Are you looking for a way to stuff the flavors and crunch of baklava into your favorite cinnamon roll recipe? If you weren’t before, believe me, you are now. These baklava morning buns are so dang good, I think I started drooling while I was photographing them. The buns are perfectly golden brown, the filling is a crunchy, perfectly salty-sweet combination of pistachios and cinnamon-sugar, and then to top it all off the buns are drizzled with a sweet and sticky honey glaze. Breakfast dreams do come true.
I love baklava. It was always on display at the front counters of the Greek restaurants we went to when I was a kid, it’s flaky layers and sweet and crunchy filling calling my name. It was love at first bite. If you’ve never had it, get thee to a Greek or Middle Eastern restaurant and treat yourself to a square, stat. And maybe one day soon I’ll tackle it myself, but for now I decided to combine what I love best about it (namely the sweet, crunchy, sticky-with-honey filling) with another of my favorite things, morning buns, for an indulgent breakfast treat.
There’s nothing like a warm sticky bun on a cool and dreary weekend morning. This past weekend was gray and drizzly, so we tackled a bunch of chores and projects and treated ourselves to these baklava buns. The dough is crispy on the outside, pillowy on the inside; the filling is crunchy and sweet with little spikes of salty flavor from pistachios, and the sticky honey drizzle is out of this world. It’s an ooey-gooey delight, worth every minute of anticipation while the dough rises. But be careful – it will be hard to resist eating the whole pan.
Adapted from The Stay At Home Chef.
- 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ pound (8 oz) nuts (I used a combination of pistachios and pecans)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the warm milk, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, and egg in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon until combined.
- Add the flour and stir the mixture together, then turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it until it is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes by hand. You could also use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment and knead for 5 minutes.
- Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, place the nuts, ⅓ cup sugar, and cinnamon in a food processor. Process until coarsely ground.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead it slightly, then roll it out into 12” by 10” rectangle. Spread the ½ cup softened butter over the dough with your fingers or an offset spatula, making sure to get all the way to the ends. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the butter (you will likely have more than you need). Tightly roll the dough up into a cylinder the long way, then cut the log into 12 even circles. Place the circles into a greased 9” by 13” pan, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Once the rolls have risen a second time, remove the plastic wrap and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.
- While the rolls bake, make the honey syrup. Combine the water, sugar, honey, and vanilla in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, whisking occasionally and being careful not to let the syrup boil over. Cook until the syrup reduces, about 15 minutes.
- Once the buns come out of the oven, pour the hot syrup over them and allow it to cool before cutting and serving.