Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine water, 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in a small bowl; let rest 5 minutes.
Heat milk and butter until warm (100° to 110°F); butter does need to completely melt.
Pour into large mixer bowl with ½ cup sugar and salt.
- Add eggs, 3 cups flour and yeast mixture.
- Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat.
- Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place, about 1 hour, until doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough and let rise an additional 1 hour.
- While dough is rising, place pecans on a shallow baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons melted butter.
- Toss well to coat.
- Bake for 10 minutes until pecans are lightly toasted.
- Cool on a wire rack.
- Measure 3 cups pecans and finely chop to use in filling.
Set aside remaining ¾ cup pecans for Caramel Syrup.
- To make filling, combine sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and chopped nuts.
- Mix well and set aside.
To make Caramel Syrup, combine butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and cream in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat.
- Cook until syrup is just starting to bubble around the edges of the pan.
- Remove from heat and pour an equal amount of hot syrup into four 8-inch greased round or square pans.
- Or use two greased 13 x 9-inch pans.
- Sprinkle toasted pecans over syrup and gently stir to coat the pecans.
- Set aside.
- Punch dough down and divide in half.
- Roll out onto a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to a 16 x 10-inch rectangle.
- Spread with half of the softened butter and sprinkle half of the filling evenly over dough.
- Roll up jellyroll style.
- Slice into 8 rolls, placing 4 of the rolls, cut side down, in each of the 8-inch pans, on top of Caramel Syrup.
- Put 8 rolls in 13 x 9-inch pans.
- For smaller rolls, cut dough into 12 slices, putting 6 rolls in 8-inch pans or 12rolls in13 x 9-inch pans.
- Repeat with remaining dough.
- Cover and let rolls rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes for 8-inch pans or 30 to 35 minutes for 13 x 9-inch pans, until golden.
- Remove from oven and let stand 2 minutes.
- Invert rolls on to serving plates or parchment paper.