Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cinnamon Buns

I have a million different recipes for cinnamon buns, because everyone makes the dough a little different, and everyone does the filling a little different. This one is by Peter Reinhart, who is widely considered the authority on bread-making in the United States.

I love the dough in this recipe because it's so light and fluffy, and because it has an amazing flavor to it. The filling is just plain cinnamon-sugar, which is nice, but I prefer add a little butter to my filling.  So feel free to make that change if you'd like--I know I will be.

As a note, the glaze, while good, can quickly mask the nuanced flavor of the roll itself, so go easy on it. That picture, by the way, has waaaay too much icing.  Drizzle, not pour, is the key to getting the right amount to heighten the sweetness without killing the flavor.

Cinnamon Buns
Recipe by Peter Reinhart

6 1/2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
5 Tbs unsalted butter (you can use salted, just cut the salt measurement in half) or shortening
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp lemon extract (NOT lemon juice) or lemon zest
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (7 Tbs sugar plus 2 Tbs cinnamon)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbs milk
1/4 tsp lemon extract or vanilla extract

In a mixer, cream together sugar, salt, and butter or shortening on medium-high with the paddle attachment.  Whip in egg and lemon until smooth, then add flour, yeast, and buttermilk.  Mix on low speed until dough forms a ball.  Switch to the dough hook and increase speed to medium.  Machine knead for approximately 10 minutes or knead by hand for about 15 minutes, until dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky.  You may need to add a little extra flour to achieve the right texture, but don't add more than 1/2 cup.

Place kneaded dough in a lightly oiled bowl.  Spray the top with oil and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise for about 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Punch the dough down. Spray the countertop with cooking spray and transfer the dough to the counter.  Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until you have a rectangle about 2/3" thick and 14" wide by 12" long.  Don't roll too thin or the rolls will be tough instead of tender.

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the dough all the way to the edges.  Roll up the dough, beginning with the long side, into a long roll.  Using a sharp knife, bench scraper, or some dental floss, cut the long into 8 equal pieces, each about 1 3/4 inches thick.  Place each roll, cut-side down, 1/2" apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Mist the dough with cooking spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Let rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until large and puffy and touching.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  Let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the icing.

In a small pan combine powdered sugar, lemon or vanilla, and 1 Tbs milk. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time, until a thick but pourable glaze is created.  While the buns are still warm, drizzle the icing on top.

Makes 8 large buns.

1 comment:

Marni said...

Are these better than the cinnamon rolls/buns that your branch president made in Bahrain?