Annika Eats

Cinnamon Buns

Warm pillow like soft bread with a spiral filling of an indulgently gooey cinnamon spiced butter, with a contrasting bittersweet undertone from the sugar that has now caramelized in the oven, all of which is adorned with a chilled zesty cream cheese frosting that is melting over the cloud like warm buns in slow motion of course.

Making bread always daunted me in culinary school. While learning from the masters I had this intimidation yet fasciation towards yeast. As time progressed and the urge to bake bread increased I realized that I needed to understand it better and be patient. With time I gained insight on one very important fact.

To make delicious yeasted bread you need patience above all ingredients and equipment. You cannot be hasty and rush the process; it just won’t yield the desired outcome. So, here I am giving out the golden rule advice that I learned the hard way.

First of, are they Cinnamon Buns or Cinnamon Rolls? They mean the same thing and ingredients wise there is no difference between them. The difference arises on how you do the 2nd proofing. If you proof your buns in a baking tray where they grow into each other harmoniously and while baking they become one big happy family that you need to pull apart later, then they are Cinnamon Buns. However if you proof and bake them in a muffin tray/cupcake tray they bake independently, soring high and standing tall and beautiful, then they are considered to be Cinnamon rolls. Whatever connotation you use, doesn’t matter, as they taste extraordinary.

Cinnamon buns/rolls always intrigued me as the spirals seemed hypnotic almost with a heady cinnamon aroma bombarding the air with all its might. Even though the recipe uses only 30gm of cinnamon powder, which might seem like a little but in reality it is plenty. On the note of cinnamon, something happens to it when it bakes that the entire house begins to smell of a little bakery set on the stone concrete pavement along side a few flourishing Crepe Myrtles. It brightens up the senses and starts tickling your taste buds without actually eating!

These cinnamon buns are fool proof to the point I have made it in the middle of the night and it worked out perfect. Once you understand the concept of letting the ingredients do their job, the entire process will become very easy to follow and the outcome highly delicious. Happy Baking!

Cinnamon Buns

Warm pillow like soft bread with a spiral filling of an indulgently gooey cinnamon spiced butter, with a contrasting bittersweet undertone from the sugar that has now caramelized in the oven, all of which is adorned with a chilled zesty cream cheese frosting that is melting over the cloud like warm buns in slow motion of course.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 28 mins
Proofing Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 18 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 10 Buns

Equipment

  • Planetary mixer/Your hands
  • Rolling Pin
  • Sharp knife
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Sauce pot
  • Offset pallet knife
  • Brush
  • Baking tray

Ingredients
  

Dough

  • 500 gm Bread flour
  • 300 gm Milk
  • 60 gm gm Castor sugar
  • 10 gm Dry yeast
  • 10 gm Salt
  • 100 gm Butter (room temp)
  • 5 gm Cinnamon powder
  • 1 no Egg (50gm)

Cinnamon Butter

  • 25 gm Cinnamon powder
  • 200 gm Brown sugar
  • 100 gm Castor sugar
  • 175 gm Butter (room temp)
  • Pinch of salt

Syrup

  • 100 ml Orange juice
  • 50 ml Water
  • 200 gm Dark brown sugar
  • 5 gm Cinnamon powder
  • 5 gm Vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 45 gm Butter (room temp)
  • 80 gm Cream cheese (cold)
  • 250 gm Icing sugar
  • 15 ml Whipping cream (optional)
  • 5 gm Vanilla

Instructions
 

Cinnamon Butter

  • Mix all the ingredients together until combined and lump free, either using a whisk or a wooden spatula.

Dough | 1st Proof

  • To make the dough mix all the ingredients except for the butter in a large bowl and bring together. Once its almost incorporated, scrape out the dough on a flat surface and start kneading.
  • The dough with be sticky and using one hand stretch and tare the dough by pushing the sticky mixture away from you and bring it back. Continue this process for 4-5 mins by hand.
  • Scrape the sticky dough together and now we add the butter in 4 additions. There is no pretty way of doing this. The softness of the butter will blend into the dough, be patient. Continue the stretch and tare/ push and full technique. Only after the 1st addition of butter is incorporated will you add the 2nd.
  • Keep going until all the butter is done and the dough is looking smooth and cohesive. This should take around 10 mins of kneading.
  • Transfer to the mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

Dough | 2nd Proof

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it out from the bowl onto a floured surface. Start by shaping the dough into a rectangle with your hands.
  • Using a rolling pin roll out the dough into almost 4-5 inch thickness. Try to keep the dough rectangle to help with the shaping later.
  • Brush off any excess flour that might have entered your dough. Spread over the cinnamon butter and spread using a spoon, scraper or spatula. Ensure you go all the way to the sides.
  • Start rolling the length of the dough away from you and don’t worry about rolling it very tight. You need around 5 rolls so don’t be too fussy about it.
  • Once you have a nice long sausage like log using a sharp knife cut the dough in half. Cut each half into half and keep going until you get approximately similar looking buns.
  • Transfer to a baking tray, cover and proof for 30 mins at room temperature.

Dough | Baking & Finishing

  • Bake the buns at 180 °C in a preheated oven for 25-28 mins on the middle rack.
  • Once they are done, brush them generously with the prepared syrup while still hot. This has to be don’t while they are hot so they absorb all that juicy goodness.
  • While still warm but not scorching, dollop the frosting on the top of the buns and watch them melt over.
  • Enjoy them warm.

Syrup

  • In a small saucepot on low-medium heat add all the ingredients except for the vanilla and bring to a boil.
  • Once bubbling leave to simmer for 4-6 mins until its reduced and thickened a little.
  • Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and set aside.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Beat the butter until pale and creamy. Add the cream cheese and ensure there is no liquid in the cream cheese. Beat it until combined. Do not over beat it.
  • Add the icing sugar in 3 stages and beat until the sugar is incorporated. This will take 2 minutes or so. Keep scrapping down the sides of the bowl to ensure al the sugar is incorporated into the icing.
  • Add the vanilla and the whipping cream. Beat until combined. Set in the fridge to chill until ready to use. Keep in mind if chilled for too long it will set hard so make this while the buns are baking.

Notes

Pro Tip:
~Dough: You can make these buns in a Planetary mixer with the paddle attachment as it is a very sticky mass at first. After the butter is incorporated into the mixture, it wouldn’t take long for the dough to come together. Keep in the mind the dough will be sticky and that’s fine, it will hydrate once its proved.
~Make Ahead:
1. You can make the dough ahead of time, roll, fill, cut and place them in the baking tray and transfer to the fridge for up to 12 hours before baking. When ready to bake remove from fridge leave it at room temp for atleast 30 mins before baking.
2. You could also freeze the rolls in zip lock bags on flat tray for upto 2 weeks. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer, let it come to room temp before baking.
3. You could also chill the dough before rolling and filling at the 1st stage of proving, the next day take out from fridge and let it come to room temperature before continuing.
~Baking: You could bake each bun in a muffin tin, so you do the 2nd proofing in the muffin tin and bake it in the same they will bake for 14-16 mins. These turn out to be cinnamon rolls.
Recipe Inspiration: Bread Ahead Bakery
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