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Bacon and Beer Jelly Sticky Buns

This is an impressive breakfast treat that can be prepared ahead of time and baked off in the morning. Make these with Apricot Ale jelly and white sugar, or Porter jelly and brown sugar for a darker, richer flavor. This recipe uses an 8oz jar of jelly and yields 18-24 rolls depending on size, but can be cut in half as well.

First, prepare some bread dough. You can use any enriched dough (a bread dough with butter and/or eggs) or brioche dough. You want a recipe that yields 2 loaves. We use our grandma's butter bread recipe:

Grandma’s Butter Bread
1 egg
1 stick butter (soft)
¼ c sugar
1 ¾ c milk (warm but not hot)
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 tablespoon salt7 cups bread flour (all-purpose is ok too)

Mix all the ingredients together, holding back 1 cup of flour. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid. The dough should be just slightly sticky. If the dough is too sticky to be workable, add additional flour. Knead on a work surface until the dough feels and looks smooth. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise until doubled. This can take anywhere from 45 min to 1 ½ hours depending on the temperature of your room and your ingredients. When the dough is doubled, fold it down in the bowl: grab one side of the dough and pull it up and over to the center of the dough. Fold the opposite side into the center. Repeat with the other two sides so that all four sides have been folded into the center. Now turn the whole thing over so the seam side is down. This folding will redistribute the yeast and gasses in the dough and develop an even texture. Let the dough rise again till slightly less than doubled (shorter than the first). Now you’re ready to make rolls!

Sticky Bun Topping
1/4 cup beer jelly
4 Tablespoons butter, very soft
⅔ cup light brown (or white) sugar

Whisk together, breaking up any jelly lumps. Using your fingers or a pastry brush, coat the bottoms of 2 9" round pans or skillets with jelly paste.

Sticky Bun Filling
1 pound bacon: chopped and cooked crisp
4 Tablespoons butter, very soft
3/4 cups beer jelly

To assemble the sticky buns, lightly flour a surface and roll out the bread dough into a large rectangle approximately ¼” thick. Spread the 4 tablespoons softened butter over the dough and then liberally spread with the rest of the beer jelly to ½” of the edges. Crumble the bacon in an even layer over top of the jelly.

Next, gently roll up the long edge of the dough and continue to roll into a jelly roll shape. Pinch the seam with your fingers to seal the roll. Using a sharp knife, slice off 1.5” thick spirals. Tuck the spirals into the baking pans. Loosely cover the unbaked sticky buns with greased plastic wrap or a damp cloth.

If serving the sticky buns within the hour, leave the covered dough to rise in a warm spot while the oven preheats to 350 degrees. If preparing the buns ahead of time, store un-risen buns in the fridge (overnight) or in the freezer (for up to 2 weeks-- allow extra time to thaw and rise). The buns are ready to bake when they have doubled in size.

Bake sticky buns for 20 minutes (or until golden) at 350 degrees.

Cool for one minute in the pan. While the sugar is still warm, carefully turn the buns out onto a plate by placing a plate over the baking pan and then carefully inverting the whole thing. The pan will release the sticky buns right side up onto the plate. Serve warm and sticky.

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