Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cinnamon Buns - week 5 of 52

I recently saw a TV ad for Pillsbury cinnamon buns and immediately thought "I could make those" - and have been proven wrong. I've always wanted to try making breads with yeast (vs something like banana bread using baking powder etc).

This recipe below, from the Canadian Living Cookbook, takes quite a bit of time (about 3 hrs in total because you have to allow the dough to rise, not once, but twice).

The dough didn't really rise as the recipe said it would - so not sure what went wrong (too much flour maybe?) End result, I got a good looking, a little chewy buns. Not really soft and doughy as I expected. A little more like tea biscuits than cinnamon buns.

I'm going to try yeast breads again this year for sure - not going to give up yet! Any advice?

Bon app├ętit!

Did you know - How yeast works (because I've always wondered)
•Yeast feeds on the starches in flour, producing carbon dioxide
•The carbon dioxide expands the gluten proteins in the flour
•The gluten proteins cause the dough (of which flour is a main ingredient) to expand and rise

Cinnamon Buns - makes 15 buns


¼ cup sugar
½ cup warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast (you can find this in the baking aisle at your grocery store)
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs beaten
4 cups flour (approx)

1 cup butter
1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon

1. Dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in the warm water. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, heat together milk, remaining sugar, butter and salt until butter is melted; let cool to lukewarm. In large bowl, combine eggs, milk mixture and yeast mixture.
2. With mixer, gradually beat in 1 ½ cups flour for 2 minutes or until smooth. With a wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour to soft slightly sticky dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, dusting with enough of the remaining flour to prevent sticking.
3. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease all over. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let rise in a warm draft-free place for 1 to 1 ½ hrs or until doubled in bulk and impression remains when fingertips are pressed into dough. Punch dough down.
4. Filling: In a saucepan over medium heat, melt ¾ cup of the butter with ¾ of the brown sugar; whisk until smooth. Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon.
5. Roll out dough to 18-x10-inch (45 x 25 cm) rectangle. Melt remaining butter; brush all but 1 tablespoon (15 mL) over dough. Leaving 1/2-inch (1 cm) border, sprinkle with remaining brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Roll up from long side; brush with remaining butter. Cut into 12 pieces; place, cut side up, in prepared dish. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.
6. Bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for about 25 minutes or until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on rack for 5 minutes. Invert onto large flat platter, scraping any remaining filling over top.


  1. I find that the ambient temp in Canadian homes in the winter too cold for yeast breads to rise well. I usually put the bowl on a towel over a heating pad (like for your back) on low. That should help with the rise. The other trick is that if your flour is tough you can by wheat gluten from places like the bulk barn and a little bit replacing the flour (especially in whole wheat breads)will make the final product rise more and have a better texture.

  2. I don't know anything about cooking. But I can tell you I am hungry. =)

  3. I had to similarly proof my dough when making my Momofuku inspired Pork buns a few weeks ago. What I did was leave my dough in a metal mixing bowl, covered with a towel next to my oven which was being used to cook ramen broth. =P If my oven wasn't already being used, an alternative would have been to put the metal bowl directly inside the oven, as per the cookbook instructions. So two alternatives, depending on whether your oven is being fully utilized or not.