The first time I remember making cinnamon buns was with my Gramma when I was maybe 3 or 4. It’s one of those fuzzy memories where you can’t place the time or year or how old you were exactly but you remember. I was peaking up to see over the edge of the counter to gaze upon the dough covered in sugar and cinnamon. Every time I smell dough rising I am transported right back to that place.
I wanted to make cinnamon buns but I wanted breakfast ones. With maple and bacon. Yummmm. I made them in 2 batches. The first batch I put in the fridge over night and let rise on the counter for a couple hours. Obviously, it wasn’t enough time. They weren’t very good, sort of dry and hard. I was a little concerned but I had frozen the second tray. I took them out of the freezer, covered them in a dish towel and put them on top of the fridge. Eureka. They rose like cinnamon buns should, all big and fluffy and screaming to be baked and eaten.
The bacon added that salty crunch and the maple syrup made it taste like a big Sunday breakfast in a bun. The buns were yeasty and soft, well the second batch was. I would have cut them a bit thicker but that is just my personal preference. I also discovered if you roll your cinnamon buns too tight the centres will pop up outta your bun.
Recipe – 18 buns – I used Smitten Kitchen cinnamon buns for my base recipe.
1 c buttermilk
3 tbs butter
3 1/2 c all purpose flour + more for sprinkling – divided
1/2 c sugar
2 1/2 tsp rapid rise yeast (1 envelope)
1 tsp salt
3/4 c brown sugar
2 tbs cinnamon
1/4 c butter room temp
1/2 lb bacon cook and chopped
1/4 c maple syrup
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 c (1/2 stick) butter, room temp
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
I sprinkled bacon and extra syrup on mine and man it was worth it.
Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120 F to 130F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form ball and pulls away from sides of bowl. (I didn’t have to) Turn dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (You may also use a dough hook for this process.) Form into ball.
Lightly oil large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
FillingMix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.
Press down dough. Transfer to floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Then bacon and cover with the maple syrup. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven cut remaining dough crosswise with thin sharp knife (a good serrated worked well here) into 18 equal slices (each about 1/2 to 3/4 inch wide).
Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes (an 8-inch square metal pan worked just fine, too) with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes, though yours, like mine, may take longer. Don’t skimp on the double-rising time. I did and they weren’t good so again don’t skimp!
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.
Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.Best served that day. If you have left overs reheat before serving.