<i></i>

My love of baked goods is well documented. And this recipe is for those that share said addiction for baking and caking; and anyone else keen to eat a bit of insanely delicious sticky messy coffee caramel buns. The caramel indulgently oozes through the buns like a road map, sometimes nesting right inside the swirls of bun, a sweet surprise prowling at their heart. They are bites of comfort; soft, warm, sweet and reassuring like a hug from your oldest friend. But these are not your fancy schmancy French patisserie style baked good. These buns are sticky, punchy and the kind of baked good you want with a mug of builder’s tea rather than a delicate floral blend sipped from Limoge fine china.

And yes they require a commitment of time rather than effort but the get in my face smell of them baking is the kind of pre-eating excitement that gives you goose bumps.

Espresso Caramel Sticky Buns

Ingredients

Buns

7g dried yeast

375ml warm milk

550g plain flour (try to use low protein flour)

100g caster sugar

1 egg

100g butter, softened

1 egg for wash

Pinch sea salt to serve

Espresso Caramel

1/2 cup butter

3/4cup dark brown sugar

3/4 cup cream

60ml espresso

Method

Line a 25cm high sided baking tin with baking paper and set aside. Place the yeast and the warm milk in a bowl and stir to dissolve. Add the flour, sugar, egg and butter. Stir to combine.  If you have an electric mixer, fit the dough hook and mix on low speed for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If mixing by hand, stir and work the dough for 10 minutes. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.

Flour your work surface then plop the dough onto the floured area. Knead into a ball then roll it out to a large rectangle (about 25cm x 40cm).

Add the butter and brown sugar to a small saucepan and place over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until bubbling and sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, stir quickly to combine and continue to cook until warmed through and slightly thickened.

Pour 1/3 cup of the caramel into the base of the cooking tin, rolling it around so the caramel covers the base.

Preheat the oven to 175C.

Smear two tablespoons of the caramel over the rectangle of dough – as if you are smearing tomato over pizza dough. Roll the dough into a log then cut into 10 – 12 slices. Place the slices cut side up in the prepared tin. Set aside to rest for 30 minutes. Whisk egg with 1/2 tsp. water in a small bowl. Brush tops of buns with egg wash. Cook the buns for 30 minutes or until brown and they spring back to the touch. Spoon over the remaining espresso caramel, allow to cool in the pan slightly before serving warm.