I have been craving a sweet sticky cinnamon bun for the longest time now. And after having a very underwhelming cinnamon bun at a coffee shop this week I decided to make my own. The recipe below is adapted to satisfy said craving, and I would like to voice the disclaimer that I love cinnamon more than the average person, used a caramel sauce that is probably not entirely necessary and of course made them much larger than a single serving size. But it was long weekend as we celebrated the birthday of our Queen, and I thought that a little decadence was in order.
I’m also not a huge fan of raisins in baking (and the husband doesn’t eat them at all), so no raisins in my cinnamon buns. Nonetheless, it does go well with the buns if you normally like raisins. Just sprinkle them over the dough right before rolling it up. There are also loads of recipes using pecans in the caramel – again all I wanted was a big fluffy, sticky cinnamon bun with nothing getting in the way and wasn’t feeling the pecans in this instance. If you love nuts, you can add it the caramel sauce, or sprinkle it over the dough before rolling.
The only downside of this seriously satisfying cinnamon bun is that they take a while, it has to rise twice and then bake. So sadly I couldn’t enjoy one (or several) with my morning coffee, but I can assure you they are totally worth the wait. However, if you simply cannot wait that long, the original recipe does instruct to leave the dough in the fridge overnight so you can just pop it in the oven the next morning. But I cannot recommend or comment as I made mine the same day and didn’t leave the dough overnight. I’m always a bit skeptical about leaving dough in the fridge, but perhaps next time the craving for a cinnamon bun overwhelms me again I will try it that way and let you know how it went.
Sticky Cinnamon Buns
(adapted from Oprah’s Gooey Cinnamon Buns)
¼ cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbs granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar
¾ cup milk
90g unsalted butter, softened
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
4 cups all purpose flour
½ cup brown sugar
1½ tbs cinnamon (you can use less)
Big knob of butter
2 tbs butter
¼ cup brown sugar
1tbs maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbs water
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and warm water and let it rest until foamy (about 5 minutes).
- Combine egg yolks, milk, brown sugar and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk together.
- Once the yeast mixture is ready add all the above ingredients to your mixing bowl with the flour and salt and mix together until combined (about 2 minutes).
- With the dough hook attached, knead the dough until smooth (about 10 minutes). If you do not have a mixer with a dough hook, fear not, you can knead the dough by hand, it will just take a few extra minutes.
- Place your dough in a greased bowl and place in a dark place to rise until double in size (anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour). I normally leave my dough in the oven, after I heated it at 180°C for a few minutes. Just make sure the oven is not too hot when putting the dough in otherwise it will actually start baking and form a very thick crust, and needless to say remember to turn the oven off!
- Meanwhile you can start making the caramel by combining all the ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Over a high heat, bring the mixture to the boil, stirring all the while. Then reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. You can use less cinnamon and sugar if you wanted to.
- When the dough is ready roll it out (on a floured bench) into the shape of a triangle.
- Spread the whole surface of the dough with butter, as you would a piece of toast, and again you can use more or less to fulfill your preference.
- Evenly sprinkle over sugar and cinnamon mixture (and nuts or raisins if you’re adding these).
- Gently roll the dough up lengthwise. You can then cut it into as many slices as you prefer, I cut mine to approximately 4cm in width for a nice big bun.
- Pour your caramel into a baking dish, I used a square oven proof dish, but you can use any shape or size you want. Just keep in mind that you need enough space between each bun to rise properly.
- Place the buns on the caramel sauce spacing them about 2 cm from each other.
- Cover the dish with some cling wrap and let it rise in a warm place for another hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Right before putting the buns into the oven brush them with an egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tbs of milk).
- Bake for 30 minutes (check after 20 minutes), they are ready when nice and brown on top and sound hollow when you tap it.
- Once the buns are out of the oven let them cool for about 15 minutes then drizzle over the icing glaze. (This is totally optional, you can instead dust some icing sugar over the buns or pour over some of the caramel you made or leave just as they come out of the oven).
…be fearless, and have fun!