Somewhere between a sticky bun and an American iced cinnamon roll, this cinnamon buns recipe is just as good with builder’s tea as they are with filter coffee.
Bar bacon frying or coffee brewing, there are few things more pleasant or enticing than the smell of cinnamon buns baking, and any annoyance you might have felt at the mild faff of the thing will soon be forgotten as you take your first bite of a just-iced bun.
For a Chelsea-style bun, add 250g currants to the filling.
Serves 12 large buns
– 350ml milk
– 75g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
– 2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast
– 750g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
– 75g sugar
– ½ tsp salt
– 100g yoghurt or buttermilk
– Oil for greasing
– 50g demerara sugar
– Milk, for brushing
– 50g unsalted butter
– 200g soft brown sugar
– 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
– ½ tbsp allspice
– 120g cream cheese
– 40g icing sugar
– Pinch of salt (optional)
1. In a small pan, warm the milk over a medium heat (don’t let it bubble), then add the butter and leave to melt.
2. Sprinkle over the yeast and mix together until any lumps dissolve.
3. Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
4. Gradually add the milk-butter mixture, mixing together with a wooden spoon. When combined, add the yoghurt or buttermilk and mix again.
5. The dough should be fairly sticky, with an almost porridge-like consistency.
6. Flour your work surface generously, turn the dough onto it and knead until smooth and supple – this should take about 5–10 minutes.
7. Grease a large bowl with a little oil, add the dough to it and cover with cling film. Leave somewhere warm for 2 hours.
8. While the dough is proving you can make the filling. Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly. Combine the sugar and spices in a small bowl.
9. When the dough has doubled in size, line a large rectangular baking tray with greaseproof paper, grease with a little butter and sprinkle with the demerara sugar.
10. Clear a large area of your work surface and lightly flour. Turn out the dough, punch it down and roll out to a large, even rectangle – around ½cm thick and 50 x 35cm.
11. Brush the butter over the dough, then sprinkle over the sugar and spices, covering it right up to the edges.
12. Roll the longer side of the dough in on itself to make a fat sausage – try to keep it as even as you can so you end up with similar sized buns.
13. Cut the dough sausage in half, then cut the two halves in half again so you have 4 pieces. Cut each of these into 3 equal pieces.
14. Place on your lined tray, spacing them a couple of centimetres apart, then cover with cling film and leave for at least an hour, or pop in the fridge overnight.
15. In the morning, or when you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4.
16. Remove the buns from the fridge (if necessary) and brush the tops with milk – this will help them to turn a nice golden brown. Bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes.
17. Beat the icing ingredients together in a bowl and spread on the buns a couple of minutes after removing from the oven. Eat immediately.
Sophie grew up in London and studied English at UCL. She is now a freelance writer, editor and occasional food stylist. Caroline comes from generations of French fruit farmers from Provence. She now lives in London and writes for the Guardian.
The Little Book Of Brunch is filled with easy and inspiring recipes for the best meal of the day. Brunch encapsulates everything a meal should be: easy, delicious and adaptable- it is the most fun meal of all.
The Little Book of Brunch by Caroline Craig and Sophie Missing is published by Square Peg in Hardback at £16