Cinnamon Buns

IMG_4350A long, long time ago, in a city far, far away, there used to be a coffee house named Boca Bar.  It was a few blocks from where my best friend and I shared a basement suite.  We would wander up there some evenings to sit and talk.  Even though we lived together, schooled together, sometimes we just needed to go somewhere different for certain conversations.  We never figured out life, well, not completely, but we did plan an epic road trip, did discuss what we were actually doing with our lives, and other important never-ending conversations.

Usually I would have steamed milk with almond and a freshly baked croissant with their homemade raspberry jam.  Sometimes when we were short of money we’d share the croissant.  These evenings were so important to us.  Not just the time in the coffee bar, but the walks to and fro.

Sitting with a friend and sipping on a hot drink and nibbling on a piece of sweet baking, is the best setting for heart to hearts.  Although completely different than the fresh croissants we used to share, these cinnamon buns absolutely work just as well.

Make a batch and invite someone over to share.  Click here for printable copy.

Ingredients

1 c milk

½ c butter, cut into 1” pieces

½ c brown sugar

1T vanilla

6 c flour (3 + 3)

1T instant yeast

1 t salt

4 eggsIMG_4355

Filling:

½ c butter, room temperature – soft

1 c brown sugar

2T cinnamon

Glaze:

2 c icing sugar

4T light cream (or milk works in a pinch)

1T vanilla

Directions

In a 2 c glass-measuring cup, heat the milk, butter, and brown sugar on 50% power in a microwave for 2-3 minutes, until the milk is warm and the butter is mostly melted. It’s okay if there are a few blobs of semi-solid butter left.  Stir to be sure all of the sugar has dissolved. Add in the vanilla.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together 3c of the flour and the salt with the tablespoon of yeast. IMG_4356

Pour in the warm milk mixture, and using the paddle attachment, beat until smooth.

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Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth before adding the next one.  I usually just put them all in a measuring cup, and pour one in at a time. Clean down the sides of the bowl as needed.IMG_4360

IMG_4362Switch to the dough hook.

Add in the remaining flour about ½ a cup at a time until all the flour is mixed in.

Knead until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is no longer sticky when touched.  This usually takes about 5-6 minutes.IMG_4365

Leave the dough to rise until doubled, in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with plastic film. 1–2 hours.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the filling ingredients until smooth.IMG_4705

When the dough has finished its rise, punch it down and let it rest for a couple of minutes.

Place the dough on a clean work surface and using a bit of flour, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into an 18” x 12” rectangle. IMG_4706

Using an offset spatula spread the filling over the whole area, except for an inch along one long edge. IMG_4708

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Starting at the long edge, roll up the dough with the filling, working from one end to the other, gently pressing the dough into the filling as you work.  When you’ve rolled up the whole of it, pinch along the long seam to seal the roll.IMG_4711

IMG_4712Crosscut the roll into 16 even pieces.IMG_4713

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On an 11” x 17” baking sheet lined with parchment, lay the pieces out in 3 rows of 4.IMG_4366

In an 8” x 8” pan, also lined with parchment, place the remaining 4 pieces.

Let the rolls rest uncovered until the rolls have swelled into each other, usually about another ½ hour.IMG_4717

While the rolls are resting, preheat the oven to 350°

Bake the rolls for 28 minutes.  Rotating the pans if necessary.

While the rolls are baking, stir together the glaze ingredients.

Let the cinnamon rolls cool in the pans for about 15 minutes, and then spread the glaze over all, using an offset spatula.  Be sure to let some of the glaze drizzle down inside the buns.

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IMG_4351Do ahead: prepare the buns to arranging them in the pans.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Leave in the fridge overnight.  Let rest at room temperature for about 1½ hours, until they’ve risen enough that they’re touching each other in the pan.  Proceed with recipe.

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