Monday, June 30, 2014

cinnamon buns

This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required!
I had never made cinnamon buns before, so I stuck to the provided recipe and made the classic pastries filled with cinnamon sugar.

Although whenever we buy cinnamon rolls, we get the kind frosted with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting, I glazed these with a powdered sugar, milk and vanilla mixture, and we quickly ripped into them, effectively ruining our dinner.

Cinnamon Buns
(from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart)
Makes 8-12 large or 12-16 smaller buns

6½ tablespoons (100 ml) (3 oz) (90 gm) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
5½ tablespoons (85 ml) (2¾ oz) (80 gm) shortening, unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract OR vanilla extract OR 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon zest
3½ cups (840 ml) (16 oz) (450 gm) unbleached bread (or all-purpose/plain) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (¼ oz) (6 gm) instant yeast (active dry worked as well)
1 1/8 – 1 ¼ cups (270-300 ml) whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) cinnamon sugar (6½ tablespoons (100ml) (3 oz) (90 gm) granulated sugar plus 1½ tablespoons (20 ml) (1/3 oz) (10 gm) ground cinnamon)

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar, salt and shortening. Add the egg and extract to the creamed sugar and shortening and mix together until smooth. Add the flour, yeast and milk to the mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form a ball.

At this point, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes. The dough will be silky and supple, but not overly sticky. You may need to add a touch of flour if your dough is too sticky.

Lightly oil a bowl, turn the kneaded dough out into it, turning to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Allow the dough to rest (ferment) until it has doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.

Once the dough has rested and risen, you are ready to shape the cinnamon buns. Prepare your a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.

Spray your work surface lightly with cooking spray and turn the dough out onto the work surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough, into a rectangle about 2/3 an inch (15 mm) thick, 14 inches (350 mm) wide and 12 inches (300 mm) long (for large buns) (or 18 inches (450 mm) wide by 9 inches (230 mm) long for smaller ones). You may need to sprinkle the dough and/or work surface with a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the surface of the dough.

Starting with a long end, roll the dough, creating a spiral, into a log shape, making sure to end with the seam side down. Cut the dough into pieces approximately 1¾ inches (45 mm) thick (for large buns) (1¼ inch (30 mm) for smaller buns).

Place buns approximately ½ inch (15 mm) apart on the prepared pan. They shouldn't be touching at this time.

Allow the shaped buns to proof at room temperature for 75 – 90 minutes until they have nearly doubled in size. They will now be touching each other.

If you are not planning on baking the buns the same day as you are preparing them, you can place them into the refrigerator after they are shaped (before this rise) for up to 2 days. If you do so, you will need to allow them to return to room temperature prior to baking, which means removing them from the refrigerator about 3 or 4 hours before baking.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 degrees at the end of this proofing time.

Bake the buns for 20 – 30 minutes, until golden brown

Allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then drizzle with glaze (recipe below). Remove the buns from the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

White fondant glaze

Sift 4 cups (500 gm) (17½ oz) of confectioners' (icing) sugar into a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of lemon, orange or vanilla extract and between 6 tablespoons to ½ cup (90 to 120 ml) warm milk, whisking well until all of the sugar is dissolved. (Add the smaller amount of milk first, whisking briskly, then add slowly until you have the consistency you want for drizzling over the buns.)

I used lemon extract in the dough, and next time, I'll use vanilla instead. I also used shortening in the dough, mainly because I was too lazy to let the butter reach room temperature. I used 1/3 cup of white sugar, and 1/3 cup of dark brown sugar, plus 2 tbsp cinnamon for the filling. I also spread some butter on the dough before rolling it up.

It's a good thing it takes a good part of the day to make cinnamon roll, because fresh out of the oven, they are amazingly soft and delicious! I'm very happy the Daring Bakers pushed me to make this! Another item off my to bake list!

Thanks Shelley for an amazing challenge, and for compiling all of this month's variations on Pinterest! I loved seeing how every Daring Baker interpreted this challenge differently!


  1. Beautiful done :) Your Cinnamon Buns look perfect!
    Your photos are fantastic!!

  2. Most delicious way ever to ruin a dinner. I'll gladly come ruin my dinner with you any day :) I'm so glad you enjoyed these!!!

  3. They look so fluffy and delicious!

  4. Looks so yummy! Great job for the challenge!


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