Sunday, 30 September 2007

Daring Bakers Cinnamon Buns

It was with great pleasure that, at the end of last month, I became a Daring Baker (note the capital letters). I had been reading about their baking exploits on various blogs for a while, and I finally got my act together and figured out how to join them. The recipe set for my inaugural exploit was buns - your choice as to whether to make them of the cinnamon or the sticky variety, as chosen by Marce at Pip in the City. Cinnamon buns have always been a weakness of mine (I confess, especially the Pilsbury ones), and since I'm not a person to resist my temptations, cinnamon buns it would be.


I followed the instructions very much to their letter; I didn't want my first Daring Baking experience to be a wash-out, and the rising of the dough had me vaguely nervous since yeast doesn't always comply with my wishes.
Following the initial mixing of ingredients, the instructions called for either a mixer to knead the dough, or 15 minutes of strenuous hand-kneading. As I sadly don't have a mixer, I had a quarter of an hour of hard graft. And I learned that although 15 minutes of kneading by hand *sounds* like a long time, 15 minutes of kneading by hand is, in fact, a horribly, strenuously, wrist-numbingly long time. I did my best to practice my Alexander Technique breathing and posture along the way, but I was watching those seconds on the timer tick down like a desperate woman waiting to be released from prison.



I took the promising-looking rising of the dough as a sign that a) I was doing well with the recipe and b) I could take a break while the dough did some work. To off-set some of the calories to come, I used the 2 hour rising period as a time for Mr A&N and me to take a Sunday stroll. However, when he began getting ideas about stopping in the local pub and having a nice pint of bitter (and inevitably whiling away the rest of the day there) the cinnamon buns suddenly mysteriously began urgently calling us home to tend to them. Curious.


The rest of the bun making went very well, and the buns did come out looking like proper, store-bought creatures. I do think I erred at one point, however, and I would minorly adjust the recipe in one place if I were to do it again. First for the error: when rolling out the dough, I labored a bit to make the rectangle nice and perfect and evenly rectangular. After creating my rectangle I read on further, and saw a warning not to overwork the dough during rolling otherwise the buns might turn out tough rather than soft. Well, that was my punishment, because the buns were slightly on the toug
h side. The adjustment I would make to the recipe would be to increase again by half the amount of cinnamon sugar called for. I do have quite a taste for cinnamon so that may be influencing my thoughts, but I also found that the lemon flavoring in the dough battled with the cinnamon for pride-of-place - and these are called 'cinnamon buns', after all.

My first daring baker challenge is done, and I really enjoyed doing it, as well as eating (and sharing...grudgingly) the results. Roll on more daring baking.



Cinnamon Buns, from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice
Makes about 1 dozen large buns
  • 6 1/2 Tbs / 3.25 oz caster or granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 Tbs / 2.75 oz shotening, unsalted butter, or margerine
  • 1 L egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp lemon extract or 1 tsp grates lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 C / 16 oz white flour
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/8 - 1/1/4 C whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1/2 C cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 Tbs sugar mixed with 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon)
  • White fondant glaze:
    • 1 C powdered sugar
    • 1/4 tsp lemon, orange, or vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 Tbs - 1/8 C warm milk
  1. Cream together sugar, salt, and shortening/butter, either using a blender with paddle attachment on medium-high, or by hand.
  2. Whip in egg and lemon until smooth.
  3. Add flour, yeast, and milk, and mix on low/stir by hand until mixture forms a ball.
  4. If using a blender, switch to the dough hook and mix on medium for 10 minutes, or knead by hand for 12-15 minutes. Dough should be 'silky and supple, tacky but not sticky'. Even texture out with flour or water, as needed.
  5. Lightly coat a large bowl with oil, and place dough ball in the bowl, rolling around so it's lightly coated.
  6. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for about 2 hours or until double in size.
  7. Clean and prepare a counter top for rolling out the buns. Lightly mist with oil so the dough will not stick.
  8. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough so it forms a large rectangle, about 12 in x 14 in, and is about 2/3 inch thick. Don't over-roll or make the dough too thin, or the buns will be slightly tough.
  9. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the rectangle.
  10. Roll up the dough moderately tightly, forming a cinnamon-sugar spiral.
  11. Cut the dough into about 1 3/4 in thick slices for large buns.
  12. Turn the buns on their side, so the cinnamon spiral is facing upward, and spread out on a baking tray that is already covered in cooking paper. Buns should have about 1/2 in inbetween each other.
  13. Allow to proof at roof temperature for about 1 1-1/2 hours, until they have nearly doubled and are almost touching.
  14. Pre-heat oven to 175 C / 350 F, with the wire rack in the middle of the oven.
  15. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.
  16. Cool the buns for about 10 minutes, and then streak with the fondant glaze. (For fondant glaze: mix the sugar, extract, and minimum amount of milk together, adding more milk to make the glaze thick but able to drizzle easily).
  17. Place buns on a cooling rack, and allow to cool another 20 minutes before serving (if you can resist).

46 comments:

Anne said...

Ooh, your drizzling looks so perfect! :) Great job!

Jes said...

I love the 3rd picture, it's gorgeous! Great looking buns!

Anonymous said...

I hope the Alexander Technique directing helped - it's been a life-saver for me. Their website at http://alexandertechnique.com has a great deal of info.

Ilva said...

They sure look perfect! You passed you first cahllenge with honours I would say!

Butta Buns said...

I'm chuckling over the calls of the buns to pull you back home. Very mysterious indeed. :-) Your buns are look perfect and the icing drizzle is so deliciously dainty!

Ivonne said...

Congratulations on your first Daring Baker challenge! Your buns are gorgeous!

Dagmar - A Cat in the Kitchen said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Well done on your first challenge. The buns look great!

african vanielje said...

Annemarie, your buns look so professional. I've also just joined and was panicking when I saw the mirror cake, but loved this challenge

Tartelette said...

Perfect Annemarie! Congrats on a DB challenge completed! The pictures are really mouth watering!

kellypea said...

No, your first challenge was DEFINITELY not a "wash-out." Goodness those are some gorgeous buns! And smart for going on that walk while they were rising, but I have to confess, I'd have stopped for that pint of bitters (is that what you call it?) Anyway, congrats to you for a job well done. YUM!

anita said...

Your buns are so perfect looking! Great job!!!

slush said...

Your photos are beautiful, you can almost taste them! Welcome to the DBs, congrats on your first completed challenge!

Belinda said...

These cinnamon buns are beauties...and just think of all the calories you worked off during the kneading by hand that you could deduct from the sampling of the finished buns! Well done!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The do look professional! Great buns there Annemarie. Yes, I would add more sugar and use brown but I loved the lemon.

Maryann said...

Congrats! They look gorgeous!

breadchick said...

Great job on your first challenge. You can wear your logo with pride!!

Marce said...

they look amazing, congrats on your first challenge! Yeah, I did make sure not to roll it out too thin because I didn´t want them to end up on the tough side, but they do look luscious.

Jenny said...

Welcome to the DB! I think you can justify buying a mixer now, since you're official. :)

Kneading is the opposite experience for me - I totally become absorbed with it and lose track of time.

Peabody said...

Welcome to the Daring Bakers. Great job on your first challenge.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

killer buns--they're beautiful! welcome to the group!

Anh said...

I love the drizzling effects on your post! Oh so lovely!

Laura said...

I can imagine how hard it is to share those fabulous buns!

Nazca said...

The pub and bitter sounded like a good idea to me too :-) Must be a man thing? ;-)

marias23 said...

Lovely jon, Anne Marie! J'adore!

April said...

Congrats on completing your first challenge! They look amazing!

Bruno said...

Annemarie you have lovely buns!!

Andrea said...

Great photos! I love the last one with the fondant dripping of the buns. Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

Brilynn said...

Well done on your first challenge!

June said...

Great looking buns!

Chez Denise et Laudalino said...

Love the glaze on your buns - gooey goodness. Great job!

Katie said...

Well done on your first challange - they look scrummy

Baking Soda said...

You just gotta love the drizzles! Well done!

Pille said...

Great first challenge - I love how beautifully pointed your buns are. Mine were much flatter..

Kelly-Jane said...

All your pictures are great, a job well done :)I love the upward spirals.

joey said...

I love your photos! The composition is fantastic! :) And those buns look just scrumptious :)

Dolores said...

Just think... between the Sunday stroll and the strenuous upper body workout from kneading, you burned off at least one bun before you even tasted them!

Congratulations on a successful first challenge.

Deborah said...

Great job on your first challenge! I actually liked the lemon in the buns, but maybe just because it was something different than what I was used to.

wmpe said...

Your photos of your rolls look delicious. You are a true daring baker doing time kneading the dough! I am glad they worked out for you. Wendy

Aoife said...

I found that without kneading the dough after the first rise, I couldn't get it to roll out. My buns were very light just after they came out of the oven, but toughened up some by the next day. Maybe this is connected?

Julie said...

I love yours! They're like temples to the gods of pastry!

Hilda said...

Your pictures are just mouth-watering. They make me wish I could have had the icing, but I'll make up for it by trying the sticky buns next time. Fabulous job on your first challenge!

Wendy said...

Well done you!

Canadian Baker said...

I gave up kneading after about 5 minutes!! Great job on your first challenge!

The Caked Crusader said...

Nice buns!

I can't wait to get cracking on my first DB challenge. Must confess I'm pleased to have missed this one as yeast frightens me a bit.

Lis said...

OMG that was a great post! I can so see you - a curl of hair falling over your brow that is wrinkled in the way they wrinkle when we are not exactly happy campers.. your hands in the dough up to your fists.. your arms slightly shaking because of the effort and your eyes STARING at the clock willing it to move faster. hahahahahaaaa!

Oh my, that's not funny, that's a lot of work and I certainly wouldn't have been able to do it! So you have my utmost respect in kneading for the full 15 minutes!

But I can't get the image out of my mind, so I will giggle to myself privately. ;)

BEAUTIFUL cinnamon rolls! You did a most excellent job! Congrats on your first challenge =)

xoxo

african vanielje said...

annemarie, just great buns. well done on completing your first challenge. Me too. It's great not to be a newbie anymore. Roll on October challenge