Ridiculously Easy No-Knead Sticky Buns

Recipe by PJ Hamel

Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois' wonderful book, "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day," is the inspiration for these sticky buns. We took the authors' dough recipe, and tweaked it a tiny bit; then added our own favorite filling and topping. If you're someone who enjoys over-the-top sweet rolls, without a lot of fuss, this recipe's for you.

Note that you have some choices for the filling. Our Baker's Cinnamon Filling mixed with water yields a dark, thick, rich cinnamon filling. But if you choose not to use it, simply mix granulated sugar with cinnamon (NO WATER!), and sprinkle it over the dough for a lighter, milder filling.

15 mins
40 to 45 mins
7 hrs
8 sticky buns per 8" pan; the dough will yield 3 batches of buns
Ridiculously Easy No-Knead Sticky Buns


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. The flour/liquid ratio is important in this recipe, so measure carefully. Your best bet is to weigh the flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess.

  2. To make the dough: Combine all of the dough ingredients, in the order written, in a very large bowl (at least 6 quarts). Stir to make a sticky dough. You can do this in a stand mixer and then transfer to a larger bowl; or simply use a big bowl and spoon (or dough whisk).

  3. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 2 hours at cool room temperature.

  4. Refrigerate the dough for at least several hours, to chill it and make it easier to work with. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days before using.

  5. When you're ready to make sticky buns, make the filling. Combine the Baker's Cinnamon Filling and water, stirring till smooth. Set aside.

  6. To make the topping: Spread the melted butter and syrup (or honey) in a lightly greased 9" round cake pan. Sprinkle the sugar atop the butter, then scatter the nuts atop the sugar. Set aside.

  7. To make sticky buns: Spray your hand with non-stick vegetable oil spray, and dip it into the dough in the bucket. Pinch off/pull out 1/3 of the dough; this is about the size of a large softball or a large grapefruit, a scant 620 grams. For best accuracy, weigh on a scale. Place the remaining dough back in the refrigerator, to use another time. Or wrap and store in the freezer. This dough recipe is enough to make three 8" or 9" round pans of sticky buns.

  8. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle approximately 15" x 10".

  9. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a narrow margin around the edges uncovered.

  10. Starting with a long edge, gently roll the dough into a log. Don't roll it too tightly; if you do, the centers of the buns will pop up as they bake.

  11. Cut the log into 8 pieces.

  12. Space the buns in the pan. Lightly press each down till they're touching one another.

  13. Cover the pan, and allow the buns to rise till they're quite puffy, about 1 hour. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

  14. Uncover the pan, and bake the buns for 40 to 45 minutes, until they're a deep golden brown.

  15. Remove the pan from the oven, and turn it over onto a piece of parchment, or onto a cooling rack set over a piece of parchment or waxed paper (to catch any drips).

  16. Lift off the pan, and scrape any nuts or sugar in the pan onto the buns.

  17. Serve immediately, or let the buns cool a bit. Wrap any leftovers securely, and store at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Want to make four batches of buns instead of three? Simply divide the dough into four 1-pound pieces (instead of three 22-ounce pieces), and bake each batch of 8 buns in an 8" round pan, instead of in a 9" round pan. There's no need to change the amounts of any of the filling or topping ingredients.
  • Want warm sticky buns in the morning? Shape the buns, place them in the pan, cover, and let rise overnight in the fridge. Next morning, remove from the fridge, preheat your oven, and bake till golden brown. It might take about 5 minutes longer than the recipe indicates; just keep your eye on them towards the end.
  • The filling/topping amounts listed above are enough for one pan of buns. Simply scale up the amounts if you're making more than one pan of buns at a time.