cinnamon buns

i’ve been craving cinnamon buns for a while and finally got around to making some.

cinnamon bun

cinnamon buns
from the food network

For the dough:
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons granulated sugar]
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2-4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the filling:
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (3 tsp)
1/2 cup chopped pecan nuts, lightly toasted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons milk

To make the dough, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in 1/2 cup lukewarm water. Set aside for about 5 minutes until foamy. Meanwhile, warm the milk in a saucepan. Add the butter, remaining sugar, and salt, and stir until dissolved. Remove from the heat.

Sift 3 cups of flour into a large bowl. Add the yeast, warm milk mixture, and the egg, and stir to make a dough. Knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured board, incorporating more dough as necessary, until the dough is soft, silky, and pliable. (Easier to use standing mixer) Form into a ball. Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the dough all over. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until twice its original size. This will take about 2 hours (only took about 1 hour for me). At this point, the dough can be left overnight in the fridge, ready to use the next morning. When well risen, punch down the dough, then leave to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, butter a baking sheet (or butter some parchment paper for easier cleanup). Prepare filling by mixing the sugar, cinnamon, and nuts in a small bowl.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle measuring about 12 x 9 inches (I set the dough on some parchment paper on the counter and just pressed the dough to 12 x 9). Brush with the melted butter. Sprinkle the filling mixture over the dough, pressing it in slightly. Roll up the dough like a jelly roll, starting at one long side (pinch the seam so the roll stays tight).

rolling the dough

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll across into 12 equal slices. Arrange the rolls, cut-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Allow to rise, covered, for at least 40 minutes until doubled in size (pictures below from the first time don’t look like they rose enough. later versions got a lot fatter and pushed up against each other).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (note: it seems like this is a bit hot for the buns, so I set it to 350 F and bake for 20-25 minutes). Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until well risen and golden (don’t over-bake or they’ll be dry!). While the buns are in the oven, prepare the glaze and get the coffee started. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Whisk in the melted butter and enough milk to make a thick but pourable mixture. When the buns are ready, remove from the oven. Pour the glaze over them and leave to set for a few minutes before devouring.

cinnamon buns

comments: this recipe is a keeper, but the first time didn’t make the dough exactly right this time. i don’t think my dough came out “silky.” other people who reviewed the recipe said it came out really moist and soft. i think mine might have had too much flour? it was slightly dry and not that soft. actually the texture kind of reminded me of those healthier cinnamon buns from wheatberry that they have at lots of the caltech events.

if the dough seems dry, add some water a tiny bit at a time. if using a mixer, the dough should be elastic and clear the sides but not the bottom of the bowl.

these cinnamon buns are not overly sweet like a lot of the ones you buy, the toasted pecans are really yummy, and the icing is good too. toasted pecans smell so good when they come out of the oven. cameron isn’t a big pastry person, but he really liked these. i think he ate like 4 so far (2 days). oh and i think next time i might add more cinnamon, maybe 3 tsp?