BBA #8 – Yum, Yum, Cinnamon Buns!
I don’t think I know anyone who doesn‘t like cinnamon buns. And I know, I know, some people like Cinnabon or the twist-off-and-bake Pillsbury rolls…but to me, those are so ultra-loaded with sugar and artificial stuff that they’re not worth it. But homemade cinnamon buns…now those are a different creature entirely! Light, warm, sweet-but-not-cloyingly-so, mmm! Making them for last week’s BBA bread reminded me how much I love them (as you can probably tell from the frequency of italicized words in this paragraph), and that I really should make them more often. They’re not hard to make, and oh, the smell when they’re baking! Heavenly.
For this BBA bread, I decided to add raisins and walnuts into the cinnamon swirl of the buns. Cinnamon buns are great, but I love them even more with little bits of fruit and nuts swirled throughout.
The process for making the buns started with creaming together butter, sugar and salt, then adding an egg, lemon zest, bread flour, yeast, and buttermilk. I mixed these ingredients together in my electric stand mixer until they came together in a shaggy ball:
I decided to then knead the dough by hand, which was easy — because it was so supple — but it did take me a bit longer than usual to achieve the windowpane, closer to 15 minutes than the usual 8-10. But look at the lovely windowpane I did eventually coax out of the dough:
Next came the usual step of letting the kneaded dough rise until doubled in a lightly oiled bowl.
I then gently degassed the risen dough and rolled it out into a rectangle about 14 inches long by 12 inches wide. Reinhart says the thickness of the dough at this point should be 2/3 inch, but mine was not this thick…I might have too aggressively degassed it, but in any case, I pressed on, sprinkling a generous coating of cinnamon sugar over the dough.
I then scattered raisins and walnuts over the cinnamon sugar, and lightly pressed them into the dough.
Starting from the bottom edge, I then rolled up the dough into a log, trying to keep it fairly tight as I rolled. The individual buns were then easy to slice directly from this log.
I placed the buns on a sheet pan close to each other, but not touching – so that when they proof and bake, they’ll gently connect with each other (so you get those soft sides when you pull them apart. Yum.)
After they’d proofed at room temperature for about an hour, here’s how lovely and puffy they were:
After they proofed, I baked them for about 20 minutes, until they were golden brown.
Oh, hel-loooo, there.
We ate some of them warm, with a powdered sugar/milk icing drizzled over them (didn’t get shots of those – we scarfed them down too quickly!) I stored the remainder at room temperature in a sealed container overnight, and we had them over the weekend with guests that stayed with us for the 4th of July…it was such a fantastic breakfast treat! I’m going to make these over and over, I just know it.
You can find the BBA recipe for cinnamon buns here.
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