"The cinnamon bun or "sticky bun" came to Philadelphia with 18th century English and German immigrants. They are made from a cinnamon and sugar flavored yeast dough, with raisins, nuts and caramelized topping. A coffee shop counter lined with sticky buns is still a common sight in the city."
---The Larder Invaded: Reflections on Three Centuries of Philadelphia Food and Drink, Mary Anne Hines, Gordon Marshall & William Woys Weaver [Historical Society of Philadelphia:Philadelphia] 1987 (p. 51)
This is the best sticky bun recipe.
Adapted from Joanne Chang's Flour
2 1/2 cups high-gluten flour
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 oz. yeast
1 Tbsp. salt
1/2 cup ice water
11 oz. butter, softened
In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the ingredients, except the butter, and beat on low with dough hook for 10 minutes. Add the softened butter and knead for another 20 minutes until dough slaps on the side of a bowl. Place in a container and cover well. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. Shape, cover, and let rise for several hours on a warm radiator or on top of an oven at 200 degrees.
1/2 lb. butter
15 oz. brown sugar
5 oz. honey
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup water
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter and brown sugar. Remove from heat, let cool, and whisk in the honey, cream, and water. Set aside.
Making the Sticky Buns
On a floured work surface, roll out the brioche dough into a rectangle that is approximately 1/4 inch thick. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans and sprinkle evenly on the brioche. Roll up the brioche jelly roll-style and slice the roll into buns about 1 inch thick. Spread the Goo (below) on the bottom of a roasting pan and place buns, evenly spaced, in the pan. Cover and allow to rise for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place buns in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes (check after 30). Let cool for 10 minutes and then invert onto a serving platter.