It's one of those sweet treats, one of those desserts, that are known all over the world, what's more - they're beloved and enjoyed, by those big and small, everywhere. We're tried to make them before, but it was rather unsuccessful attempt... This recipe is completely different though and comes from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart. It's the name alone that I'm willing to trust without any hesitation. And it didn't disappoint!
Yes, there's a bit of work involved, and it will take quite a lot of time, from the very start, through all the rising of the dough, until they're baked and ready to eat, but... It's all worth it in the end! You won't buy any other cinnamon buns, rolls, nor cinnabons like this! Besides - can anything ever compete with freshly baked, home made buns, cakes, or even cookies?! I doubt it ;)
The simple, yet sweet, enriched dough used to make these cinnamon buns is very versatile. It can also be used to make everything from sticky buns, crumb cakes to even fruit-filled pastries. This dough doesn’t contain eggs, like many other leavened ones, but it can still make all of these products, and more, but with less work than some of the richer recipes.
The main difference with these cinnamon buns and many other recipes you might find online, is that these are yeast leavened, whereas the other are usually chemically leavened (with baking soda and powder).
How to make it...
- 6 1⁄2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 1⁄2 tablespoons shortening or 5 1⁄2 tablespoons unsalted butter or 5 1⁄2 tablespoons margarine
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated
- 3 1⁄2 cups unbleached bread flour or 3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons fast rise yeast
- 1 1⁄8-1 1⁄4 cups whole milk or 1 1⁄8-1 1⁄4 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or any other spices you wan)
Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand). Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball.
Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump.
Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns. Line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren´t touching but are close to one another.
Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.
Preheat the oven to 175°C with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns. Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
My topping is simple glaze of water and icing sugar, soft enough to spread all over the buns. I didn't add a lot of it on purpose, as buns are sweet enough already.
Notes: Next time I'll try adding 2 tablespoons of soft butter to the sugar and cinnamon mix. It will keep the buns more moist on the inside, and should be/turn toffee like after baking.
You may also like: