Cinnamon buns (a bun in the oven)
As the title hints at, I have big news to share… Aaron and I are having a baby! Woohoo! It’s still kind of hard to believe, but after four months of no booze, delicious cheeses, and oysters… well it’s really setting in. All jokes aside (kind of), we are beyond thrilled. My first few months left me without an appetite, feeling nauseous and exhausted, but I’ve broken through that fog and am so jazzed to be able to look at and make food again! Especially sweets. In honor of our most amazing little one, I flipped through my treasured recipe book to find a favorite recipe —one that takes time and patience but is totally worth the wait. Yup, that seems totally appropriate for this news. Hellooo, cinnamon buns!
This recipe comes from my best friend’s mom, Carol, who made them for us when we were teenagers. She likened them to our favorite mall indulgence, Cinnabuns. Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Sure they’re known as a heart attack in bun-form, but man, they’re sooo good—at least that’s how I remember them. It’s been years since I had a cinnabun, but it seemed high time to bust out this favorite recipe. As I mentioned, the dough needs lots of time to work it’s magic—but let me tell you, it’s all worth it. Because really, is there anything better than fresh cinnamon buns, straight out of the oven? I think not.
Since the dough needs 4-5 hours to rise, I made the dough the night before and let it rise on the counter. A few extra hours of rising time doesn’t hurt. Then, as soon as I woke, I got the rolls ready by rolling them out and creating a simple butter and cinnamon sugar filling. They then need another rising time before they can be baked. But the good news is just when you think you can’t wait any longer, they’ll be ready. After they’ve cooled a touch, drizzle some icing over top, then drizzle a little more, and you’ll be in cinnamon bun heaven. The dough is sweet and tender on the inside with crispy bits along the edges and full of cinnamon goodness. I can’t think of a better way to start the day.
makes 20 buns
I have a feeling this recipe could be easily halved, although I haven’t tried it myself. Alternately, you can freeze half of the buns, just remove them from the freezer the night before. They may need more baking time (I’ll update once I’ve tried this method—a girl can only eat so many cinnamon buns.)
to make the sweet dough (4-5 hours):
Note: I made the dough the night before, then simply left it on the counter to rise overnight.
|1/2 cup warm water
2 packets of yeast
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
4-4 1/2 cups flour
|1. In a large bowl, combine the water and yeast. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until bubbles form along the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the sugar, salt, and butter. Stir gently until butter is melted.
3. Add the milk mixture, beaten eggs and 2 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Stir until smooth, then add another cup of flour, stir until smooth. Repeat one more time. If the dough is still sticky, add another 1/2 cup of flour until the dough is stiff and kneadable—it will still be slightly sticky, but workable. Knead for 5 minutes.
4. Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl and cover with a breathable towel. Let rise in a warm place for 4-5 hours, or overnight.
to make the filling (1 hour + 25 minutes baking time):
|6 Tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
|5. Once the dough has risen, punch in down and divide in half. Roll out the dough into an 8″x10″ rectangle. Do not use flour to roll out dough.
6. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon.
7. Spoon up to half of the melted butter over dough, then generously sprinkle half the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter.
8. With the long side of the dough facing you, gently roll the onto itself until it’s completely rolled up. Slice the roll into 1-inch slices, then gently place into a greased 8-inch round pan. You should be able to get 9-10 rolls squeezed into the pan.
9. Cover the pan with a breathable towel and let rise for about an hour, until the dough has almost doubled.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
10. Once doubled, remove the towel and bake for 20-25 minutes.
to make the icing:
|1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
|11. Once the buns have cooled slightly, create a glaze by whisking together the powdered sugar and milk until smooth. It should be thick but pourable.
12. Gently pour the mixture over the rolls, making sure to top each one. If you’re feeling indulgent (always!), make a little extra icing and pour over each roll as it’s served.
13. Ahhh, enjoy!