic wrap and put it in the freezer or continue making the sticky buns.
Let the dough rest for 15 minutes before continuing. (This also applies to dough that has been frozen. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator then allow to come to room temperature on the counter)
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped pecan
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
It is a good idea to do this part ahead because you want it to cool. The first time I made these I didn't let the syrup cool before I put the rolls in it. After they were removed from the pan the tops looked a little strange because they had been set in the hot syrup. It didn't affect the taste at all but they weren't very pretty. :)
In a 1 quart saucepan over medium, heat the brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter to boiling. Watch this carefully! Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes. Take off the heat and measure 1/2 cup of this syrup into a small bowl and add the pecans and cinnamon to it (you could also add raisins). Set this mixture aside. Spread the rest of the syrup in a 9x13 pan.
Take the dough and roll it out into a 15x12 rectangle. Sprinkle with the pecan mixture and roll up along the long side and place seam side down. Cut into 12 slices and place into the pan, cut side down. Cover the sticky buns and let rise about 45 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for 30 minutes. Invert onto a platter.
*If you've made them a day ahead invert onto a large piece of foil and wrap up tightly. Reheat them at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes and serve warm.