Cinnamon Buns

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Cinnamon buns are by far my favourite baked good, which is inconvenient because they take waaay more effort to make than, say, a batch of cookies. But the results are worth all the waiting around for the yeast dough to rise, and then be sprinkled, rolled, cut, put into pans, then to rise again, bake, then finally to cool down enough so as not to fill your mouth with molten cinnamon sugar…with cookies all you have to do is get the mixture ready to put on the tray and then you can start pre-eating. I probably consume about 15% of any cookie product before it goes in the oven.

I first started developing my recipe after I saw some American sit-com where they got cinnamon buns out of a long tube by whacking it on the countertop edge and then they just chucked them on a tray, which I thought would be IDEAL. So after that I became slightly obsessed with the notion (typical behaviour) and made my very first enriched dough. Pretty soon I had my recipe and technique all figured out and had even made the sterling investment of two jumbo muffin pans especially for bunning. I was making buns aplenty for myself and all my housemates. But mostly myself.

Today, after a pronounced period of time in which I ate almost no carbs and would have been completely desolate if it weren’t for the fact that I was only doing it to get wedding-slim and knew I would totally be eating heapsa carbs the MINUTE I got that ring on my finger, I made cinnamon buns again. And they were everything I had remembered and more, in fact they tasted even better after we had been so long apart. I’ll never forsake you again, cinnamon buns.

Enriched Dough

Ingredients:

  • 10g Dry active yeast
  • 175ml Milk
  • 50g White sugar
  • 420g Hard flour
  • 30g Cornflour
  • 5g Salt
  • 1 t Vanilla essence
  • 1 Egg
  • 75g Unsalted butter, softened

Method:

  • Warm the milk to no more than 37°C. Sprinkle in the yeast and a scant teaspoon of the sugar portion. Leave it to go foamy.
  • Into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a regular large bowl if kneading by hand), put the remaining bulk of the sugar, the flour, cornflour, salt, vanilla essence, egg and butter.
  • Pour in the foamy milk/yeast mixture, scraping any remaining yeast into the bowl as well.
  • Set your stand mixer kneading, using a dough hook attachment. If you are hand-kneading your dough, mix the ingredients until they have just come together and turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
  • Once your dough is well-kneaded, place it into a greased bowl and cover it with cling film. Put it in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size. It pays to visualise how much bigger it will look when roughly doubled in case you forget how big it initially was.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down and take it out of the bowl to form into your chosen delicious doughy product.

Cinnamon Buns

Ingredients:

  • 1 Recipe Enriched Dough
  • 30g Butter, softened
  • A LOT of ground cinnamon!
  • 75g White sugar
  • 75g Brown sugar

Method:

  • Roll out your enriched dough into a rectangle measuring approx. 35cm x 25cm. It just needs to be longer than it is wide and will end up being about 1cm thick.
  • Spread the softened butter over the dough with a pastry brush.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon all over that thing! Be quite liberal. That’s what I do.
  • Sprinkle white and brown sugar over the dough as well. Make sure you get to the edges.
  • Roll up the dough lengthways, so that you end up with a long tube.
  • Grease your muffin pan with butter or canola oil spray. Using a muffin pan means all the buns end up uniform in size and with a good crust on each one. Jumbo (or ‘Texas’) muffin pans are ideal because they allow the buns to expand without pushing themselves out the top too much.
  • Cut your dough roll into 12 even slices with a bread knife, trimming the ends off first. The ends never have any filling in them and always disappoint you.
  • Lay your slices out into the pans and cover with cling film. Leave to rise until they have snugly filled their pans.
  • Heat the oven to 175°C. Lightly wash the tops of the buns with milk. This keeps them tender and not too crusty on top where they are exposed the most.
  • Bake the buns until they are puffy and golden brown.
  • Brush your buns with some melted butter and sprinkle a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on them for a little extra flavour hit.

Don’t forget to share your cinnamon buns with other people. I sometimes forget to.

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