Makes 12 buns
For the bread
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup tap-hot water
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup salted butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
For the caramel syrup
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
For the filling
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2–3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
For the topping
Coarse sea salt
For these buns, you can prepare your bread the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight. Otherwise you can start bright and early and catch a little tv or radio or go back to bed and read your book for an hour—oh, options!
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the sugar in the water. Sprinkle the yeast in, stir very gently, and then let the mixture sit for about 8 to 10 minutes. When the yeast is bubbly and frothy, it is ready.
Add the eggs, milk, butter, and salt and mix to combine. Add 4 cups of the flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing with a wooden spoon between each addition to incorporate.
Using your hands, form the dough into a uniform ball, catching any dough strands and tucking them back in.
Dust your work surface with some of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and tip the dough onto your work surface. Using both hands, knead the dough. Press the centre of the dough with the heels of your hands, then push them onto the dough and away from you. Using quarter turns, pull the dough back toward you with the heels of your hands, adding only enough extra flour to keep the dough from sticking. Continue this process until you begin to feel air developing in the dough and it is smooth and springs back when poked with your finger. This whole process should take between 8 and 10 minutes.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl, place the dough in it, turning once to ensure the whole ball is covered in oil, and cover with a tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for up to 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
After the dough has risen, gently punch it down in the bowl and knead it again on a lightly floured work surface for about 8 minutes. Add a dusting of flour to the rolling pin to prevent any sticking. Roll the dough into an 18- × 10-inch rectangle that is 3/4-inch thick. The key is to create an even surface.
Grease a 17- × 11-inch roasting pan.
To make the syrup, in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, gently melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and whisk it into the butter. Increase the heat to medium, add the corn syrup and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until it reaches a boil. Boil for only 30 seconds and then remove from the heat. Pour this sauce into the bottom of the prepared roasting pan. Set aside.
To make the filling, place the sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl and mix to combine.
Using an offset spatula, spread the butter over the dough, leaving about a 1-inch-wide margin on the long end farthest from you free of butter.
Sprinkle the sugar mixture generously over the butter.
Starting at the long end closest to you, roll the rectangle tightly into an even cylinder. Pinch the seam so it is well sealed, and roll the dough over once onto itself to make sure it is tight. Using a serrated knife or unwaxed dental floss, cut 12 evenly sized buns.
Place the buns flat on the caramel syrup, leaving about 1/4 inch between each one so there is room to rise. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot for 30 to 40 minutes.
Halfway through the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the buns on the middle rack of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and the buns sound hollow when tapped.
Let the buns cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a serving platter. Using a spatula, gather the remaining syrup to drizzle overtop.
Finish with a hearty sprinkling of coarse sea salt—as much or as little as you like. The combination is irresistible!
Note that you might prefer to prep these the night before you plan to eat them.
Excerpted from Rocky Mountain Cooking by Katie Mitzel. Copyright © 2019 Katie Mitzel. Food photography by Shallon Cunningham. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.