When I read the recipe I thought of our Chelsea Buns, which I believe is the same product under different names. The sourdough starter I am keeping is developing very moist, soft and spongy buns and works really well to produce great texture. The thing about using sourdough starter is that you have plenty of time to do something else while the sponge is risen slowly. If I want to make any sourdough bread, English muffins, or this sticky buns for breakfast, I would just make the sponge before going to bed and leave it overnight. An early bird like I am can't be too hard to get up in the morning and start the day with kneading. Hey, this is the cheaper way to improve your arms muscles without going to the gym!
Sourdough Sticky Buns
Source: The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook p. 539
Sponge: 1 cup sourdough starter, ½ cup milk, 2 Tbs vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil), 2 cups plain flour, ¼ cup sugar
Pour the starter in a bowl (don't forget to replenish your starter after you took some out), then add in the milk and vegetable oil. Mix well. Fold in the flour and sugar. The sponge will be fairly stiff. Cover and leave it overnight.
Dough: 1 cup plain flour (I work them in the dough a tablespoon at a time, until I got a pliable dough, neither too sticky, nor too stiff), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda
Fold in ½ cup of the flour mixture into the sponge mixture, and combine well. Put the dough on the well-floured benchtop, knead well. Sprinkle the remaining flour on to the sticky part whenever you feel it on your palm while you're kneading. Continue working until the dough is smooth.
Prepare a baking tin, grease well (I used 20cm round loose-bottom baking tin) with melted butter. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon. Roll the dough about 12 x 18 inches, or roll to the size you want. Spread with your filling. I used apricot jam as the spread, sprinkle cinnamon sugar, then raisins, chocolate chips and assorted roasted nuts (unsalted). Roll up the dough (it's a bit sticky, but you can use your finger to scrap the sticky dough off the benchtop). Cut the dough into eighteen ¾ to 1 inch pieces (mine is bigger than those). Arrange them in the tin(s). Cover and let rise for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400F. I brush my buns with milk before going to the oven. Put the risen dough in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven to 350F and continue baking for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve warm.