Lately, I have been reading A LOT of books by American authors, and am I loving the cooking and baking in them or what? I always have loved American baking and cooking – I think the flavours used like cinnamon, barbeque and spices…I just think of comfort and home.
I especially love Southern food –Fried chicken, barbequed ribs and cherry pie? Hell yeah y’all.
But what I really love is cinnamon buns.
It was a Sunday, it was cold, and it was rainy. I’d been out in London on the Friday, which I totally loved but it tired me out 100%, and I’d been out bowling for a friends 18th on Saturday night so I decided to channel my homely needs and baked some gorgeous cinnamon buns. There’s something really satisfying about baking them…I think it’s the rolling up to get the beautiful spirals.
I haven’t made cinnamon buns in a while, but the recipe I’ve included it my trusty companion from my mums recipe book – I say recipe book, but it’s really just hundreds of cut out recipes and yellowing bits of paper with recipes scrawled down on them in a folder. That’s something else really satisfying to me, using my mum’s recipes. We’re so modernised these days that so many recipes come from online and from companies recipe books – don’t get me wrong, I love finding the most amazing recipe courtesy of another blogger as much as the next person, but there’s nothing quite like using an old family recipe.
The sugar and butter in the filling means that they bubble beautifully in the oven and when you open it, you get the most amazing waft of sugary-cinnamony-doughy warm air. I just find them so comforting in these autumnal months.
Even though it’s totally acceptable to use cinnamon in food at any time of the year, I think it really tastes best in the autumn and the lead up to Christmas and for our friends over the pond, Thanksgiving. The smell alone brought my mum and dad to the kitchen asking if they were ready yet…actually, my dad was continually asking about them until I was done.
Who doesn’t like a good cinnamon bun?!
I’ve been trying to perfect this cinnamon bun recipe for a while, the first few times I made them they came out with the crust just a bit too hard and the buns just not quite soft enough – but I think I’ve finally cracked it now. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
(Also, can I just point out that this is my best photography yet! Wahooooo!)
For the filling –
- 100g softened butter
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 100g light brown sugar
For the dough –
- 375g self-raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 25g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- 200ml milk
For the glaze –
- 75g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp warm water (you might need less)
- Preheat the oven to 210°c gas oven/230°c fan/Gas Mark 6-7. Grease and flour a large oven proof dish – I’ve used a casserole dish for this before, but I used a Pyrex deep dish this time and it came out great.
- Prepare the filling by creaming the butter and cinnamon together until soft. Add the brown sugar and beat until really light and fluffy. Set aside, but not in the fridge as it needs to be soft.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the caster sugar, and then add the butter. Rub with your fingertips until it forms a breadcrumbs consistency. Make a well in the centre.
- In another bowl or jug, whisk the egg and milk together. Pour most of the liquid into the well, but not all, leave about 60ml. Use your hand like a claw and mix in one direction until the dough comes together – you may or may not need to add more liquid to the dry ingredients but the dough should form a ball but be soft and slightly sticky.
- Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and dust with flour. Roll out the dough until it is about 35cm x 25cm rectangle and 2cm thick – don’t worry too much about getting an exact rectangle!
- Spread the filling all over the rectangular dough with a palette knife. With the widest end facing you, roll the dough into a long log – don’t panic about this, it should roll just fine and it not, use a palette knife to gently ease it off the surface. Cut the log eleven times to make twelve buns and place them cut side up into the dish.
- Bake for 8 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 180° and bake for a further 20 minutes. They should have risen and be a lovely golden brown colour. They also should have joined into a cluster.
- Allow to stand for a few minutes and then turn out onto a cooling rack to chill. Once chilled, drizzle with the glaze and cut into individual buns.