When you have family who makes cinnamon buns from scratch, you get remarkably spoilt. Over the years, I’ve been treated to many a tray of freshly baked batches. So at a family reunion at the beach this week, I made a request from the lovely Kara Luna for her world renowned buns. The recipe I gather follows Todd Wilbur’s take on buns hawked by the popular mall chain Cinnabon.
1 1/2 teaspoons of active dry yeast (1 packet about 1/4 ounce)
1 cup warm milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened
1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in milk that’s about 105 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Stir in the sugar, butter, salt, and eggs.
3. Next, add flour in two batches and mix well.
4. Now’s the time for elbow grease. Dust the countertop and knead the dough until it comes together in a smooth ball. If you have an electric mixer, I say turn it on to save a good 10 minutes of hard work.
5. Place the ball in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
6. Lightly flouring the work space again, roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a triangle about 21 inches long and 16 inches wide. It should be about 1/4-inch thick.
7. To prepare the filling, combine the brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Use a pastry brush to spread the softened butter evenly over the surface of the dough.
8. Next, sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar filling over the surface.
9. Now comes the tricky part. Working from the top (a 21-inch side), roll the dough down to the bottom edge.
10. Cut the rolled dough into 1 3/4-inch slices and place them in a lightly greased baking pan.
11. Allow the rolls rise again until double in size, which should take about half an hour.
12. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
13. Then bake for 10 minutes, or until the top is a deep golden brown.
**At this juncture, you take a deep look at yourself and ask if you’d like to top your rolls with icing. A simple recipe calls for butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla that are beaten together until fluffy. I actually prefer mine without, so will skip this step and save on a few calories so I can have an extra cinnamon bun (or four).**