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Sinless Yet Sinful Sticky Buns
Ooey, gooey, and out-of-control drippy! That’s what I think of when I think “sticky bun”. So how could they be in a diet book? And if they are, how can they be good? Well, rest assured this is a recipe to try. Yes, it takes more time than most others in the book. But even my friends with small children who’ve never worked with yeast before report having made these over and over. They claim to always be the star of their mommies groups when the other moms learn that these decadent treats are so low in fat and calories. And my friend John, who’s quite the bachelor and had never cooked before trying my recipes, had success on the first attempt. Be careful not to add too much flour to the dough or on your work surface. The dough should stick just a tiny bit so you can roll it out thin. Otherwise, it will bounce back too much. You should, however, definitely flour the rolling pin. You don’t want that to stick at all. But please don’t let this intimidate you. I promise it really is easy!
1 cup fat-free milk
1/3 cup light brown sugar (not packed)
1 tablespoon light butter
1/4 cup fat-free, artificially sweetened vanilla yogurt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3-3/4 cups plus
4 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1.2 teaspoon salt
butter-flavored cooking spray
1 recipe Cinnamon Filling (click here)
1 recipe Sticky Topping (click here)
Combine the milk, brown sugar, and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes, until the milk is hot (130°F). Whisk in the yogurt and continue whisking until the sugar dissolves (some small lumps of yogurt may be visible). Add the egg and egg white. Whisk to mix well. Add the yeast and whisk in until dissolved.
Combine 3-3/4 cups flour, the cinnamon, and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or in a large mixing bowl. Mix with the hook or stir by hand with a wooden spoon. Pour in the milk mixture, and then mix on medium or stir vigorously until well combined. The mixture will be very sticky. One tablespoon at a time, add up to 4 tablespoons of the remaining flour, mixing or stirring to incorporate the flour into the dough until it is just a bit sticky.
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Add more flour, no more than 1 tablespoon at a time, if needed, as you knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should be soft and barely sticky.
Lightly mist a large bowl with spray. Place the dough in the bowl and mist the top of it with spray. Then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the Cinnamon Filling and the Sticky Topping.
When the dough has doubled, gently punch it down and place it on the lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute. Cover with the plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Lightly mist a 13 x 9-inch ovenproof glass baking dish with spray. Stir the Sticky Topping just enough to recombine the ingredients, and then pour it into the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside.
Cut the dough in half. Return half of it to the bowl and re-cover it. Use a floured rolling pin (don’t reflour the work surface if at all possible) to roll the remaining piece of dough into a 24 X 7-inch rectangle, making sure the ends are as wide and as long as the center. Use a butter knife to spread half of the reserved butter for the Cinnamon Filling evenly over the dough. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture evenly over the top. Starting at one longer side, roll the dough snugly in jelly-roll fashion into a log. Cut the log into 10 equal rounds. Place each round, spiral side up, evenly spaced, in the dish on top of the Sticky Topping. Repeat with the second half of the dough and add the rounds to the dish. Lightly mist a piece of plastic wrap with spray and use it to cover the dish. Refrigerate for 1 hour, or until the sticky buns have risen.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Uncover the dish and bake for 21 to 25 minutes, or until just barely golden brown on top and a tiny bit doughy in the very center. Run a butter knife around the sides of the dish to loosen the sticky buns. Turn the hot buns out onto a platter. Cool for about 30 minutes. Brush any of the topping pooling on the platter over the buns, or pull them apart and dip them in it. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 cookies
Per cookie: 22 calories, trace protein, 6 g carbohydrates (6 g sugar), 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, trace fiber, trace sodium