Baking with yeast has a bad reputation. A lot of people shy away from recipes that call for yeast. I really enjoy baking with yeast. It makes great pizza dough, english muffins, and yes, even cinnamon buns. I encourage you to give it a try. It’s not as hard as people make it out to be.
Cinnamon. Yum. Did you know there are different types of cinnamon? Before I left Toronto I went to the Spice Trader on Queen West. I love this shop. They’ve just (last Summer) moved to a new location slightly further West on Queen West and it is beautiful! They’ve got much more space to showcase their products and are enormously knowledgeable about herbs and spices. In preparation for our move I stocked up on ceylon cinnamon.
Ree, at thepioneerwoman.com, I believe, is the food blogger champion of cinnamon buns. Her recipe is cited whenever cinnamon buns come up for discussion on thekitchn.com and a variety of other blogs. It’s on my list of things to bake, but the sheer volume of flour required (8 cups) did not fit with what remained in my cupboard.
Instead I turned to Todd from whiteonricecouple.com. Let’s just get this out of the way. Have you seen the photography on their site? It’s amazing! Please check out what they’re doing, it’s really lovely. Todd recently went on a personal cinnamon roll quest and this recipe is the result.
Cinnamon rolls – adapted from White On Rice Couple’s recipe, vietnamese cinnamon rolls
1 c milk
4 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 c butter, melted
3 1/4 c all purpose flour
Gently warm the milk to a tepid, lukewarm, baby bath temperature. The key is not too warm! Remove from heat and in a bowl, combine the milk, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add the melted butter and stir to combine. Mix in the flour and work until a soft dough forms. If you have a kitchenaid mixer, this is a great chance to use your dough hook!
When the dough is thoroughly combined, cover it with a damp towel and place it in a warm spot to rise. I was successful putting it near our radiator. Other good spots? Check to see if the top of your fridge is a warm spot, or, in a sunny window.
1/2 c butter
1 c brown sugar
1/4 c white sugar
2 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
While the dough is rising, make the melt the butter. Combine the sugars and cinnamon.
When the dough has risen (about 1 hour), lightly flour your workspace and turn out your dough. Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape 18″x 14″ and approximately 1/4″ thick. Spread the melted butter all over the rectangle. Go right to the edges! Then sprinkle the sugar mixture over the butter. Again, make sure you spread it all the way to the edges.
With the long edge of the rectangle facing you, roll the dough into a long log shape. Cut into 12 even pieces and place cut side up in your baking dish. I only have a 9×13″ baking pan and it was just fine (there was lots of room at one end).
Cover the buns again and let them rise for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Bake the cinnamon buns (uncovered!) for 15 minutes or until golden. Let cool for 15 minutes.
2 oz cream cheese
1 c icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
While the cinnamon buns are baking, make the topping. Mix together the cream cheese, icing sugar and milk until smooth. Pour the icing over the cinnamon buns, letting it seep into all those nooks and crannies, and serve.