Going buns for the daring bakers…

by Sunita on September 30, 2007

It’s that time of the month again… time to post the daring bakers monthly challenge. For those who are not familiar, it is the time when all the members of this group post the recipe that they were given earlier on in the month by the respective hostess. Apart from a few allowed modifications, the recipe has to be followed to the dot and posted by everyone on the same day.
And what was it that this group have been up to through out this month…well, kneading, fermenting, shaping, proofing and baking cinnamon/sticky buns as chosen by the lovely hostess for this month, Marce.
I, well, in fact, all four of us in our family are really very fond of cinnamon buns. Many a time I’ve fondly held them in my hands and thinking ‘if only I could make them’. I knew about the recipe, but taking my phobia of the yeasty kind, had been avoiding making them. I mean, I’ve worked with it before, but the apprehension is still there. So, needless to say, when I first saw, that this was exactly what we had to use for our monthly challenge this month, at first I went ‘Oh no!’…fear, remember? So I left it till the last moment… trying to push it away. But then, I realised how much we loved them and how I had always longed to make them. Maybe this was the time to conquer that fear.

And conquer, I did… the buns, especially the cinnamon ones…

… seemed to be quite satisfactory {for my three guinea pigs loved them and asked for more ;) } As for the sticky buns, I made only a few, as we did not prefer it that much. I just wanted to check how they came out. I’m still not too sure of the caramel glaze… perhaps I’ll need to work more on that ( I took them out a bit earlier for fear of burning them, and it was indeed a bit grainy, but the taste was yum…). I had followed the recipe and made the smaller variety of both the buns. The only downside was that the weather, being as chilly and damp as ever, the dough took much longer than the mentioned time, to rise. Every time I went to inspect it, I silently prayed for it to rise. But it did end well and we enjoyed the outcome immensely. So here goes…

Cinnamon buns and sticky buns (from Peter Reinhart´s The Break Baker´s Apprentice)


15 minutes mixing; 3 1/2 hours fermentation, shaping and proofing; 20 to 40 minutes baking.

Yield: Makes 8 to 12 large or 12 to 16 smaller cinnamon or sticky buns


  • 6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast*
  • 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk (DMS) and 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or any other spices you want to use, cardamom, ginger, allspice, etc.)
  • White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns or caramel glaze for sticky buns (at the end of the recipe.)
  • Walnuts, pecans, or other nuts (for sticky buns.)
  • Raisins or other dried fruit, such as dried cranberries or dried cherries (for sticky buns, optional.)

*Instant yeast contains about 25% more living cells per spoonful than active dry yeast, regardless of the brand. Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or fast-rising.

How to-

1. Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand); if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast. Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. 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.

2. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

3. Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter and proceed as follows…

(A) Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. (B)Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and
(C) roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 pieces each… about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns, or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns. ( I made just 6 sticky buns and around 12 cinnamon buns of the smaller vatiety.)

4. For cinnamon buns, line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart so that they aren’t touching but are close to one another.

For sticky buns, coat the bottom of 1 or more baking dishes or baking pans with sides at least 1 1/2 inches high with a 1/4 inch layer of the caramel glaze . Sprinkle on the nuts and raisins (if you are using raisins or dried fruit.) You do not need a lot of nuts and raisins, only a sprinkling. Lay the pieces of dough on top of the caramel glaze, spacing them about 1/2 inch apart. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag.

5. Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in the middle shelf for cinnamon buns but on the lowest shelf for sticky buns.

7. Bake the cinnamon buns for 20 to 30 minutes or the sticky buns 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. If you are baking sticky buns, remember that they are really upside down (regular cinnamon buns are baked right side up), so the heat has to penetrate through the pan and into the glaze to caramelize it. The tops will become the bottoms, so they may appear dark and done, but the real key is whether the underside is fully baked. It takes practice to know just when to pull the buns out of the oven.

8. For cinnamon buns, cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes and then streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.

9. For the sticky buns, cool the buns in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove them by flipping them over into another pan. Carefully scoop any run-off glaze back over the buns with a spatula. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.

How to make the fondant glaze-

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

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 tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)

Caramel glaze for sticky buns

NOTE: you can substitute the corn syrup for any neutral flavor syrup, like cane syrup or gold syrup.

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature.

2. Cream together for 2 minutes on high speed with the paddle attachment. Add 1/2 cup corn syrup and 1 teaspoon lemon, orange or vanilla extract. Continue to cream for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.

3. Use as much of this as you need to cover the bottom of the pan with a 1/4-inch layer. Refrigerate and save any excess for future use; it will keep for months in a sealed container.

So, will I be making these buns in the future … I ‘m not too sure about the sticky ones, but as far as the cinnamon ones go,

you bet, I will. And as far as the yeast goes, bring it on ;) Check out what the others have been up to.

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sunita October 1, 2007 at 6:08 pm

belinda, thanks…I am so happy I’m over it …good to know you feel the same as well.


2 sunita October 1, 2007 at 6:09 pm

sia, thanks dear…it would be really nice to have a neighbour like you…you do quite well for yourself as well :)


3 sunita October 1, 2007 at 6:10 pm

jenny, I’m longing to make them again as well :)


4 sunita October 1, 2007 at 6:16 pm

deborah, thanks…I too can’t wait to make them again.


5 Mishmash ! October 1, 2007 at 10:10 pm

Hey thanks for sharing the cinnamon buns recipe…always wanted to try and I am crazy about them,,,now since you have given a verdict, its a real boost:)



6 Ivonne October 2, 2007 at 12:28 am

It certainly helps when you have people in the house who’ll help you demolish Daring Baker treats! Gorgeous buns, Sunita!


7 sunita October 2, 2007 at 10:02 am

Shn,I too am crazy about them…was a bit apprehensive about making them…do give them a try.


8 sunita October 2, 2007 at 10:03 am

Ivonne, it certainly does…my waistline is still expanding though.


9 Padma October 2, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Wow you are so good at baking, dont mind I might bake something from your blog soon!


10 sunita October 2, 2007 at 4:20 pm

padma, thanks…and of course, I wouldn’t mind…that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?…learning from each other :)


11 Susan October 2, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Sunita, the buns are lovely, particularly the repeating striped patterns of glaze, rack and basketry. Shame to have to bite into it and alter the aesthetics, but it’s for a good cause. Nicely done!


12 sunita October 2, 2007 at 6:34 pm

susan, thanks..you play around with words so well :)


13 MyKitchenInHalfCups October 3, 2007 at 4:15 am

Fear faced down = great bun!! I really like the stickies the best but could only eat one.


14 Gabi October 3, 2007 at 4:54 pm

Lovely buns Sunita!
Well done!


15 sunita October 3, 2007 at 6:09 pm

mykitcheninhalfcups, thanks…it’s th e other way round for us…cinnamon buns did it for us.


16 Aoife October 3, 2007 at 11:48 pm

I’m shocked, shocked that you didn’t care for the sticky buns. Your cinnamon rolls look delicious though!


17 sunita October 4, 2007 at 9:43 am

aofi, don’t be shocked…you get all sorts ;)


18 Julie October 5, 2007 at 8:20 am

I like your sticky bun dish, and both your buns look great! I really need to try this recipe out!


19 sunita October 5, 2007 at 8:46 am

Julie,thanks and welcome to my world…do give it a try..hope you’ll like it.


20 Dolores October 8, 2007 at 5:48 am

Congratulations… beautiful buns! Isn’t it great to conquer a kitchen demon?


21 Meeta October 8, 2007 at 7:24 am

Wonderful looking buns Sunita! I am a bit late to comment here but you’ve got me drooling all over again LOL!


22 sunita October 8, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Dolores, thanks..and yes, it is indeed a great feeling.


23 sunita October 8, 2007 at 12:55 pm

Meeta, better late than never…thanks for dropping by.


24 Kuku October 15, 2007 at 3:16 pm

wow loved ur blog..good recipes too :)


25 sunita October 15, 2007 at 6:32 pm

Kuku, welcome to my world…do feel free to browse around here anytime :)


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