Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cinnamon Buns

Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

I thought about delaying some recent posts to have entries ready when school and work get busy. That plan fell through pretty quickly. I have trouble being patient when recipes and photos turn out well.

This is a fabulous recipe from Carole Walter's Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins and More. I've heard great things about this book and i'm looking forward to trying more recipes. The directions are very well written.

These buns are rich, fluffy, and stuffed with a really tasty cinnamon/sugar filling. I really loved it- the filling i've used before is just soft butter sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. I do wish i'd put more sugar glaze on these. It had a fabulous consistency (though next time i'd use milk, not water). Don't be intimidated by the multiple sets of directions- these aren't very difficult to make, especially if you measure out most of the ingredients in advance.

Simple Sweet Dough
makes 2 pounds of dough, enough for 1 large or 2 medium coffee cake
4 tbsp sugar
1/4 cups warm water (110 to 115 F)
1 package active dry yeast
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour, spooned in and leveled
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract

Rinse a small bowl in hot water to warm it. Add 1 tbsp of the sugar and the warm water to the bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water. Do not stir. Cover the bowl with a saucer and let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Stir it briefly with a fork, cover again, and let it stand for 2 to 3 minutes more, or until bubbly.

In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix on low speed the 3 cups of flour, remaining 3 tbsp of sugar, and the salt. Add the slightly firm cubed butter and continue to mix until meal-size crumbs form, 2 to 4 minutes depending on the temp of the butter. Stop the mixer.

Using a fork, in a separate bowl, mix the milk, egg yolks and vanilla. Add the milk mixture to the flour, along with the dissolved yeast, and mix on low speed for about 15 seconds. Stop the mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Mix on low speed for another 30 seconds, or until smooth dough is formed. NOTE: this is a soft dough.

Lightly butter a medium bowl for storing the dough. Empty the dough into the prepared bowl, smoothing the top with lightly floured hands. Spread a thin layer of softened butter over the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. The dough may be kept in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 3 days.

Cinnamon Buns
1/2 recipe (about 1 pound) Simple Sweet Dough
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
3 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp (firmly packed) dark brown sugar
2 tbsp lyle's golden syrup or light corn syrup
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp water, for egg wash
1 small recipe vanilla glaze, optional

1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 1 to 1.5 hours before using.
2. Generously butter an 8x8x2 inch square pan. Line the bottom with parchment. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix the butter, sugars, syrup, cinnamon, and salt until smooth.
4. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Gently knead six or eight times to coat with flour. Pat or shape the dough into a rectangle. Roll the dough into a 9x12 inch rectangle with the 9-inch side parallel to the edge of the counter.
5. Spoon dollops of the cinnamon filling evenly across the dough, making three rows across and two rows down. Using a small offset spatula, spread the filling evenly across the dough, leaving a 1.5 inch border on the far edge. Lightly brush the border with the egg wash. Starting at the side of the rectangle closest to you, roll the dough tightly. Pinch the seam well to seal the flap. Roll the log back and forth a few times to seal the layers. With your hands, gently stretch the log until it measures about 12 inches.
6. Cut the log into 9 1 1/4 inch pieces and place them cut side up in the baking pan, spacing them evenly, three rows across and three rows down. Press the tops of the buns gently to even the surface.
7. Cover the pan with a tea towel and set it in a warmish place to allow the buns to rise until puffy and almost doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.
8. Fifteen minutes before baking, position a rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
9. Gently brush the tops of the buns with egg wash. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. If the buns are browning too quickly, lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the top to allow the center of the buns to bake through. Remove the buns from the oven and allow them to sit for 15 minutes. While the buns are cooling, make the glaze.
10. To remove the pan, cover it with a cooling rack, invert the buns and carefully lift off the pan. Remove the parchment, then cover the buns with another rack and turn the buns top side up. If the buns have risen unevenly during baking, gently press the tops to level them. While the buns are still warm, drizzle the glaze over the top by dipping a small whisk or fork into the icing and waving it rapidly back and forth over the surface of the buns.

Store at room temperature, tightly wrapped in foil, for up to 3 days. Heat before serving.

Vanilla Glaze
2/3 cup strained powdered sugar
2-3 tsp very hot water
1 1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
few drops lemon juice
pinch of salt

Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Add 2 tsp of the hot water, the corn syrup, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until smooth. Add 1 additional tsp hot water or more as needed to make a thin glaze.

*Make this just before using, or keep it warm in a bowl of hot water (it gets crusty very quickly.) You can also substitute milk or cream for a richer, whiter glaze.


natalie said...

I was about to say, how do you ever find the time to bake and blog with skool and work and stuff? Sheesh - you one busy bee ;)

Ya know, I've reserved this book in the library a month or so ago and I'm still waiting. Must be popular.

Been looking for a good cinnamon buns recipe - I'm really picky about the dough. Gotta be soft, fluffy, with those long strands (from gluten development) - similar to panetonne (which is btw another recipe quest), but not too brioch-y. I think the egg yolks in Walter's recipe might do the trick.

I could probably replace the corn syrup with honey..drool...

Thanks for sharing!

Tartelette said...

Love that book! The buns are gorgeous!

cookininky said...

OMG!!! these cinnamon rolls are amazing!! I have been searching for the perfect recipe and you have it..Thank you so much!