Tuesday, April 5, 2011

recipes: cinnamon buns

my work friend amber makes a mean dessert. i mean, any dessert. i decided to take one from her book (literally) and borrow her bread baker's apprentice cookbook, and make cinnamon buns.

i spent a few hours on sunday making this recipe, and although the dough took me two tries (i forgot an ingredient, wtf), i'd say they were a huge success. in fact, i'm eating one as i type and i'd go so far as to say they kick pillsbury's ass.

6 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
5 1/2 tbsp shortening or unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp lemon extract or grated zest
3 1/2 cups unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon)

1. cream together the sugar, salt and shortening on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a larger metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand). whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth. then add the flour, yeast, and milk. mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately ten minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supply, tacky but not sticky. you may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

2. ferment at room temperature for approximately two hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

3. mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 x 12. don't roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump.

4. sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. with the seam side down, cut the dough into 8-12 even pieces about 1 3/4 inch thick.

5. place the buns about 1/2 inch apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment. proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.

6. preheat the oven to 350 degrees with the oven rack in the middle shelf.

7. bake the cinnamon buns for 20-30 minutes, or until lightly golden. cool the buns for about 10 minutes before covering with icing (recipe below).

now, being the pillsbury officionado that i am, i decided to google a recipe for the icing just like the one that comes in the little plastic cup with the pop-cardboard-cinnamon-bun things, and here's the secret behind the magic:

2 cups confectioners sugar
2-3 tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

mix together (adding heavy cream or confectioners sugar appropriately to get the consistency you want) and spoon over warm buns.

uh-may-zing. thank you, bread baker's apprentice.


janet said...

they look yummy!!

amber said...

I love this recipe, but I'm not wild about the icing recipe. Try this one instead:

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 C butter, softened
1.5 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 to 1/2 tsp lemon (add this to taste)
1/8 tsp salt

Cream in a mixer until it's the consistency you want. Really fantastic.

Jennifer S. said...

Those look soo yummy! Not part of the diet at all but look oh so good!