Sunday, 22 January 2017

Easy Cinnamon Bun recipe | Baking like a wannabe-pro

Baking has never really been my strong point - I have the lack of intuition that makes the difference between a newbie and a seasoned pro. And without fail there is something in the recipe I missread or I'm oblivious to steps that maybe to the writer who has perfected and made said recipe a million times seem self-explanatory. Long story short, whenever my deserts turn out close to how they should it's a real success, one I cannot not share.

So, on a cosy Sunday evening I took up my baking mitts once again to try my hand at cinnamon buns, using Paula Deen's recipe as a base. It wasn't as difficult as making croissants but it requires some patience and savoir-faire at the dough-making stage which I did struggle with a little bit. Here are the ingredients that you will need:

For the dough:
7 g (a little sachet) dry yeast
120 ml warm water
120 ml scalded (near-boiled and then slightly cooled) milk
50 g sugar
75 g melted butter
a pinch of salt
1 egg
400 g bleached all purpose flour

For the filling:
75 g melted butter (vanilla pods added are optional)
150 g sugar
2 full tablespoons of cinnamon powder

For the glaze:
50 g melted butter
200g sugar
vanilla to taste
4 tablespoons of hot water

 Step 1: Preparing the dough

In a small bowl, mix the yeast and the warm water and set aside.

Set up a mixer with normal beaters and mix the milk + sugar + melted butter + salt + egg. Then, change the mixers to dough ones and add 200 g of flour. When the mixture goes smooth, add the yeast and then add the rest of the flour until the dough is well mixed and starts to come off the edges of the mixing bowl. The dough then goes on a floured surface and you should knead it for about 7 minutes, after which you should place it in a greased bowl (significantly bigger than the ball of dough you currently have), cover it and leave it to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. 

Step 2: Shaping the roll

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
The dough is ready when it has roughly doubled in size. The way to test its texture is by poking it - if it's soft and it retains the shape of your fingers, it's ready. Next step is a bit weird: you need to gently punch with your fist in the centre of the dough (this releases yeast bubbles). Then, on a floured surface, knead the dough a couple of times more to soften it up and roll it out into a rectangle roughly 23 cm by 38 cm long. Spread the melted butter generously over the dough (leaving a little behind to coat the pan with) and then sprinkle the mixed sugar with cinnamon on top. Begin rolling on the longer side and pinch the edges to seal them. Then cut the roll into slices, anywhere in between 10 to 15 depending of how many and tall you want them. Grease the pan and place the rolls closely together. You should give them a second rest - anywhere between 15 and 40 minutes should be good.

Step 3: Baking and glazing 💖

Leave the rolls in for about 30 minutes, until they start to brown over. Whilst they are cooking, prepare the glaze. In the mixer, add the melted butter, sugar and vanilla. The tablespoons of water should be added one by one slowly so that the glaze reaches the desired consistency. After taking out the rolls, spread generously over them, making sure it reaches the centre too.

*The following is only a serving suggestion* 😛

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