Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Bacon Pecan Sweet Rolls

     It began one morning when I asked The Wife if she wanted bacon for breakfast. She replied that if we did that, we'd have a bunch left over and what would we do with it? The conversation quickly degenerated into a discussion of bacon-related ideas. This recipe is the culmination of those ideas. We never did have bacon for breakfast. I think I had a bagel and lox and she had grits and fried eggs. Anyways, I found a breakfast roll recipe in my trusty copy of Taste of Home: Everyday Light Meals and promptly cannibalized it. The result was well beyond our expectations. These rolls are phenomenally good and frighteningly large. We generally have to split one. Good luck not eating the whole pan. As always, any notes are in blue.

Bacon Pecan Sweet Rolls

  • 1 package (.25 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110-115F, 43-46C)
  • 2 cups warm milk (110-115F, 43-46C)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, separated into one 1/2 cup and two 1/4 cup measures
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup, separated into two 1/4 cup measures
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cup pecans
  • 12 ounces applewood smoked bacon
For Icing
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon of crumbled bacon and pecans (you'll see where they get crumbled down in the instructions. Remain calm)
  1. Line two baking sheets with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. On one sheet, lay out the bacon in strips. Sprinkle evenly with one of the 1/4 cups of brown sugar
  3. On the other pan, spread the pecans in a single layer. Sprinkle evenly with the other 1/4 cup of brown sugar.
  4. Put the pans in an oven preheated to 350F (180C, Gasmark 4). (things get a bit tricky here. You're going to want to make sure the bacon is getting crispy and the sugar caramelized, without burning the sugar or the nuts. You're going to just have to check in every 5 minutes or so. After 10 minutes, the nuts were as caramelized as they were going to get without burning.The bacon went another 5-10 minutes. If you smell smoke, you fucked up and burned everything. At that point, just stop and fix yourself a drink) When done, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  5. Crumble the bacon and crush the nuts (You could do this by hand if you prefer large pieces. I put mine in a small blender and pulsed it until there were small pieces and the nuts were starting to turn to dust). Reserve 1 tablespoon of this mixture for later use.
  6. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in warm milk, salt, whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup maple syrup, vanilla extract and 3 cups of flour. Beat until smooth (I used the Kitchenaid with a dough hook for this step) Add in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough (the syrup makes this dough super sticky. I added a full 3 extra cups of flour before the dough was workable) Knead dough 6-8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/4 hours.
  7. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface and knead a few more times. Roll into an 18 inch square. Spread bacon and pecan mixture to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Do the same with the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Evenly pour the other 1/4 cup of maple syrup over the rest (why the hell not? At this point, you might as well just turn in your pancreas) Roll up jelly-roll style. Pinch seam to seal. Cut into 12 pieces. Place in a 13"x9"x2" baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and let rise, about 30 minutes (I suggest covering it loosely with some plastic wrap coated with nonstick cooking spray, then lay a towel over the whole thing. If you put the towel right on top, you're going to get the towel stuck to the rolls. Don't ask me how I know this)
    It took The Wife and I both to roll this thing up
    because the damned thing was sticking to the counter.
  8. Bake at 350F (180C, Gasmark 4) for 30 minutes or until lightly browned (cooking times may vary.) Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  9. For the glaze, combine confectioner's sugar, reserved bacon/pecan mix and 4 teaspoons of milk. Stir until sugar has dissolved (you may need to add more milk to keep this from being the consistency of Spackle) Pour evenly over the tops of the rolls. 
Good times!


  1. Wow. These look incredible. Bacon...maple syrup....yeast dough...PECANS...what's not to love?? I am so glad you shared these with us at Treasure Box Tuesday- PINNED! :)