Friday, November 22, 2013

Baking the Books: Defiance by C.J. Redwine

 Welcome to Baking the Books, where I bake things inspired by my favorite novels! Since I do a lot of reading and a lot of baking, it was only a matter of time before the two things overlapped. It's just part of my evil plot to get books involved in every single aspect of my life.

Previously on Baking the Books: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

I've been wanting to bake Defiance by C.J. Redwine for quite some time, because there's a dessert of such importance in it: sticky buns! *fights away the tears* Oliver, Rachel's honorary uncle, makes her sticky buns all the time just to show he cares. The reason I didn't write this post earlier was because I'd never made sticky buns before. I was intimidated! Until I found out that there are easy ways to make them. So these sticky buns are no-knead, no nonsense buns full of sticky sweet deliciousness.  I DEFY you not to like these sticky buns! *dies of own cleverness*

Now, I left off the pecans because a) I didn't have any and b) I prefer my buns without. But I'm sure it's ridiculously tasty with some caramelized pecans on top.



6 3/4 cups or 7 3/4 cups flour* (see below)
1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
4 large eggs
1/2 cup honey
1.2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil (butter tastes better)


1 cup brown sugar
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups pecans (optional)


1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon

*Basically, this recipe is all about ratios, so the volume of flower is super important. If you measure flour like I do, by dipping your measuring cup into the flour canister, then sweeping of the excess, use 6 3/4 cups. If you sprinkle your flour into the measuring cup, then lightly sweep off the excess, use 7 3/4 cups.


Combine all the dough ingredients, in the order written (6 3/4 cups or 7 3/4 cups flour, 1 tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast, 1 3/4 cups lukewarm water, 4 large eggs, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup melted butter or vegetable oil), into the biggest bowl you have. The bigger, the better! Stir to make a sticky, sticky dough.


Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 2 hours at cool room temperature. Go read a book or something. Go read Defiance! So you can cry your way through eating these sticky buns when they're done!


After the dough is all risen and puffy, refrigerate it for at least in hour, preferable several. It makes the dough less sticky and more firm, so you can work with it. It can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Related: Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties

When you're ready to make the sticky buns, make the glaze. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine 1 cup brown sugar, 1 stick butter, and 1/4 cup honey. Bring it to just a boil over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Make sure everything is dissolved together. Pour the glaze into a prepared pan. Very important. Butter or grease or spray your pan!! You can use a round nine inch pan, like I did, or a rectangular nine by thirteen.


To make the topping, mix 1/4 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Set aside.

One a flour dusted surface, roll 1/3 of your dough--the rest can be kept in the fridge to make a second or third batch, or can be frozen (directions later)--into a rectangle, roughly 15" by 10". Genrously sprinkle the filling on top. Starting with the long end, roll the dough into a loose-ish log. Cut the log into eight pieces.**


***THIS is the point at which you can freeze the dough. You'll want to freeze it only after you've rolled it out, sprinkled the filling, and rolled it back up. Wrap tightly and store for up to two months.

Space the buns in the pan, and lightly press them down.


Cover the buns and let them rise until they're really puffy, about an hour. Go read some more of Defiance. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover the pan and bake the buns for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until they're golden. Watch your oven, as each one is different.

Remove the pan. Turn it over onto a prepared surface--either a cutting board or platter lined with parchment paper or tinfoil, or a rack set over a piece of parchment or tinfoil. This is going to be messy and sticky.


DIG IN! They're really good right out of the oven, though they might burn your face off. But who needs your face when there are sticky buns in the house??

ENJOY!! If you've got any suggestions for which books you'd like me to bake next, please let me know in the comments!




    1. Damn it, I commented in the wrong browser/gmail again.

  2. Gahhh these look SO good! And I really appreciate all the step-by-step pictures you include in each post! I'm one of those neurotic people who have to know exactly what I should be doing before I attempt a new baking/cooking project. Can't wait to try these! I'll have to go through your archives to see what books you've already "baked" before I think of suggestions :)

  3. I thought of a couple! (Went through your archives and now I want to bake all the things)
    The Sweetest Spell aka All The Chocolate In The World. Should be fairly easy ;)
    The Archived. Pretty sure Mackenzie's mom owns a bakery and they give their new neighbors muffin baskets. Yay muffins!

  4. Gillian, I have baking envy. My kitchen is the size of a closet and you make me want to bake. Seriously, I'm looking at these sticky buns and getting all drooly. Also, it makes me very happy that you include baking in your book blog because AWESOME. COMBO.

  5. It makes me so happy that you baked sticky buns. I LOVE sticky buns, and I really want one after seeing your photos! They look DELICIOUS.

  6. Yerm! Look at all that deliciousness! And great pun usage! ;)

  7. This is such an awesome concept! AND they look amazing!

  8. Ohh, they do look pretty delicious. <3 JEALOUS. You are making me hungry. Wants. <3 Enjoy them :D

  9. Now I'm starving and I don't have access to sticky buns! lol


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