Sometimes your body and soul just needs a respite. A break from work, a break from the everyday, a break from the world. The past week has been my chance to get away, recharge the battery and the soul. And of course, take time to bake these unadulterated cinnamon buns. These buns need time and little much more. Me and yeast don’t usually get on. There is no mythical frothing as the yeast grows, minimal rising, but boy did these rolls rise. And rise. And rise some more. So today I bring you giant cinnamon rolls. One is enough to keep you sustained for a good ten minutes until you dive into another warm, airy and buttery swirl of cinnamon loveliness.
Don’t let the double proving or list of ingredients put you off. The feeling when you pull these rolls from the oven will be enough to leave you scampering to make more. So get out your food mixer, attach that dough hook and lets get baking.
We start by throwing warmed milk, sugar, yeast, cardamon, melted butter and egg into our mixer. Flour is gradually added until we’re left with a just combined dough.
Remove the bowl and cover with a tea towel/plastic bag/shower cap. Leave your bowl in a warm place to rise for a good hour until doubled in size and just peaking over the edge of the bowl.
Once the dough has risen, it’s time to give it a good punch or two to knock the air out of it. Pull your dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a long rectangle. Spread the warmed butter all over rolled out dough and then sprinkle over a liberal helping of sugar and cinnamon. Can this get any better?
Once we’ve rolled our dough up into a long skinny log and cut into small buns, it’s time to prove again. Cover with your tea towel/plastic bag/shower cap and leave for another half hour to full hour, until again almost doubled in size. I said these were going to be giant. Once our dough has risen we pop in the oven for twenty long minutes and are rewarded with these soft, soft buns.
While still hot out of the oven we spoon over lashings of simple lemon syrup. This leaves our buns glossy, sticky and irresistible – pun fully intended.
Ever so slightly adapted from the Nordic Bakery Cookbook
570 ml (2 1/3 cups) lukewarm milk
150 grams (3/4 cup) golden caster sugar
14 grams (2 sachets) dried yeast
1 teaspoon cardamon seeds, crushed till fine
180 grams (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg
1 kg (8 cups) plain/all-purpose flour
100 grams (6 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, very soft
250 grams (1 1/4 cup packed) bark brown soft sugar
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
85 grams (scant 1/2 cup) golden caster sugar
Juice of one lemon
100 ml (1/2 cup) water
1. Put on ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ by Hackney Colliery Band. Into a mixer place the warmed milk, sugar, yeast, crushed cardamon, melted butter and egg. Start the mixer (with a dough hook attached) gradually going and slowly add in the flour till combined. Remove the bowl and leave, covered in a plastic bag/shower cap/tea towel, in a warm place to rise for an hour or till double in size.
2. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough to knock the air out of it. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and roll out until it is roughly 30 x 80 cm. Spread over the softened butter, then generously sprinkle over the cinnamon and dark brown sugar.
3. Roll the dough into a tight sausage shape from the long side. Cut the dough on the diagonal and then make the second cut on the diagonal the other way, so you’re left with a trapezium shape about 6cm long. Transfer the cut buns onto two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Place the buns long side down. Cover again and leave to prove for 30-60 mins until doubled in size.
4. Pre-heat the over to 200C (400F) about 10 minutes before the dough is finished rising. Place the buns in the oven once risen and bake until golden brown for about 20-25 minutes.
5. Make the glaze while the buns are cooking by simply placing the sugar, water and lemon juice in a pan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes. Once the buns are out of the oven brush liberally with the glaze.
6. Leave the buns to cool till hot enough to handle. Eat within 3 days for best taste.