There has been a lot going on at Adelaide Bakes of late and I haven't had as much time to bake just for the love of it and practice recipes that I've wanted to make for a long time. I've actually been dreaming about cinnamon buns for ages, so much so that I just knew I had to make some and blog about it! This week everything seems a little more settled and I know I have a few busy weeks ahead so it was definitely the sign that it was time to bake!
I tried three different recipes before settling on this one that is as close to what I wanted in a cinnamon bun, big, soft, fluffy, buttery and heady with cinnamon all in one. Next time I think I'll add some apple and walnut pieces into the bun to make apple and cinnamon buns, I can't stop thinking about this now! But onto the recipe!
Overnight Cinnamon Buns
makes 12 generous sized buns
250ml warm full cream milk
30 g fresh yeast or 10 grams instant dry
1/4 cup castor sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour + a little additional
1/4 cup flavourless oil (I use rice bran oil)
2 eggs lightly beaten
pinch of salt
2 tbs very soft butter
2 tbs cinnamon powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup castor sugar
250g icing sugar mixture
2 tsp very soft butter
1 tbs lemon juice
approx. 1/4 cup boiling water
Weigh your ingredients out and have everything you need on hand and ready to go.
If you are using fresh yeast you will need to create your ferment. To do this warm your milk to about 35 degrees C or body temperature with a tablespoon of your measured flour and sugar and gently mix in the fresh yeast. Leave this mixture for about 10 minutes to allow the yeast to activate. You will see the yeast begin to bubble and 'activate' in this time. If your yeast doesn't begin to grow you may have old / dead yeast and you will need to begin again.
If you are using instant yeast, simply add the dry yeast into a bowl with your measured flour and sugar. Warm your milk to body temperature before you add this into your dry ingredients.
It doesn't matter whether you are using fresh or dry yeast, for both options you will add the remaining flour and sugar into a bowl and stir together to distribute the sugar into the flour. Add the milk (or ferment), lightly beaten eggs and oil into the flour and sugar and stir everything together with a knife to combine. Add a pinch of salt and begin to knead the dough. This dough will be very sticky and wet to begin with so you will find that it sticks to your hands a lot. You can add a little more flour at this stage until the dough isn't as sticky but don't want to add too much as this will make your rolls tough. Your dough should still be sticky and soft to the touch.
I love using this 'no knead' technique that I will talk you through. It works on the premise that the gluten in the dough will naturally develop over time and that the flour fully absorbs the moisture within a recipe within about 20 - 30 minutes. So to avoid 20 - 30 minutes of vigorous kneading all I do is mix the dough to combine everything and make sure the dry ingredients are all moistened and distributed evenly within the dough, then I cover the dough and leave it for approx. 10 minutes. After 10 minutes I lightly oil my work surface, scrape the dough out and knead for 1 - 2 minutes until I feel the dough changes in texture a little, then cover again and leave again for 10 or so minutes. Again, once the 10 minutes are up I go back and knead my dough again for about 2-3 minutes. you will feel that the dough has changed from a sticky, wet mix, to a soft, smooth, elastic dough. If you feel the dough is still too sticky and wet add in again a small amount of flour, probably no more than 1 - 2 tablespoons. Transfer your kneaded dough into a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for approximately 60 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
When the dough is nearly ready prepare your filling. Soften your butter until nearly melted in the microwave and gently mix in the cinnamon and sugars to create a cinnamony, sugary paste.
Once your dough has doubled in size knock it back to knock all of the air out, lightly flour your work surface and scrape your dough out. Knead the dough again quickly then roll it out into a rectangle shape using a rolling pin or wine bottle (you can even just stretch it gently using your hands if you have neither), to approx. 45cm x 30cm. Smear the cinnamon sugar filling all over the dough and begin rolling it up gently along the longest side. You will end up with one long log.
Transfer your log onto a chopping board. To make even sized buns gently score the log with a sharp knife in half and each half in half again. Then score each quarter into three even pieces. Slice each bun with a sharp knife and place gently into your lined baking tray. Leave plenty of room for your buns to grow as they will easily double in size again. Cover the baking tray again with glad wrap and if you are not baking your buns until the next day place the tray in the fridge over night and allow for a long, slow rise. If you decide to bake your buns the same day simply leave again for 30 minutes before baking in a preheated oven.
These buns are great for weekend baking when you want to have fresh, soft cinnamon buns in the morning. When you wake in the morning, bring the buns out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature for 30 minutes or so, while the oven preheats to approximately 160 degrees C, bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until your buns are golden brown and spring back when you touch them gently. I always under bake my buns by a minute as I know the residual heat will keep the cooking process going once they are removed from the oven.
While the buns are baking I prepare my icing, very simply add your weighed icing sugar, very soft butter and lemon juice into a bowl and mix small amounts of boiling water in until you have a smooth, shiny, drizzly icing. Pour the icing over the warm buns and smear it with the back of a spoon into all of the creases.
Make yourself a hot cup of coffee or tea and sit back, relax and enjoy your delicious buns!