Cats, Cooking, and Life!

Cinnamon Buns

Here's a favourite that I made many times when I was chef at a fishing resort. It was in regular rotation on the breakfast menu, and was always popular. Very rich, though. The leftovers would sometimes come back, and as the days went by, the staff (including me) wouldn't finish them off because they are quite filling.

Part of the attraction to this treat, in my opinion, is that it's made with fresh bread. Plain and simple white bread. Anyone who has ever made bread knows how great it is to pull it apart while still warm and dive into the still-steaming pieces with a little butter dripping down the sides. Well, cinnamon buns are just like that, with the addition of sugar, cinnamon and nuts.

While this recipe shows the ingredients, it does not go into great detail about how to make the bread from scratch. I'm sure it will turn out better if you've had some experience in making and handling dough. Maybe that's a future post, but it would be hard. There are lots of books that describe the art of making bread and there's no way I could duplicate that task.

Traditionally I knead bread by hand but in this case I used the bread hook on my stand mixer.

Unfortunately, the weather turned cooler the day I made these so I had to get creative about finding a warm spot for the dough to rise. In summer, a corner in the kitchen works fine, but for winter days I try these:

  1. in a little-used bathroom on the top floor, I close the door and leave the lights on. This warms up nicely.
  2. turn the oven on low (about 75 to 100 C), then turn it off and leave the oven light on. Not quite as warm as the previous suggestion but still does the trick.

Most bread recipes advocate proofing the yeast, which is to combine the yeast, sugar and warm water. Then let them sit for 10 minutes to "prove" the yeast works before adding it to the dough mixture. I usually skip this step as long as I'm sure my yeast is reasonably fresh and well cared for. I've never yet had yeast fail on me.


Ingredients for the Dough

  • 333 g white flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 250 ml warm water (1 cup)
  • 15 ml yeast (1 tbsp)
  • 30 ml oil (2 tbsp)
  • 5 ml salt (1 tsp)
  • 15 ml sugar (1 tbsp)
  • Extra oil to coat the rising bowl

Kneading in the mixer

Place the first 6 ingredients in a mixer bowl and set it to knead for 5-10 minutes. Remove the dough, shape it into a ball, coat it with oil and place into an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with some linen and place in a warm area for two to three hours while it raises to about double the size.

Ready for the first raising

The amount here is equivalent to one loaf of bread, at least for the size of loaf pans that I use.

Melting the butter with the brown sugar

Ingredients for the topping

  • 250 ml butter (1 cup)
  • 375 ml brown sugar, packed (1-1/2 cups)
  • 250 ml walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped, or raisins (1 cup)
  • 15 ml cinnamon (1 tbsp)

In saucepan over medium heat, melt 175 ml (3/4 cup) of the butter with 175 ml (3/4 cup) of the sugar; stir until smooth, i.e., the sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy. Pour into greased 23 x 33 cm (9 x 13 in) baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the nuts.

Topping in the bottom of the pan

Melt remaining butter.

Combine the remaining sugar, remaining nuts and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

On a floured surface, roll dough to 48 x 36 cm (18 x 14 in). Brush with 1/2 of the melted butter, leaving 1 cm border. Sprinkle with the sugar mixture. 

Rolled out and sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon and nuts

Roll the dough tightly into a cylinder, along the long edge. Brush with remaining butter. 

Rolled up and ready to slice

Slice into 15 discs and arrange in the pan. Cover and let rise until doubled again, about another two to three hours.

Sliced up and ready for the second raising

Risen again and ready for the oven

Bake in 200C (350 F) oven for 25 minutes or until crusts are golden and tops sound hollow when tapped. Let stand in pan for 3 minutes. 

Fresh out of the oven

Run a knife around the outside to loosen the buns from the pan. Invert onto serving platter or cookie sheet and scrape any remaining sugar mixture in the pan to drizzle over buns.  Let cool slightly and serve.

Just out of the pan, over easy

Sometimes, though, it's difficult to resist the urge to eat long enough to let them cool slightly. They smell fabulous in the oven and when they're taken out and everyone in the house will come running. It's OK if you can't fend them off. Just make sure no one burns themselves.

And Bow-Tie Calico is not sure what to think!

Does she like it? We're not sure.