Cold Comforts: Cinnamon Buns

The weather grows ever colder.  Comfort food is the order of the day.  It’s a natural desire, really, instinct, even, to want rich, filling foods.  As the Starks are known to declare, winter is coming and that means cinnamon buns.  I may have added the last bit myself.  Our culture is waging something of a war on calories and around this time the calories seem to be winning.  Many people blame the holidays, but I personally think that feasting is not the cause of this but a symptom of the season.  As the weather turns our bodies tell us to pack on a few extra pounds for survival purposes.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, so long as it isn’t taken to extremes.

So lets embrace the season of colds and cozy comforters with some cinnamon buns.  Good cinnamon buns are a rarity and trend towards dry and bland.  There is a coffee shop called Grounds for Coffee that sells some pretty amazing cinnamon buns, and I can never bring myself to buy them elsewhere as I am generally disappointed.  As always, though, the better option is to make them.

Bun Dough
400g Bread Flour
10g Instant Yeast
20g Brown Sugar
40g Butter
8g Salt
200g Cold Water
40g Milk

Combine the dry ingredients and add the wet, mix and knead until the dough is fully formed and gluten developed.  But in some manner of container and put in the fridge overnight.  This allows for a very slow rise, which improves the flavour of the dough and makes the dough easier to work with when we need it.

Filling
100g Melted Butter
100g Brown Sugar
20g Cinnamon

Combine the ingredients for the filling and chill to room temperature.  While that’s going on roll out the cold dough to a large rectangle, as thin as possible.  Spread the filling on the dough, leaving about 2 cm clear along one of the shorter edges.  Brush the clear edge with milk, then roll the dough towards the uncovered edge.  The brushed on milk will help the dough stick to itself and hold the roll together.

Cut the dough log into six equal pieces and put on a high sided baking pan with lots of space between and leave to rise.  Since the dough is cold, it may take up to two or three hours.  When the buns are fully proofed bake at 375° for about 35 minutes.

Funny thing about cinnamon buns is that they are seen by some as breakfast food.  They’re not.  I mean, they could be.  But let’s destroy any possible illusions about that by adding icing.  Icing is important to this recipe, though without it these cinnamon buns are healthier. On a similar topic earmuffs are great for preventing hypothermia in a snowstorm.

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing
250g Hard Cream Cheese
40g Softened Butter
90g Melted White Chocolate
250g Icing Sugar

Cream the cream cheese and butter until light and smooth.  Mix in the white chocolate quickly so as the chocolate doesn’t seize.  Next, sift in the icing sugar and mix together.  Spread the icing over the fresh from the oven cinnamon buns and enjoy.

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