I am, however, a morning person. I get up early and enjoy the quiet of the morning while my husband sleeps in. So, on Black Friday, I make caramel rolls, or sticky buns. I put on an extra pot of coffee, and when the combat shoppers need a break they stop by my house, refuel with caffeine and carbs and head back out into the cold. I do enjoy the stories of the great finds for gifts and bargains or the rude shoppers that steal the best bargains out of your cart when you aren't looking. I'm just glad I'm not living them.
I've made sticky buns for so long, I think I can do it in my sleep! I make the bread and shape the rolls the night before, cook the caramel, put it all together and stick it in the fridge overnight. In the morning, I set the rolls out while the oven heats and bake. They've risen in the fridge and I only want the chill off them before they go into the oven.
The bread is a wonderful oatmeal bread. When I had kids home I made it every Sunday for dinner. I made mini loaves and they each got their own. I use it for bread, rolls and sticky buns. Even if you don't want to have a sticky bun with the hot sweet caramel, toasted walnuts over a soft, spiced roll you should try the bread on it's own. It is my husband's favorite and I am sure to make it before or after I ask for a big favor! I've made it so long (over 20 years) I don't remember where I got the recipe. I use my Kitchen Aide for most of the kneading, but when I was a principal, I did a lot of it by hand. It was a great way to work out some frustrations.
Makes 1 large loaf
2 cups water plus 1/4 cup warm water
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
1 pkg. yeast or 1 scant Tbsp.
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
3.5 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading
Boil water, add oatmeal, cook for 1 minute. Add salt, butter and brown sugar, mix and let cool. Add yeast and granulated sugar to 1/4 cup water. Let sit for about 5 minutes for yeast to proof and become foamy. Add to cooled oatmeal mixture. Mix in 3.5 cups of flour. Add extra flour until the texture is elastic but still soft and a little sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes. place in oiled bowl and cover with towel in warm area until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour. Shape as desired, let rise a second time, until doubled and bake at 350ºF for about 30-35 minutes until a deep toasty brown. Let cool before cutting.
for 1 batch of rolls
3/4 cup karo syrup
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup heavy cream
Mix all ingredients together is heavy saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly until candy thermometer reached 220º F. Remove from heat and let cool.
To make Caramel Rolls (or sticky buns in Fairbanks)
pour caramel sauce into bottom of buttered 11x9 pan top with 1 cup toasted walnuts or pecans. Let caramel sauce cool.
After first rise, roll dough into a large rectangle. Spread with softened butter, top with cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins (optional) Roll into long cylinder shape, starting on the long side of the rectangle. Cut into 17 rolls, discarding the two ends. Place in pan on top of caramel sauce. Let rise for about 1 hour, or cover with plastic wrap, sprayed with cooking spray, and put in refrigerator overnight. If refrigerated, let sit on counter for about 15-20 minutes while your oven comes up to temp. Bake at 350ºF for 30-35 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes, then turn out of pan upside-down onto bigger plate or pan. Caramel will run down the edges and is very hot.
Sorry not amounts for the butter, sugar, cinnamon and raisins on the rolls. Use a lot, but not so much that you feel like you are really overdoing it. You'll know how much you like after a time or two. I've added chocolate chips, other spices like nutmeg and ginger, add what every you like, but they are really good just like this.
The rolls need to be really cooked well. Place the bigger rolls, usually from the center of the cylinder, on the edges of the pan and the smaller rolls down the center. I have a little trouble with those center rolls being a little doughy if I'm not careful.
Don't try to divide the caramel into two pans. Well, I've tried that and the caramel always gets too hot and then solid as it cools. If you have more success with that let me know so I can try what worked for you.
November 30, 2011 Daylight 4 hours, 49 minutes, 24 seconds Current Temp. -3ºF