Something about the weather at the moment just makes me crave sweet, doughy goodness (particularly, it seems, if I’ve been to the gym that day, too). Well yesterday I went to the gym in the morning, so I just had to balance it out by making some cinnamon buns in the afternoon.
This recipe comes straight from Signe Johansen’s wonderful Scandilicious Baking. It’s a really simple, no-knead enriched dough and easy to alter for different occasions: replace the cinnamon with cardamom for a more grown-up flavour, or even ditch the filling altogether and instead swirl with nutella, pureed fruits or toffee and pecans. I made 24 individual buns from this recipe, but you could cut it into seven pieces instead and make a tear-and-share loaf, like I did with my brioche recipe.
300g plain flour
125g wholemeal flour
120g caster sugar
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
A pinch of salt
10g fast action yeast
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A little demerara sugar
Start by heating your milk and 75g of the butter in a pan on the hob. Stir until melted and then heat until nearly boiling, without letting it burn. Set aside to cool.
You can make this dough in a standalone mixer with a dough hook or with a bowl and wooden spoon. Whichever you prefer, tip the two flours, yeast, salt, 70g of sugar and one teaspoon of cinnamon into the bowl. Lightly beat one of the eggs and add it to the bowl. Lastly, add the now-warm milk and butter mixture on top and stir/mix until combined. It should give you a soft, smooth dough.
Now, the best bit – there’s no need to knead. So pop it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
While that’s going, cream together the remaining butter, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract until smooth. Line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Once your dough has risen, tip it out onto a lightly floured surface. Cut it roughly in half and set one half aside. Roll out the other half to form a rectangle that’s about 25x15cm, then spread half the filling over the top with a palette knife. If it’s too stiff to spread, try warming it in the microwave for 10-20 seconds to loosen it up again.
Then, long side towards you, roll it up to make a long, thin roll. Divide into 12 equal pieces (start with in half, then in quarters to make it easier to judge), and place, spiral up on the baking tray.
Repeat with the second half of the dough, then cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for another half an hour – or until doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C fan.
When they’ve risen nicely, lightly beat the second egg and brush it over the exposed sides of the buns, then sprinkle with demerara sugar.
Bake them, one tray at a time, for about 14 minutes until golden brown. Then, all that remains to do is to eat as many as possible while they’re still warm.