Sometimes, when we run out of breakfast food (i.e. sliced bread, cereal or cake), and I am not inclined (which I usually am not) to buy a loaf of sliced bread, I will make my own bread. Yes, I did mention before that I really dislike bread. Which means that I will not go through great lengths to make it, and which in turn means that the recipe that I am about to share is really very simple or I would never have bothered. Simpler, in fact, than driving out to get that loaf of bread.
Sugar and spice and everything nice ... that's what these buns are made of. Laced with sticky cinnamon and vanilla sugar within its swirls, and studded with sweet raisins and chocolate chips, these are phenomenal fresh out of the oven, and even better with a cup of coffee.
The only problem is that they don't keep very well (no preservatives!), but I haven't had to worry about that too much because they disappear quite quickly around here.
You can bake these in muffin cups, muffin tins, or any tin of any shape - round, square or rectangle. Just squash them up like I did above.
The basic sweet bread recipe for these buns produces a loaf of a soft and fluffy texture, and can be used as a base for a variety of buns - e.g. ham and cheese buns, sausage buns, etc.
I should have taken a picture of a ripped apart bun just so that you can see the sticky goodness of the melted cinnamon sugar and chocolate chips within, but somewhere between trying to get a good shot and fending off my Sugababes (who are always hanging around like starved vultures trying to snatch my fresh-baked goodies) I forgot. But I think you can see from this photo the nice, open and fine texture of the bread.
*******************************************So if you have never made bread from scratch before, give this a try. You may surprise yourself with how easy it is.
Recipe for Sticky Cinnamon Buns
(adapted from King Arthur Flour)
3 cups bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or instant yeast)
1 1/8 cups (266g) lukewarm milk
3 tablespoons vanilla sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup potato flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 egg, beaten, or 1 tablespoon milk (to brush on dough)
1/4 cups raisins
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. First, make the dough. If using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in the lukewarm milk. Let the yeast and milk sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
2. Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the dough ingredients. Mix and knead everything together by hand until you've made a smooth dough. Dough should form a smooth ball that does not stick to your fingers. (If dough sticks, add just enough flour until it comes away in a smooth ball, but do not add too much or it will become tough). Knead for about 10 minutes.
3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, till it's nearly doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.
4. Transfer the risen dough to a lightly greased work surface, and pat or roll it into a rectangle about 1/3 inch thick.
5. To make the filling, whisk together the sugars and cinnamon powder. Brush the dough lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle the filling evenly over the dough, covering the entire surface. Scatter raisins and chocolate chips evenly on dough.
6. Roll the dough into a log the long way. Slice the log into 12 – 14 slices. Space the rolls in the prepared baking pans, allowing some space for expansion. Cover the pans, and let the rolls rise till they're noticeably puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours; they should spread out and start to crowd one another. Brush the tops of the rolls lightly with egg.
7. Bake the rolls till they're brown around the edges and beginning to turn golden brown across the center, about 20 minutes. Once done, brush the tops of the rolls with butter so as to soften the brown crust.