Holy #*@&. Let me start off by saying I approached this recipe a little differently. I prepared all the ingredients exactly as listed, but instead of using a spring form pan I used a bunt cake pan (mine is silicone, so I don't know how well this would work with a metal pan) I poured the caramel sauce into the bottom, then did as the recipe said places the pieces of dough on top. Baked at 350 for 35 minuets and when I took it out I immediately inverted it to let the caramel goodness seep into all the nooks and crannies.
I had zero issues with the caramel sauce, aside from the fact that it might be officially married to the bottom of my favorite pot. I suggest to anyone who had any issues with this recipe to try again and make sure you do everything exactly as directed.
I know caramel usually has butter in it.
I know it seems like the sugar isn't gonna dissolve.
Trust me, the entire time I was cursing off internet recipes and saying prayers that I didn't ruin Easter breakfast tomorrow when I serve this to my insanely critical family.
I know how you feel.
But I PROMISE you will be in gooey cinnamon heaven if you just have hope.
The only problem now is that I've eaten so much of it I'm gonna have to figure out something else to serve tomorrow!
I'd make this again, but forget about the "making carmel".
The bread was tasty. Ran out of the cinnamon/nut mixture. But the "caramel" came out predictably bad. The sugar kept recrystalizing and never turned amber. I was very surprised it was granulated sugar and not brown sugar in the recipe. Also 2 cups sugar to a forth of a cup water seems and is WAY imbalanced. There isn't enough water to dissolve the sugar & turn amber before to boils off and you have plain old sugar again. Also, butter is needed for caramel. Don't bother with this recipe's caramel instructions. Oh, and with the cream, it doesn't bubble up more than an inch, so if you do try the "caramel" part of the recipe a standard pot is fine.
I think the caramel sauce is missing some butter! As the previous person said, the sauce hardened as soon as it hit the pan. I was unable to spread it over the bottom. The sauce tasted like just what it was...sugar, not caramel at all.
Terrific dessert - my family of four devoured the entire thing in a few hours. I'm an experienced home bread baker and was impressed with the ease of preparation and the texture and taste of the finished product. I will certainly make it again. I baked it in a non-stick Bundt pan rather than a spring-form pan, and substituted walnuts for pecans. Some instructions were lacking (how exactly does one go from a single large ball of dough to 1/2" pieces?), so I cut the dough in two, formed each half into a long roll and pinched pieces off - I found 1" balls to be a better size and less time-consuming than making 1/2" ones. The small bread balls work nicely to allow people to take whatever size of serving they please. One note: the caramel, which was smooth and translucent in the saucepan, hardened on contact with the baking pan into a thin layer with the texture of sponge toffee. I baked it as directed, but it remained stuck to the baking pan after the 15-min. cooling period, so the promised delicious gooeyness was missing from the finished product. No matter! It got rave reviews anyway. I'd be happy for feedback on what may have happened with the caramel, though. Although I used the wet-pastry-brush trick, I suspect a little crystallized syrup on the sides of the pan caused the rest to crystallize as well.