Maple Sticky Buns

Today marks a major transition. It was our last day of maple sugaring, and tomorrow we will dismantle the fire pit that we've used for the past month for evaporating sap and use the cinder block as the base for our rain barrels. Now that nighttime temperatures aren't dipping below freezing (much) any more, the sap isn't running. It's also safe to get the rain barrels set up, since any rain we collect won't have a chance to freeze solid and burst the barrels. This is perfect timing, as we were able to set out a lot of seeds and transplants now that the weather is has finally taken a turn for the better.

In honor of the close of our second maple sugaring season, I'm sharing a great recipe that Kirk made last weekend for Easter breakfast. It's a riff off of his dad's Philadelphia cinnamon bun recipe, but made with our homemade maple syrup.

Maple Walnut Sticky Buns

1/4 warm water
1 package yeast
1 tsp. sugar
3 to 3/12 cups flour
2 eggs
1 cup warm buttermilk
6 Tbs. butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Combine water, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl and set aside for five minutes. Add flour, eggs and buttermilk to the yeast and mix until dough is smooth and can be gathered into a soft ball. Knead for 10 minutes (using the dough hook in the mixer is fine).

2. Remove dough from mixing bowl to butter the bowl. Return dough to mixing bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside to rise for an hour.

3. Mix 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, maple syrup and 2 Tbs. melted butter in a small bowl. Divide evenly between two 9-inch cake pans. 

4. In a separate bowl, mix the remaining 1/3 cup brown sugar, raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon together.

5. Punch down the dough and roll out into an 18" x 10" rectangle. Brush the dough with 2 Tbs. melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and nut mixture. 

6. Roll dough into a cylinder and cut into 14 pieces. Place 7 buns in each pan atop of the sugar mixture. Cover with a towel and set aside for 45 minutes to prove.

7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Before baking, brush tops of buns with remaining melted butter and bake for 25 minutes. 

8. When finished baking, invert buns onto a wire rack atop a layer of parchment paper to cool. 


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