Today I decided to make cinnamon buns — one of my all time favourite sweet treats. These ones turned out great. I adapted the recipe from The Messy Baker by Charmain Christie.
Set aside at least 4 hours to make these buns. You can use a kitchen aid mixer or your hands (you will need them anyways) for mixing and kneading. I used organic unbleached flour and butter to makes these treats at least a bit healthier! The recipe calls for chopped walnuts, but I left those out. I also left out the caramel sauce since they are sweet enough already and drizzled them with a bit of amber maple syrup instead instead.
OK, so here’s what I used to make them:
- 2 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup of white sugar (or organic cane sugar)
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup of organic whole plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup dairy or non-dairy milk product (I used cashew milk)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- three sprinkles of sea salt
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 4 cups of organic, unbleached white flour
- 1/4 cup of melted butter
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon (mmm)
Here’s how it’s done:
1) First things first: you need to let the yeast rise first on its own. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the yeast, 1/3 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir this until the yeast and sugar dissolves. Let this stand for a good 10 minutes (or more). It should rise and turn frothy, almost like the foam on a glass of beer (but it won’t be white, it will be a filmy brown colour).
2) Meanwhile, on low heat, mix the butter, yogurt, milk and vanilla in a sauce pan. Wisk to mix. What you want to do here is the melt the butter. The mixture should be lukewarm and this won’t take too long. When it’s done, remove from heat AND THEN whisk in the egg (if you mix in the egg while the mixture is on the heat, the egg may start to cook and solidify).
3) Add the four cups of flour to a large bowl (if you are mixing by hand) or to your kitchen aid mixing bowl. Then add the yeast and the liquid mixture that you just heated on the stove. Now you want to mix everything together – either with a wooden spoon or the dough hook with the kitchen aid. I used the kitchen aid on a low-medium speed. Mix it for a few minutes until a dough starts to form and come together.
4) After mixing for a few minutes and once you have a dough, pour the dough onto a floured counter and mix with your hands, adding more flour if necessary so that your dough is elasticy yet does not stick to your hands. It should be a soft dough that does not stick to your finger or hands once you touch it. Once you have it, place it back into the mixing bowl and let it rise for about 2 hours. I left mine on the stove (it’s not too hot here, but if you like you can put it in the fridge, however, yeast does like warmth).
5) Clean (but you will still need your floury counter!!) read, write a friend a letter or a text, do whatever for a few hours… I made a salad and starting writing this recipe :). Meanwhile, the dough tripled in size! Magic!
6) Take your dough and put it back onto the floured counter. Roll it into about 40 cm long and 30 cm wide. Then melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a sauce pan and brush it onto the dough using a pastry brush (or the back of tablespoon if you don’t have one). Sprinkle evenly with the brown sugar and cinnamon. Then roll the dough from the long side. Then cut the dough into about 16 pieces using a serrated knife, if possible (you can make thinner or thicker buns – it’s totally up to you).
7) Place the buns on a baking sheet and let rise for another 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
8) Remove from the oven, cool and enjoy! You can also ice these using a simple icing, I decided not to as I find them sweeet and delicious enough already. Enjoy!