Toast 1 to 1½ cups nuts in 350° oven for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant. (Nuts can be used raw but there is a distinctly delightful flavor when you go to the extra step to toast them). Chop coarsely, divide in half, reserve half for rolling in the dough, and half for Caramel Nut Sauce. Mix butter, sugar, and cinnamon with a fork or mixer until combined, set aside.
Heat milk on stove or microwave until bubbles form around edge, add sugar and ¼ cup butter, mix well and let cool.
Proof yeast in warm water about 5 minutes until foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the All-Purpose Flour Artisan Blend and salt. Add liquids, proofed yeast, and eggs to dry ingredients and mix on low until combined. Mix on medium/high speed for three minutes (dough will stiffen and be easier to roll).
Generously spray two pieces of 12 x 16" parchment paper, and place dough in the center of one. Spread dough towards edges using a sprayed bench scraper or rubber spatula. Cover with the second sprayed piece of parchment paper, and then pat and push dough with fingers or bench scraper to fill the whole 12 x 16 area. (If dough rolls out beyond the edges, cut off with a knife and work back into an area that needs dough.) Carefully remove top parchment. Spread filling with small flexible spatula or fingers over the dough leaving 1" uncovered edge at the top on the long side. Sprinkle pecans over the top of the filling.
Using the parchment to help, roll log from the long side towards the uncovered edge, sealing log with your fingers or sprayed silicone spatula. Fold the log ends back into themselves to make a closed end. If needed, dough can be refrigerated for 15 minutes to firm up log before slicing.
Spray or grease pan. Line pan with a piece of parchment and spray again. Cut log into 12 slices with sprayed bench scraper, knife, or dental floss. Carefully place slices into the pan, leaving space in between and reshaping if necessary. Cover pan with plastic wrap or sprayed parchment, and place in warm draft-free spot and let rise to double in size, 60 to 90 minutes.
MAKE IN ADVANCE
Sticky Buns can be made up to 2 days in advance. Once buns are in pan, cover tightly and place in refrigerator for up to two days. When ready to bake, remove from refrigerator, allow to come to room temperature and doubled in size, and then remove wrap and bake as per directions. Sticky Buns can also be frozen after placing in pan and covering tightly. When ready to bake, thaw, let rise until doubled in size, remove wrap and bake as per directions.
Preheat oven to 350°. After Sticky Buns have doubled in size, remove covering and brush tops with 1 TBSP melted butter and bake in top third of oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown across tops. Remove from oven to cool on rack at least 15 minutes before drizzling with or spooning on sauce.
CARAMEL NUT SAUCE
Melt butter in pan. Add sugar, cream, honey, and salt, and stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. In a separate bowl, mix yolks and slowly add 3 TBSP hot mixture into eggs, whisking constantly. Slowly whisk eggs back into pan and simmer until sauce thickens, about 3 to 4 more minutes. Stir in remaining nuts.
Serve Sticky Buns warm, with warm sauce spooned over the top. The topping will set up after cooled, so make sure to spread over rolls before it sets up.
Chef's Note: Sticky Buns are best baked fresh and eaten warm.For a different flavor try adding dried fruit like currants, raisins, or wild dried blueberries.
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