Thursday, May 2, 2013

Perfect Cinnamon Buns

The smell of freshly baked cinnamon buns is just heavenly!  The warm fragrances of brown sugar and cinnamon is irresistable.  I've attempted making cinnamon buns before but failed miserably.  I was pretty much scarred and never wanted to waste that much bread again.  But, I got a little brave last week and thought, let me just give it a try with my own recipe!  I took my pizza dough recipe and mashed it up with another bread recipe to come up with the recipe for this sweet bun.  The final product actually turned out wonderful and I was finally satisfied!

Give it a try.  Do not be intimidated by yeast.  It won't bite...promise!

Perfect Cinnamon Buns
Makes 30 large buns

1 cup         warm water (100-120 F)
4 Tbsp       quick active yeast (I use Fleishmann's)
2 Tbsp       honey
1 cup         milk
8 cups       unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup      melted butter
2                eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup         sugar
3/4 tsp       salt

1 1/2 cup   brown sugar
3-4 Tbsp   cinnamon powder
1/2 cup      butter, softened

  1. Heat the oven to about 250 F for only 2-5 minutes.  Turn off.  Be sure it's not too hot or else the dough will cook while rising.
  2. In a mixing bowl, add warm water, yeast and honey.  Stir until relatively mixed.  Let sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam at top.
  3. Add milk and stir.  Set aside.
  4. In a separate heat-safe mixing bowl, add flour, butter, eggs, sugar and salt.  
  5. Pour the liquid mixture over the flour mixture and knead.  If you have a Kitchenaid mixer, using a kneading hook, blend for about 5 minutes until the dough as formed and leaves the sides of the bowl.  
  6. Coat your hands with a little bit of oil (so the dough doesn't stick while working) and remove the dough from the bowl.  Knead for a few times and form a ball.  Coat the bowl with some oil and place the dough back in.
  7. Place the dough into the warm oven to rise for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.
  8. In the meantime, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon for the filling.
  9. Remove dough from oven and punch down.  Knead for a few times and divide dough into 2 balls.
  10. Using one ball, roll out with a rolling pin.  Form a large rectangle about 12" x 15" or until the down is about 1/2" thick.  
  11. With a spatula, spread half of the butter over the surface of the rolled out dough.  
  12. Generously spread half of the filling mixture over the butter.  Do not worry if it seems too much.  
  13. Carefully begin to roll the dough lengthwise to form a log (you will be rolling along the shorter side so that the log remains 15" long).  Once rolled into a log, gently pat it so the log is even in width. If the ends are more narrow than the centre, simple press the ends inwards with your palm and gently pat down the centre.  NOTE:  Check this link out for a nice step-by-step guide with photos on how to roll up the dough.
  14. Now, using a knife, lightly mark 1" lines along the log.  This is where you will cut the buns out.
  15. Carefully being to cut out the buns and place them in a prepared cookie sheet or baking tray.  Keep about 1 inch apart.
  16. Once all the buns are cut out and placed on the tray, place back in the warm over to rise for about 30-40 minutes.  In this time, they will double in size and the sides will begin to touch one another to appear like one large loaf.  
  17. Remove the tray from the oven and heat the oven to 350 F.  Once fully heated, place the tray back into the oven.  Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden on the top.  Be sure to keep an eye on them near the end of the baking time to ensure the sugar filling is not burning at the bottom.  
  18. Once baked, remove from the oven...and resist eating them right of the tray!
Serve hot as is or drizzle with your favourite icing or glaze.


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