- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons honey, preferably orange blossom or clover
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup honey, preferably orange blossom or clover
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for brushing
- 1 1/2 cups pecans (6 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the yeast with a pinch of granulated sugar and the milk and let stand until foamy, 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar, the 4 tablespoons of melted butter and the egg yolks, honey and vanilla; mix until blended. Mix in the flour and salt. Switch to the dough hook and knead at medium speed until the dough forms a smooth ball, 4 minutes.
- Brush a large bowl with butter. Add the dough and brush the top with butter. Cover and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Butter a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a medium saucepan, melt the honey with the brown sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate heat until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the hot honey mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with the pecans.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar with the cinnamon. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 12-by-18-inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Sprinkle the dough with the cinnamon sugar. Starting at a long side, roll the dough into a log and turn it seam side down. Cut the dough into 12 slices. Arrange the slices, cut side up, in the baking dish. Cover and let stand in a warm place until the buns double in volume, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the honey buns for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Invert the buns onto a baking sheet and let cool slightly. Serve warm.
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Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.