This sticky sweet yeast bread dessert was first popularized in America by the women’s magazines of the 1950s. Nancy Reagan brought about a resurgence of popularity when she served it at the White House during the Reagan Presidency.Most people have had it made from canned biscuits. The real thing is far superior and not at all difficult.
This is wonderful fresh from the oven. It is not bad reheated.
First, make the dough:
305 grams milk – hot but not scalded. (1-1/3 cups)
57 grams unsalted butter (4 Tbs), cut into pieces
50 grams sugar (1/4 cup)
1 package yeast (do not use rapid-rise)
55 grams 110°F water (1/4 cup) (for blooming yeast)
2 large eggs, room temp
750 grams flour (5 cups)
14 grams salt (2 tsp)
I suppose you could use the paddle on your mixture for the first couple of steps, but I’m too lazy to wash something else, so I just use the dough hook for the whole thing. If you don’t have a good mixer then have fun with the mixing and kneading.
Proof the yeast in the warm water. Mix the milk, sugar and butter 2 minutes low speed. After the milk mixture has cooled to lukewarm add the yeast mix, eggs and stir on low speed for 1 minute. Add the salt and the flour Mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Mix on second speed for 3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.
Butter up a good sized bundt pan (at least 12 cup). Don’t use anything else, a tube pan will not work, nor will anything else that has a removable insert.
1/3 cup brown sugar – most use light
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
good handful of chopped pecans (around ½ cup)
Heat up the brown sugar, butter and cream, stir continuously. Just as it comes to the boil, pour it around the bottom of the bundt pan evenly. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the glaze. Be sure to get nice, even coverage.
The dough should be risen by now. Cut off golf ball sized pieces and roll into balls. Set aside.
handful of chopped pecans (about 1/2 cup)
¾ stick melted unsalted butter (5 to 6 Tbs)
Enough sugar to coat (about ¾ cup)
Pour the melted butter into one dish and the sugar into another. Roll each dough ball in the butter and then the sugar and then place them into the bundt pan.
When you are about halfway up the pan sprinkle the pecans. Keep adding layers of coated balls until you reach 2/3 to ¾ of the way up the pan.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 45 minutes. Flip the bread out onto a cooling rack. There will probably be some coating and nuts in the bottom of the pan. Spoon out onto the bread immediately.
Let it cool for at least 20 minutes and then enjoy while warm.
Herself Sez: O Yeah! Made with dark brown sugar, oodles of pecans and lots of butter – yummm!! Fingers get sticky and greasy – you just gotta lick ’em off! And then it takes a washcloth to take care of your face!! This is wonderful stuff! But I warn you, a whole loaf is just too much for two people – even 1/2 a loaf is too much for the two of us. We usually end up giving away about 3/4 of the loaf to friends (the grandchildren are mostly non-sugar kids at this point, so we don’t even offer it to them). The Ol’ Curmudgeon only makes it when we have people in mind to give the majority of it to – so it won’t go to waste (or to waist!).