Friday, September 28, 2007

Cinnamon Buns: Daring Bakers Challenge!

What a wonderful recipe for this month's Daring Baker's Challenge: Cinnamon or Sticky Buns from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. They smelled so delicious coming out of the oven! I couldn't sleep because of the lovely aroma--I just wanted it to be morning so I could have a bun! Thanks Marce (Pip in the City), for your choice!

I have to admit, I waited to the last minute for this month's challenge. I wanted to make both sticky and regular varieties but didn't leave myself the time. They were really very easy to make and assemble. I love Reinhart's recipes--they are so nice to follow and give great instructions. This cookbook makes great bread baking so accessible to the home baker. I definitely recommend it for anyone wanting to learn about yeast breads.

Although I think my grandma's sweet rolls are still my favorite, these rolls were very good. The dough was great to work with, soft but not sticky, slightly sweet, and had a hint of citrus that smelled amazing even while kneading it. Instead of the lemon extract I used Princess Cake Flavor, giving it a bakery taste with vanilla, butter, and lemon scents. Yum! I also used this flavoring in the fondant glaze that was drizzled on the warm buns. (I only made 1/4 of this glaze and it was the perfect amount--all of it would have been so overwhelmingly sweet.) I think orange would be wonderful too.

Just several notes for next time I bake them....I'll make them a bit smaller and place them closer than 1/2 inch apart--almost touching-- in a round cake pan instead of a baking sheet. My favorite buns were the soft ones on the inside that were really smushed up against their neighbors. Also, I will roll out the dough a little thinner. The recipe specifies 2/3 inch, but mine was closer to 1/2. I'll use more of the cinnamon-sugar mixture next time as well. I only used about half of the mixture and felt they needed a little more. Raisins would be tasty! And I must try these with all butter--I think the flavor of the dough would be richer.I look forward to trying the sticky buns! These rolls tasted and looked like they had come from a bakery. Thanks Daring Bakers! Another fun and yummy challenge! Check out all of the other delicious looking buns on the Daring Baker's Blogroll. Continue for Cinnamon Bun recipe.

Cinnamon and Sticky Buns
from Peter Reinhart´s The Break Baker´s Apprentice

Days to Make: One (1); Active/Resting/Baking Time: 15 minutes to mix, 3 1/2 hours fermentation/shaping/proofing, 20 - 40 minutes to bake

Recipe Quantity: Eight(1) - twelve (12) large rolls or twelve (12) - sixteen (16) small rolls


6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter or margarine**
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon**
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour**
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk (DMS) and 1 cup water**
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon)

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns or caramel glaze for sticky buns (at the end of the recipe.)

Walnuts, pecans, or other nuts (for sticky buns.)
Raisins or other dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or dried cherries (for sticky buns, optional.)

Step 1 - Making the Dough: Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand).Note: if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast.Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest 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 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, 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.

Step 2 - Fermentation: Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Step 3 - Form the Buns: 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 with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. 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 to 12 pieces each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.

Step 4 - Prepare the Buns for Proofing:For cinnamon buns: line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren´t touching but are close to one another.For sticky buns: coat the bottom of 1 or more baking dishes or baking pans with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high with a 1/4 inch layer of the caramel glaze. Sprinkle on the nuts and raisins (if you are using raisins or dried fruit.) You do not need a lot of nuts and raisins, only a sprinkling. Lay the pieces of dough on top of the caramel glaze, spacing them about 1/2 inches apart. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag.

Step 5 - Proof the Buns: Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

Step 6 - Bake the Buns:Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns.Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky buns 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. If you are baking sticky buns, remember that they are really upside down (regular cinnamon buns are baked right side up), so the heat has to penetrate through the pan and into the glaze to caramelize it. The tops will become the bottoms, so they may appear dark and done, but the real key is whether the underside is fully baked. It takes practice to know just when to pull the buns out of the oven.

Step 7 - Cool the buns:For cinnamon buns, cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.For the sticky buns, cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove them by flipping them over into another pan. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.

Toppings for the Buns:

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns:

Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)

Caramel glaze for sticky buns:

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature.2. Cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon, orange or vanilla extract. Continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.3. Use as much of this as you need to cover the bottom of the pan with a 1/4-inch layer. Refrigerate and save any excess for future use; it will keep for months in a sealed container.


Anne said...

Oh, the soft inside ones would definitely be my favorites as well! Great job!

slush said...

Wow, that cinnamon peeking out looks so YUM! Great job!

Anonymous said...

Great job :)

breadchick said...

I'm with Anne! My favourite ones are the center ones too! Great job on this month's challenge!!

Peabody said...

Beautiful buns...well done.

Chris said...

Nice work!

Jenny said...

That's a good idea for making them softer. I'll have to try that.

Ivonne said...

Rose, I love your blog! Your cinnamon buns are just gorgeous!

Lis said...

Rose you did a fabulous job with those buns they are just wonderful looking! I wish I had smell-o-vision.. your description of how the dough smelled has me drooling, once again! =)

Another fantastic post!


anita said...

They look so puffy and delicious! Beautiful job!

Belinda said...

Okay...I am now beyond intrigued by Princess Cake Flavor! Your cinnamon buns look beautiful, and I like the glazed effect you got by using a little bit less fondant icing...very pretty...and tempting. I am still not tired of seeing cinnamon rolls, so I think Marce chose a winner! :-)

Tartelette said...

They look awesome! I hope that one day you get to share your grandma's recipe with us!

Deborah said...

They look wonderful! I also liked the ones on the inside the best.

Kelly-Jane said...

Lovely buns, great job :)

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

They are lovely buns! I also really enjoyed the lemon wafting through the house.

Anne said...

Beautiful buns! You did well!

Aoife said...

What is Princess Cake Flavor and where can I get it? Your cinnamon rolls are gorgeous!

Julie said...

Inside buns have always been my favorite, too! And if I could choose anything to keep me up, it would be the smell of buns. Yours came out wonderfully!

Baking Soda said...

What can I say? Nothing beats Grandma's and memories! Still they look so good

Rose said...

Thanks for your nice comments! Everyone's buns looks wonderful! Belinda and aoife, you can buy Princess Cake flavor from King Arthur's (
They describe it as a "light, nutty taste, accented with overtones of citrus and rich vanilla." I like it in sugar cookies and buttercream icing. Enjoy!

Dolores said...

I have to agree with you... less is more with the fondant glaze, the soft buns from the middle of the pan were the best, and I missed the raisins. Was going to ask you about Princess Cake Flavor 'til I saw you'd already answered other inquiries. Thanks for sharing your story; I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to get to reading it.

carlos said...

These look so good make some for us.