Friday, January 14th, 2011
I’ve made cinnamon buns before, a couple of times. One time I made them with a bunch of lemons. Ryan’s the breakfast master in this house; the only time I really like to get to involved in actually “cooking” breakfast is when I’m actually baking it. Otherwise I’m a yogurt and cereal girl all the way.
I felt the need to make these cinnamon buns this week for several reasons. Ever since the end of our southern cooking-filled Christmas adventures, the return to our usual vegetable based diet has been a little uneasy. I’ll just leave it at that. An extra dose of fat and carbs seems to be helping. Plus it’s been a big week for us and just seemed deserving of a breakfast treat. And finally, I got an awesome King Arthur Flour cookbook for Christmas that just needed to be broken in a bit more.
I made these the lazy way, which is to say that I “made” them the night before, refrigerated them before the final rise, and took them out of the oven in the morning about an hour before making. I thought this way seemed more appealing than waking up four hours before baking them, mostly because it let me sleep more. I have my priorities. But the good news is, it worked!
Dark and Dangerous Cinnamon Buns
Adapted from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Baking Using Nutritious Whole Grains
Makes 16 buns
Please note that I did not come up with this title; the horseback knights at King Arthur Flour did. Amen.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
1/4 cup orange juice
1 large egg, separated (reserve the white)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, cut into 6 pieces
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour*
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or margarine, melted
pinch of salt
2 or 3 tablespoons milk or cream, enough to make a spreadable icing
To prepare the dough: Combine all dough ingredients, using the egg yolk and setting the white aside to use in the filling. Mix and knead – by hand, mixer, or bread machine – until you have a medium soft, smooth dough. Cover and allow the dough to rise until it’s quite puffy, though probably not doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours. While the dough is rising, make the filling.
To prepare the filling: Combine the filling ingredients in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.
To shape the buns: Gently deflate the dough, and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface. Roll and pat it into a 12 x 16-inch rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1-inch margin along one long edge. If the filling seems too sticky to spread easily, wet your fingers and smear it over the dough as best you can.
Starting with the filling-covered long edge, roll the dough into a log, turning it so the seam is flat against the work surface. Using a serrated knife or dental floss, gently cut it into 16 pieces.
Place the buns in the prepared pan, spacing them evenly; they won’t touch one another. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the buns to rise for 1 to 1 1/4 hours. They won’t double in size, but will become about half again as large as they were originally. They should barely touch each other. Near the end of the rise, preheat the oven to 350°F.
To bake the buns: Bake the buns, until they’re a deep golden brown on top, 25 to 28 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and after 3 minutes, carefully turn them out, upside-down, onto a wire rack. Place another rack, feet side up, on the buns, and invert them once again, so their tops are up. They’ll be hot and delicate, so be careful. While the buns are cooling a bit, make the icing.
To finish the buns: Beat together the sugar, vanilla, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the milk (or cream) in a medium mixing bowl. Beat in additional milk or cream if the icing is too stiff to spread. Spread the icing on the lukewarm buns. Serve immediately, or cool completely, cover, and store at room temperature. Buns will keep will, covered for several days.
High-Altitude Notes: TBD. I had some rising issues but the buns turned out beautifully, so I’ll let you know next time.