Year 2007 is out the door; Year 2008 is here. Which means new goals and new me. Every year, everyone usually gives them self a goal to achieve with the coming of the new year. Whether it be to lose weight, to get a job, to travel somewhere or to become famous; Everyone makes some kind of goal for the new year.
Usually, I don't put to much thought in to a goal for the new year nor did I ever really care. This year however, I made a goal that I am going to make myself commit! No slacking or by passing it. This year, I want to challenge myself. To challenge myself beyond my comfort zone. More so than ever. I want to bake things that I've always been afraid of. I want to be better; A better baker. And I'm committed! I will do it!
One of the things I've always been iffy about making is Cinnamon Buns. Just hearing the thought of it kind of scared me. So much time and you must, must, must be exact with a lot of what your doing in the making of Cinnamon Buns or else it will bit you in the butt when you finish. That made me nervous. So I've never really brought myself to even try making them...
But, its a new year and I am going to stay committed to stepping out of my comfort zone and trying harder recipes; Challenging myself beyond. So what better than attempting to make Cinnamon Buns? So I woke up early this morning to get started.
One downside for me in making Cinnamon Buns is; I don't have an electric mixer. Yep, I have to do it all by hand. Fun, right? No, not really. I think I got a work out on my arms with all the folding, stirring and kneading. It truly was a pain in my behind. But I wanted to make them. And I managed.
But I think the thing that bugged me the most was the time. Honestly, I'm a very impatient kind of person. I hate waiting. Its something I hate to do. But if I wanted to have beautiful, delicious Cinnamon Buns, I had to wait. Though I did it, it drove me truly insane! I was literally jumping with joy when it finally came to actually putting the buns into the oven to actually bake!!
And in the end, I was very happy with myself. I finally did it. I made the Cinnamon Buns that I'd been so afraid of making! And they actually came out! They were very tasty, so light and soft. I was in heaven. I added raisins to half the batch because I love raisins in my Cinnamon Buns. I would have done all of them the same, however, I have a few raisin hater in the house...
6 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 tbsp. shortening or unsalted butter
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tbsp. sugar plus 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon)
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. lemon extract
6 tbsp. to 1/2 cup milk
1. Cream together the sugar, salt and butter(or shortening) using a large metal spoon. (If using a mixer, mix on medium-high speed). Whip in the egg and lemon zest. (You can substitute the lemon zest with lemon, lime, vanilla extract, etc.).
2. Add the flour, yeast and milk to the mixture. Stir by hand until dough forms a ball (Or mix on low speed). Knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. (If using a mixer, switch to dough hook and increase speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes). You may need to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture.
3. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Ferment at room temperature for about 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.
4. When doughs doubled in size, mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Lightly dust a rolling pin and roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 2/3 inches thick and 18 wide by 9 inches long (14 inches wide by 12 inches long if you want larger buns). Don't roll dough to thin or finished buns with be tough.
5. Sprinkle dough with cinnamon sugar and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side, cut the dough into 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inches thick (8 to 12 pieces each 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns).
6. Line 1 or more pans with baking parchment and place buns 1/2 inch apart so that they aren't touching but are close enough to each other. Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes or until pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool buns in pan for 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the top while they're still warm. Remove buns from pan and place on a cooling rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
White Fondant Glaze
Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a very simple way to make it.
1. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 tsp. lemon extract and 6 tbsp. to 1/2 cup milk, briskly whisking until sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only using as much as needed to make a thick, smooth paste.
2. When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the top of the buns. Wait 20 at least 20 minutes before serving.