Prep time: 3 ½ hours, including 2 ½ hours rising time
Cook time: 30 minutes
For the dough:
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon, plus 1/3 cup, granulated sugar
¼ cup warm water
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
½ cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 ½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
For the maple topping:
½ cup Crown Maple syrup (Amber Color, Rich Taste)
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chopped pecans
For the cinnamon-nut filling:
½ cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Make the dough: In a large bowl of an electric mixer, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar, the water, eggs, butter, sour cream, vanilla, salt and 1 ½ cups flour to the bowl with the yeast. Beat at medium speed with a dough hook for 5 to 7 minutes, adding an additional ½ cup flour at a time as necessary, until you have a soft but pliable dough.
Turn out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Clean and grease the bowl with additional butter. Knead the dough for 4 to 6 minutes, or until the dough feels soft and buttery, but not sticky. Place the dough in the greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a slightly damp towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.
Generously grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Butter a 13-inch length of parchment paper; set aside.
Make the maple topping: Combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a small bowl, and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan evenly with the pecans; set aside.
Make the cinnamon-nut filling: Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are just fragrant. Transfer the toasted nuts to a small bowl to cool slightly, then add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Stir to combine, then set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, punch down and roll out the dough to a large pan-sized rectangle. Spread the top of the rectangle with butter, leaving a ½-inch margin on one of the long sides of the rectangle. Sprinkle the dough evenly with the cinnamon-nut filling. Beginning on the buttered long side, tightly roll the dough up and away from you, jelly-roll fashion. Pinch the seam to seal.
Cut the roll widthwise into 12 to 15 equal slices. Arrange the buns cut-side down in the prepared baking pan on top of the topping. Cover the top of the buns with the buttered parchment paper. Let the buns rise in a warm draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Remove the paper on top and bake the buns for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the buns stand in the pan for 1 minute; invert the baked buns onto a platter or a wire rack set over parchment paper.
Spoon any topping remaining in the pan over the buns. Let stand for 5 minutes, and serve warm. Store any remaining sticky buns in an airtight container up to 2 days.