So, I absolutely adore cinnamon buns. Adore. Them. I am a huge fan of cinnamon and any vehicle that packs an extra-cinnamony punch. A friend’s birthday party is coming up and I tinkered with the idea of making fresh cinnamon buns and letting her bake them the next day. Amy quickly punched a hole in that by saying that the yeast will continuously make the dough rise. True, but dang. I wish there was a way to touch the dough and command it to “Rise no more!” but that would defy all manner of biology.
So, back to the drawing board for Kjersti’s gift but I couldn’t get the idea of warm cinnamon buns out of my head. So I resolved to make them as a dessert for Martin and I that night. This recipe needs a rise time of approximately 2 – 3 hours, which makes this a bad breakfast item, considering how groggy and hungry I am once I wake up. I do not think I would have the stamina to wake up early, mix all of this together, then go back to bed for 3 hours or even to just wake up normally and then wait 3 hours for breakfast.
Also, when I took these out of the oven, they were soft and pillowy and tasty and I liked. The next morning, they were somewhat pasty and sticky looking and I liked them a lot less. So, suffice to say, these are an “eat immediately OR ELSE” food.
They’re so gooey-cinnamony-happy though, that is totally fine by me.
Okay, enough rambling. The recipe I used is the one used by The Daring Bakers, a food community devoted to stretching the limits of their baking skillz. I try to follow recipes for the most part the first time I make something – born out of a distate of the number of commentators of recipes who “change this and change that” and who DIDN’T LIKE IT OMGZ or who ABSOLUTELY ADORED YUM YUM. But if they do that, I feel their rating is unfair, as they didn’t really make the recipe they’re reviewing, did they?
But, two things I did do was to decrease the amount of icing made and tweak the filling to add a bit more kick by increasing cinnamon and adding some allspice. Because I like the zesty punch. Like it!
6-½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5-½ tbsp. butter
1 large egg
1 tsp. lemon zest
3-½ cups AP flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1-⅛ to 1-¼ cup buttermilk
6-½ tbsp. sugar
1-½ tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1-½ to 2 tbsp. warm milk
Preparation: Oil a large bowl and line a baking pan with parchment paper for use in the not-immediate-but-not-too-distant future. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350-degrees.
1/ Cream butter, sugar and salt together.
2/ Add egg and lemon zest and beat until smooth, making sure to scrape down the bowl often.
3/ Start by adding 1-⅛ cup of buttermilk, flour and yeast. Mix on low speed until dough comes together and then switch to a dough hook.
4/ Increase the speed to medium and knead for about 10 minutes. The dough should be silky and somewhat tacky, but not sticky. A good tip: if you are using a stand mixer with a dough hook, the dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl. If it is sticking to the sides, it is too wet. If it is not sticking to the bottom, it is too dry. Add flour or buttermilk appropriately and continue kneading.
5/ Turn dough out into the oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room-temperature until it is doubled in size (about 2 hours).
6/ Lightly flour a work surface and turn dough out onto it. Roll out the dough into a large rectangle: ⅔” thick and 14” x 12” for large buns, 18” x 9” for small buns. Keep dough thick or it will be too thin and will turn out tough and chewy after baking.
7/ Melt together sugar, cinnamon and butter to create a sandy mixture. Sprinkle on top of dough and press into dough with back of a spoon.
8/ Roll the dough and pinch the seam shut. If the middle is bigger than the ends, roll it out gently so the log evens out.
9/ Cut the buns into 8 – 12 pieces for large buns, 12 – 16 pieces for small buns.
10/ Place in baking pan so they are not touching but somewhat close and cover with plastic wrap.
11/ Wait for oven to preheat. After finished preheating, remove plastic wrap and bake buns on the middle shelf. Be careful not to overbake.
12/ Let buns cool until they are warm but not hot. While waiting, make fondant glaze by whisking milk with the sugar until a thick paste forms. Start with ¼ cup of sugar and slowly add more milk and sugar as consistency calls for.
13/ Drizzle over warm buns before serving.
Servings: 8 – 12 large buns or 12 – 16 small buns