4tablespoons57g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3large egg yolksat room temperature
1 1/4teaspoonsfine grain salt
4cupsabout 520g all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2cup110g light brown sugar, tightly packed
3/4cup165g light brown sugar, tightly packed
4tablespoons57g unsalted butter
1/3cup80 ml pure maple syrup
1 1/2cups6 oz. pecans, roughly chopped
Flaked Maldon sea saltoptional
Make the dough: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the warm water, yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar. Stir and let stand 5 minutes, or until the mixture bubbles and foams.
To the yeast mixture, add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar, milk, butter, yolks, cardamom, salt and 3 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed until well incorporated. Switch to the dough hook attachment and beat on low speed while slowly incorporating more flour. When a smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky dough is formed, stop adding flour. You may not need to use the entire last cup of flour, (however, my dough required all of the flour to reach consistency). Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes longer with the dough hook.
Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a greased bowl; cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place to rise, 1 hour (or until doubled). Meanwhile, make the filling and topping.
For the filling, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom in a bowl. Whisk to combine; set aside. Keep dry mixture and butter separate for now.
For the topping, combine the brown sugar, butter, maple syrup, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the butter and sugar are melted and a thick, syrupy mixture is achieved.
Coat a 10-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Pour the topping mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Immediately sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Let cool 5 minutes, then pat the pecans into the syrup mixture so they form a flat bed on which you can place the sweet roll.
Assemble the sweet roll: Punch down the sweet dough and divide in half. Roll out one piece of dough on a lightly floured surface to an approximate 15×10-inch rectangle (about 1/4-inch thickness). This doesn’t have to be perfect, just do the best you can. Melt the butter called for in the filling ingredients. Using a pastry brush, cover the rectangle with half the butter. Sprinkle the butter with half of the dry filling mixture. Trim the edges of the rectangle to slightly square them off; cut the rectangle into 5 long pieces using a sharp knife or a bench scraper.
Begin rolling a dough piece beginning at a short end, jelly roll style. When the first piece is rolled, lay it on a second piece of dough and roll up. Continue until you have rolled all of the pieces onto each other, and lay the rolled-up dough in the center of the 10-inch pan filled with the topping.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough: roll it into a rectangle, brush with remaining butter and fill with remaining sugar mixture, and then cut into 5 long pieces. Pick up the pieces one by one and wind them around the center piece of dough in the pan. When all of the dough has been used, cover the pan and place in a warm area until puffed and approximately 1-inch away from the pan’s edge, about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and a thermometer placed near a center pleat reads 160° F. Tent with foil if it appears the dough is over-browning before the timer sounds.
Have ready a large platter or plate with a rim (I used a 12-inch pie pan). Using oven mitts, immediately turn out the sticky bun onto the platter and carefully lift the pan away. The topping is extremely hot and sticky like napalm, so be careful. I don’t want you to get burned.
Let cool slightly before serving. Sprinkle the top of the pastry with pinches of Maldon sea salt, if using. Serve slices of the sticky bun warm. Leftovers can be stored at airtight at room temperature for 2 days. Re-warm slices in the microwave at 20 second intervals.
A small amount of the sticky bun topping bubbled out of the pan during baking. Place a sheet of foil or a large cookie sheet on the rack below the pan to avoid drips in the bottom of your oven.