originally served in Miller’s Dining Room
[makes approximately 30]
For the Sticky Buns:
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (regular white enriched flour; not bread flour)
2 packages active dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/3 cups butter
For the Topping :
(to be put in each muffin cup)
1 to 2 teaspoons melted butter
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 dash cinnamon
For the Filling:
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 to 3 cups light brown sugar
In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix well.
In saucepan, heat milk, water and butter just until warm (between 120 and 130 degrees F). Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Add egg. Blend at low speed until moistened. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.
Turn out onto well-floured board
or pastry cloth and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes.
Place in well-greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with clean cloth toweling or waxed paper. Let rise in warm oven (turn oven to lowest setting for one minute, then turn off) for 15-20 minutes, or place in warm area of kitchen and let rise until doubled in size.
Prepare muffin tins by generously greasing each cup with butter, adding about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to each cup. Set aside.
Amply flour clean toweling or pastry cloth. Roll dough out into rectangular shape no more than 12 inches wide and about 1-inch thick. Generously brush dough with melted butter. Sprinkle up to 1/2-inch brown sugar over top of butter.
Roll dough loosely as for jellyroll, pinching along the seam to secure filling. Cut into 1-inch slices and place in prepared cups.
Bake rolls in oven preheated to 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool a minute, then remove rolls with fork. Spoon any remaining topping over the rolls.
*Recipe note: Miller’s secret was the type of brown sugar the restaurant used — C&H Pure Cane Golden Brown. You can buy it in bulk ($22 for 24, 1-pound boxes) by calling the company directly at 1-800-234-5708, but Domino brand is a good substitute.
More than 1,000 pounds of brown sugar — every week. That’s what it took to keep the silver trays of warm sticky buns circulating through Miller’s Dining Room.
From the day Miller’s opened on Detroit Avenue in Lakewood in 1950 to the day it burned down in 1995, it was known for those sticky buns. No fancy pecans or even icing. Just the simple union of dough and brown sugar in one warm, gooey, just-out-of-the-oven delight.
As soon as you sat down, a server came by with a tray, offering complimentary muffins, corn sticks, cloverleaf rolls and, of course, sticky buns. But it was those famous buns that went the fastest, by far. The trays were always circulating. Always tempting you to take another. The average customer ate two.
And this was every day of the year but three — Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Tom and Doris Urbansky, now in their mid-80s, worked 16 hours a day to keep up with the crowds and the catering portion of the business.
The most popular entree was chicken a la king served in a deep-fried potato basket. It’s the food Doris says she misses the most. After selling the restaurant in 1989, Tom Urbansky was diagnosed with a minor heart attack. His doctor told him if he didn’t eat meat for a year, he’d be fine. No one in the family has had a bite since.
Tom and Doris have had a happy retirement, volunteering and traveling. But Miller’s was always their passion. “I really loved the business,” Doris says.