This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required!
Sweet bready dough, cinnamon, sugar, butter…. all my favourite food groups so how could this month fail to impress. 
Cinnamon buns are something I have always wanted to make but have never really got around to it. And Sticky Cinnamon buns can only be better. Shelley provided a great recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart plus a couple of others. But Shelley also gave us free reign to be as creative as we pleased – sweet or savoury, with or without cinnamon. However I couldn’t go past the recipe by Peter Reinhard in The Bread Baker’s Apprentice.  I have a copy of this book so I followed the Sticky Bun version of the recipe. And….wow…delightful, delicious and divine! Thank you, Shelley!
Please take note of this oozy caramel dripping down the buns like molten lava!

Cinnamon Buns

(from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart)
Makes 8-12 large or 12-16 smaller buns

Ingredients
6½ tablespoons (100 ml) (3 oz) (90 gm) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
5½ tablespoons (85 ml) (2¾ oz) (80 gm) shortening, unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon zest
3½ cups (840 ml) (16 oz) (450 gm) unbleached bread (or all-purpose/plain) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (¼ oz) (6 gm) instant yeast (active dry worked as well)
1 1/8 – 1 ¼ cups (270-300 ml) whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) cinnamon sugar (6½ tablespoons (100ml) (3 oz) (90 gm) granulated sugar plus 1½ tablespoons (20 ml) (1/3 oz) (10 gm) ground cinnamon)
pecans

Caramel Glaze

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks/15 Tbsp) butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 tsp lemon, orange or vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar, salt and shortening (though it is not difficult to do by hand, using a strong spoon).
  2. Add the egg and lemon extract to the creamed sugar and shortening and mix together until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, yeast and milk to the mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form a ball.
  4. At this point, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes (if kneading by hand, you will probably need to do so for closer to 12 – 15 minutes). The dough will be silky and supple, but not overly sticky. You may need to add a touch of flour if your dough is too sticky – that is okay.
  5. Lightly oil a bowl, turn the kneaded dough out into it, turning to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  6. Allow the dough to rest (ferment) until it has doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.
  7. Once the dough has rested and risen, you are ready to shape the cinnamon buns. Prepare your a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.
  8. Spray your work surface lightly with cooking spray and turn the dough out onto the work surface.
  9. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough, into a rectangle about 2/3 an inch (15 mm) thick, 14 inches (350 mm)wide and 12 inches (300 mm) long (for large buns) (or 18 inches (450 mm) wide by 9 inches (230 mm) long for smaller ones). You may need to sprinkle the dough and/or work surface with a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking. This is okay. 

 10. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the surface of the dough.

 11. Starting with a long end, roll the dough, creating a spiral, into a log shape, making sure to end with the seam side down

 Make the glaze: in the bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar, brown sugar, salt, and butter, at room temperature. Cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add the cup corn syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon, orange or vanilla extract. Continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. 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. I made half this quantity and used the whole lot.

I sprinkled a few broken pecan over the caramel glaze.

12.Cut the dough into pieces approximately 1¾ inches (45 mm) thick (for large buns) (1¼ inch (30 mm) for smaller buns).
13. Place buns approximately ½ inch (15 mm) apart on the prepared pan. They shouldn’t be touching at this time. (Mine were)

 14. Allow the shaped buns to proof at room temperature for 75 – 90 minutes until they have nearly doubled in size. They will now be touching each other. If you are not planning on baking the buns the same day as you are preparing them, you can place them into the refrigerator after they are shaped (before this rise) for up to 2 days. If you do so, you will need to allow them to return to room temperature prior to baking, which means removing them from the refrigerator about 3 or 4 hours before baking.

15. Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 degrees at the end of this proofing time.

16. Bake the buns for 20 – 30 minutes, until golden brown

17. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then turn over onto a serving plate. Don’t let the buns sit in the pan for too long because then you will have trouble turning them out.

These rolls have a beautiful tender crumb combined with the oozy caramel…yum… who can resist!

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