It has been officially over a year since I have been in the US. So, as you can imagine, we miss home. I decided to try my hand at making something that felt warm, homey, and comforting. What better way, than to make Homemade Cinnamon Buns from scratch?
The smell of them baking in the oven is enough to make anyone swoon. Not to mention the icing smothered on top, or the glee from having made it yourself.
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling the dough
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed
- 5 tbsp cold butter, grated
- Olive oil for bowl
- 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) butter, softened (approximately)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon (approximately)
- 1 large egg, beaten (ignore if using icing)
- 1 tbsp whole milk (ignore if using icing)
- In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, combine the flour, sugar, salt, egg, yeast and milk. Mix well until the dough comes together.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes in the mixer, or turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 15 minutes by hand. If it feels too sticky, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time. It may need a lot more flour, so take your time adding a little bit each time.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Add the grated butter, little by little, kneading it into the dough until it is all incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm spot. Let rise until doubled, about one hour. Though it may take more time.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out with a rolling pin into a 12-by-16-inch rectangle.
The Filling and Putting it Together:
- Spread the dough with the softened butter. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll the dough up along the long side into a log and cut it into 12 equal pieces.
- Place the pieces on a baking sheet about 1/2 inch apart, cover with parchment paper and let rise in a warm spot for one hour, or until doubled in size.
- About 20 minutes before you plan to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack in the middle position.
- Brush the rolls with the egg wash (one egg mixed with 1tbsp milk) and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. If you plan to cover them in icing, you can skip this step.
- Cool on a wire rack and serve. Makes 12 Cinnamon Buns.
** This recipe is only (very) slightly adapted from the recipe, Auntie Gunnvor’s Skillingsboller by Paul Lowe in Sweet Paul and reprinted in NPR.
While it may seem like a lot, this recipe is not difficult to make. It just takes some time and a little patience, especially while waiting for the dough to rise. You don’t even need many of the kitchen tools listed in the recipe. For instance, our kitchen is so small (and located in Spain) that we don’t have a stand mixer or even a rolling pin. We actually just use an empty wine bottle to roll out the dough. Surprisingly, it works perfectly!
The satisfaction of knowing that you made these from scratch is more than worth the wait. The taste is pretty rewarding too! Check out the Cinnamon Bun Icing recipe below, if, like me, you can’t wait to douse them in some sweet sticky icing!