Is there anyone who doesn’t like cinnamon buns? They smell irresistible especially when in the oven. The recipe makes perfect buns with each bite providing the right balance between fluffy bread and sweet cinnamon filling. See the photo of the cross-section.
These are great to make when you want some baking therapy. Involve the kids if you can. They take about 4 hours from start to finish. The recipe makes 12, so if you really want, you can freeze some once they have cooled. Defrost and warm in a microwave before quaffing again.
Using a flour roux (a cooked paste of flour and water) is a Japanese/Asian technique and this recipe by America’s Test Kitchen employs the same concept. Except it’s done in the microwave so it’s easier to do. I wouldn’t change a thing in this recipe, it’s perfect as is. (The only minor change I made is replacing the corn syrup with golden syrup and reducing the sugar in the topping). Of all the recipes I have tried for cinnamon buns over the years, this is amongst the best, if not the best.
If you wanted to treat your family to a decadent weekend morning treat, you can proof them overnight and bake them in the morning. See note below.
I would recommend using a stand mixer. If you don’t have one, the kneading can be quite tough. I haven’t tried doing it in food processor, so don’t know how reliable that would be. If you want to keep it nut-free, skip the nuts.
Keep the dough soft, don’t be tempted to add more flour as that’s what creates soft rolls.
Rolling the dough cylinder lightly will yield well shaped rolls.
Bake these buns in a metal, not glass or ceramic, baking tray.
I have used some cup measurements, because that’s what the original recipe states. But I used weighing scales for flour measurements, as it’s very hard to be accurate with cups. The cups are American standard cups.
Sticky Cinnamon buns
Soft, fluffy & light cinnamon buns, to delight even the most jaded of appetites. A real treat in my view. Skip the nuts if you prefer. The shop-bought ones will pale in comparison. The buns are flipped upside down after baking so that the gooey bottom becomes the sticky topping.
FOR THE FLOUR PASTE: Whisk water and flour together in small bowl until no lumps remain. Microwave, whisking every 20 seconds, until mixture thickens to stiff, smooth, pudding-like consistency that forms mound when dropped from end of whisk into bowl, 50 to 75 seconds.
FOR THE DOUGH: In bowl of stand mixer, whisk flour paste and milk together until smooth. Add egg and yolk and whisk until incorporated. Add flour and yeast. Fit stand mixer with dough hook and mix on low speed until all flour is moistened, 1 to 2 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Add sugar and salt and mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes. Stop mixer and add butter. Continue to mix on medium-low speed for 5 minutes longer, scraping down dough hook and sides of bowl halfway through (dough will stick to bottom of bowl).
Transfer dough to lightly floured counter. Knead briefly to form ball and transfer seam side down to lightly greased bowl; lightly coat surface of dough with vegetable oil spray and cover bowl with cling wrap.
Let dough rise until just doubled in volume, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
FOR THE TOPPING: While dough rises, grease 13 by 9-inch metal baking tray. Whisk melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, golden syrup, and salt together in medium bowl until smooth. Add water and whisk until incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared tray and tilt tray to cover bottom. Sprinkle evenly with nuts, if using.
FOR THE FILLING: Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined; set aside.
Turn out dough onto lightly floured counter. Press dough gently but firmly to expel air. Working from center toward edge, pat and stretch & roll the dough with a rolling pin to form 18 by 15-inch rectangle with long edge nearest you.
Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving 1-inch border along top edge; smooth filling into even layer with your hand, then gently press mixture into dough to adhere.
Beginning with long edge nearest you, roll dough into cylinder, taking care not to roll too tightly. Pinch seam to seal and roll cylinder seam side down. Mark gently with knife to create 12 equal portions.
To slice, use a sharp knife and cut gently without squashing the dough too much. Transfer, cut sides down, to prepared baking tray. Reshape if needed. Cover tightly with cling wrap.
Let rise until buns are puffy and touching one another, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, adjust oven racks to lowest and lower-middle positions. Place baking sheet on lower rack to catch any drips and heat oven to 190C (170C fan).
Bake buns on middle rack until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil and bake 10 to 15 minutes longer.
Let buns cool in tray on wire rack for 5 minutes. Place rimmed baking sheet over buns and carefully invert. Remove tray and let buns cool for 5 minutes. Using spoon, scoop any glaze on baking tray onto buns. Let cool for at least 10 minutes longer before serving.
Note: Buns may be refrigerated immediately after shaping for up to 14 hours. To bake, remove baking tray from refrigerator and let sit until buns are puffy and touching one another, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.