Cinnamon buns – in bread form

by thebaking

I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon buns.

I’ve made cinnamon buns before – with rather satisfactory results. Here’s a recent batch, right after I put them into the oven:

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But I wanted to try something different.

Yesterday afternoon, the idea came to me: I’d make cinnamon buns, but in bread form.

This is how the bread turned out:

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And here’s how I made it:

First: the dough:

I used a modified version of a sweet dinner rolls recipe that I found online about six months ago. I also used the dough cycle of a bread maker to actually prepare the dough. But you can also use a bowl. The ingredients from the recipe listed below -but made with the yeast dough instructions outlined on this link – should also work. If you use the linked yeast dough instructions, you can ignore the part about the electric mixer if you don’t have one: a spoon should do the job.

The recipe:

-1/2 cup water

-1/4 cup sugar – I used regular white fine-grain sugar

-2 tablespoons canola oil

-1 teaspoon salt

-2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water

-3 teaspoons yeast – I used regular/traditional yeast, bread machine or quick-rise yeast isn’t necessary

-1 teaspoon baking powder – if using a bread machine, add this at the same time you add the yeast. If using a bowl to mix the dough, add the baking powder along with the flour.

If you’re using a bread maker dough cycle, use the ingredients listed, but follow the dough cycle instructions in the owner’s manual. The dough will look like this when it’s ready:

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Once the dough is ready to go, it’s time to make the cinnamon filling.

The filling had:

-1/2 cup of sugar – I used regular, white, fine-grind sugar.

-1/4 cup of margarine – I used Earth Balance, but any margarine would do.

-1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon – I would have liked to use a bit more, but, well, I hadn’t planned ahead and that was the last of my cinnamon.

-1 teaspoon nutmeg – optional. I like a bit of nutmeg flavour, so I added nutmeg: you don’t have to.

-1 tablespoon cocoa powder – optional. I thought cocoa powder would taste good in the mix – and it did.

If you’d prefer more filling, adjust quantities of the filling ingredients.

I mixed the filling ingredients together in a bowl until they looked like this:

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Then, I took the dough and stretched it out on a clean counter. It helps to grease the dough or the surface – I used margarine – before stretching it out.

Stretch the dough out until it’s about 1/2 to 1 inch thick and about the size of an 8 1/2×14” piece of paper.

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Once the dough is stretched, spoon the cinnamon filling onto the dough and spread it evenly with the spoon.

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Then, roll the piece of dough together. Think jelly roll:

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Carefully lift the rolled-up piece of dough and fit it into a bread loaf pan. You may have to squish or shape the piece a bit to make it fit into the pan, but, it’s all good: bread dough is flexible.

Use a spoon or spatula to spread a thin layer of margarine on top of the dough once it’s in the pan:

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Leave the dough to rise for about 10 minutes.

Then, bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes. Check on the bread frequently: it’s best to do this through the oven door window, if you have one, so as not to let too much heat out.

The bread is probably ready once it looks like it’s risen, and firm, and the top has started to turn golden brown.

Carefully remove the loaf tray from the oven, allow the bread to cool, and enjoy.

To make actual cinnamon buns, and not bread, use the same recipe, but:

-Stretch the dough into a bigger and longer piece before adding the topping. Try to picture two 8 1/2×14” pieces of paper lined up together on the narrow ends and aim for a piece of dough stretched to that size.

-Make a bit more filling.

-Roll the stretched, spread with filling, dough into a jelly roll shape along the long side.

-Use a serrated knife – you can use any knife, really, but I think a serrated knife like a bread knife would be easiest – to cut pieces of the roll off. I made the pieces about 2 inches long/tall each and immediately arranged them into an oven-safe dish. See the very first picture of this post for reference.

Another idea: I think that this bread – sliced thickly – would make excellent French toast.

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