Prep3 hr 20 min
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 1/4 cup bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons butter
- 1, room temperature, lightly beaten egg
- 1/2 cup, packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/4 cup, room temperature butter
- 4 ounces whipped cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons, room temperature butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
Last year Jimmy’s dad was in town for his birthday, we were driving around and I remember asking him what we should get his dad since the day had been a little uneventful. We were close to a donut shop that knew they used to go to and I remembered that he had mentioned getting the cinnamon buns there. Perfect, his dad loved cinnamon buns! I thought this would be a great little surprise to bring back, only to realize they didn’t have cinnamon buns, but cinnamon rolls, you know those big swirly type donuts; totally not the same. We came back and I felt pretty lousy about it, not only was it a small gesture, but it wasn’t even the right small gesture.
I come from a family where we celebrate birthdays big – it’s probably because we all have birthdays within 10 days of each other – we call it the family birthday – and it’s sort of a big deal. I fly home every year, we go out to a big fancy dinner, there are lots of bottles of wine and of course a big present reveal. So regardless if anyone ever tells me that they don’t want anything or birthdays aren’t a big deal, I always will consider a birthday a big deal. It’s the one day of year you can pick a restaurant you love and your friends won’t battle you to go somewhere else. It’s the one day where you can wake up and declare that this will be an amazing day and most people will go along with whatever plan helps make it that way. Birthdays are great and everyone deserves to at least have one day a year don’t you think?
This bothered me for days until one morning I woke up and it seemed so obvious. I could make cinnamon rolls. Sometimes life has a way of letting all the clutter fog up your mind and then like Karl the Fog, the sun comes out, and it’s gone. I even had cream cheese already in the fridge! The stars were aligning and we were going to have buns!
I will say that the recipe that I went off of told me to use parchment paper but the dough was so sticky and I probably didn’t flour the paper enough, so I had a bit of a nightmare when it all started sticking to the paper. But nothing was going to get in between me and birthday buns. With patience and much precision, we managed to roll the buns without getting paper stucked and baked into the dough.
What I didn’t anticipate was how dangerous it would be to know how to make cinnamon rolls on a whim. Oh well, all in the name of a happy birthday.
- Melt butter in the microwave and set aside to cool. Mix together the milk and yeast then set aside.
- In a large bowl (or in my case a plastic bucket), mix together the bread flour, salt and sugar.
- When the butter has slightly cooled, add it into the milk and whisk.
- Add the beaten egg and mix thoroughly.
- Add the milk mixture to the dry mixture and stir together until fully incorporated. The dough will be pretty wet. Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof for 2 hours. Proofing: Leaving dough to rest and rise during the fermentation process.
- In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Mix and set aside.
- Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
- *After 2 hours* The dough should have doubled in size. Generously flour your surface and your hands. I taped down parchment paper and it still stuck. >.<
- Using a rubber spatula, drop the dough onto the floured workspace and dust with an additional layer of flour. The dough will be very soft and potentially sticky so be generous with the dusting.
- Roll out the dough to a 14″x20″ rectangle and spread 1/4 cup room temperature butter out evenly over the dough. As weird as it sounds, the easiest way to do this is to squeeze soft butter between your palms, rubbing your hands together and then spreading the butter like you are lightly massaging the dough. I know, I know, it sounds weird but it’s very effective.
- Evenly layer on the cinnamon sugar mixture and then starting at a short edge, roll up the dough.
- Cut into 9 equal pieces. I recommend putting 8 even little notches in the dough before committing to cutting into the dough. There is no turning back.
- Place each piece into the lined pan and cover with plastic wrap, all this to proof for another hour (you can leave these in the fridge overnight if you are preparing for the next day, these buns are best served fresh so time your buns appropriately.)
- Preheat the oven to 350˚. Bake for 35 minutes.
- While the buns are baking, prepare your frosting by creaming together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream cheese then set aside in the fridge until buns are done.
- You can frost 2 different ways, if you are going for the Cinnabon style, frost your buns immediately to melt the frosting. If you are looking for the frosting to keep its hold, allow your buns to cool until you can add the frosting without it melting immediately. Either way, you can’t go wrong.