Make Ahead

Robert Frost Rolls (and bread)

October  4, 2022
2 Ratings
  • Makes 12 regular or 6 extra-large sticky buns; 1 9 x 5-inch loaf
Author Notes

These rolls may be the best “Sticky Buns” I’ve ever eaten. My dear friend Kristin Mellen created the original bread recipe. I embellished it by adding mayonnaise and turning a loaf of bread into Breakfast Buns -- and won 2nd prize in a “Baking with Mayonnaise” contest MANY years ago. The unadorned loaf makes the best ham sandwich in the world. The "Robert Frost" in the name comes from the typically New England-ish ingredients. —ChefJune

Test Kitchen Notes

I was intrigued by this recipe immediately. Mayonnaise and apple sauce in bread dough? I resisted the temptation to tinker and made them exactly according to the author’s recipe. These might be the best-textured sweet rolls I have ever made. The crumb is perfect, slightly stretchy and soft. They are somehow not dense at all despite the high percentage of whole wheat flour. The dough comes together easily and rolls out beautifully. The maple flavor is mild but definitely present. For added oomph I suggest adding a simple white
icing flavored with maple syrup, however if you prefer sticky buns that are not overly sweet like I do, this is definitely the recipe for you. Also, I got 16 medium-sized buns out of the recipe instead of 12. Bonus! —Greenbasket

What You'll Need
  • 1 scant tablespoons dry yeast (I use SAF)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I use Grade "B")
  • 1 cup mayonnaise (don't use "lite")
  • about 4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts and sunflower seeds
  • Extra maple syrup for drizzling
  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Mix in everything else except the nuts. Knead nuts in for at least 10 minutes. Let rise until doubled in bulk (in an oiled bowl or extra large plastic bag).
  2. Punch down, and form into large round loaf. Place on an oiled baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise until almost doubled in bulk. 2a. For rolls -- Knead without nuts. Let rest for about 15 minutes for the gluten to settle, then divide in half and roll out into a rectangle about 10 x 14 inches.
  3. Spread with softened butter and sprinkle with maple syrup and nuts and roll up like a jelly roll. Cut into rolls 1 1/4 inch thick. Place in 9x9" pans, with sides just touching. Drizzle maple syrup over top and sprinkle on any remaining nuts. Let rise until almost double in bulk.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake bread in preheated oven for approximately one hour. Baking time for rolls is about 25 minutes. Check the bottom to hear that they tap hollow.
  5. Drizzle additional maple syrup over the cooling sticky buns.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • KJR
  • AntoniaJames
  • Greenbasket
  • wssmom
  • Sagegreen
30+ years a chef, educator, writer, consultant, "winie," travel guide/coordinator

8 Reviews

rylee January 30, 2018
it was LIT so good it taste like the joker
KJR November 23, 2014
I'm sorry to say that this recipe didn't work for me. The end result was very least the nuts scattered on top were beautifully toasted. Followed everything to a tee. Will check back in a while to see if anyone else has some recommendations.
ChefJune December 4, 2014
Sosorry these didn't work for you. I've been making these for 30 years woth nothing but raves. The recipe even won a contest for baking with Mayonnaise. Not sure what you did differently. Did you add salt?
AntoniaJames March 25, 2014
Goodness, what an interesting, intriguing recipe. Definitely a must-try! ;o)
Greenbasket April 5, 2012
I can't wait to test this recipe!
wssmom March 23, 2012
How did I miss this first time around? Divine ....
ChefJune March 24, 2012
I'm planning on baking some in a day or two, so I'll have a photo to post...
Sagegreen December 5, 2010
Hailing from Amherst, I love the New England-ish and especially Robert Frost nod!