Pecan-Cinnamon Sticky Buns
¼ cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plum more for pan
¾ cup cold milk
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup white whole-wheat flour
2-¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Filling and Topping
1 ½ cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 ½ cups pecans, toasted and chopped
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
To make the dough: Combine the water and yeast in a large bowl and let stand until the yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the milk. Cool to room temperature. Add the butter mixture the yeast mixture. Whisk in the sugar and salt, then the egg. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the whole very sticky. Generously butter another large bowl. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough to the prepared bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
To make the filling and topping: Generously butter a 13 x 9-inch Pyrex or glass baking dish. Combine the brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add the butter and mix well.
To assemble the buns: Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the dough to a floured surface (do not punch it down). Lightly sprinkle the dough with flower and roll it out to a 10 x 13-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough with 1 cup of the filling, leaving a 1/2 –inch border on all sides. Beginning at one long side, roll up the dough, jellyroll style. Cut the dough in half crosswise, the cut each half into 4 even slices, making 8 buns.
Stir 3 tablespoons water into the remaining topping and spread it evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place the rounds, cut side down and evenly spaced, atop the topping mixture in the dish-a row of three, a row of two, and a row of three (the rounds will not cover the topping completely).
Cover the dish loosely with plastic wrap. Let the buns rise in a warm, draft-free area until they are puffed and have increased slightly in volume, about 1 to 1 ½ hours. Positions a rack in th lower third of the oven and preheat it to 400°F. Bake the buns for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F. Bake until the buns are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Carefully turn the buns out onto a large, rimless baking sheet and cool slightly. Serve warm.