Recipes: How to throw a festive May Day brunch

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns

Serenbe May Day
Photograph by Patrick Heagney

Maple Pecan Cinnamon Buns
Serves 8–10

1 cup whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into large pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for surface

2 cups chopped pecans
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2/3 cup whole milk
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

To prepare the dough, heat milk in a small saucepan over medium or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 95°F. Transfer milk to the bowl of a stand mixer, and stir in sugar and yeast. Cover with a towel and let sit until the yeast is foamy, 5–10 minutes. On low speed, beat butter until it is slightly broken up. Next, add the eggs, one at a time, and then the salt. Attach the dough hook and, on low speed, gradually add the flour. Once it is all added, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high, and beat until the dough is soft and supple, about 6 minutes longer. Knead dough for 1 minute. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let dough sit in a warm area until doubled in size, about 1–2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar, milk, maple syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour into a 9×13-inch baking dish, tilting to coat bottom and sides. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of dish.

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 12×18-inch rectangle. Add the filling by spreading butter over dough and topping evenly with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough into a log. Cut log crosswise into 12 pieces. Transfer rolls to prepared pan, cut side down. Cover pan with plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm area again until doubled in size, 30–40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Bake rolls for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. (If the rolls start to brown too much before they’re cooked, cover them with aluminum foil.) Remove pan from oven, and let cool for 5 minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully invert pan onto a large serving platter. (The topping will deliciously melt down the sides.) Serve warm.

Recipe provided by chef Matt Adolfi of Serenbe Foods.