I love cinnamon buns, in fact I love any kind of bun with a filling and some icing on top. I made these buns, filled with dried cherries and cranberries, cinnamon and brown sugar, and with a drizzle of lemon icing on top.
My last post sang the praises of baker James Morton and his book Brilliant Bread. Click here for the link to buy from Amazon.
And I still revere Paul Hollywood‘s words of wisdom on all things bread. So I made my buns with a little bit from each baker.
The recipe is an enriched bread dough (butter, milk and egg added to the basic dough). Because I now have a spectacular sourdough starter, as well as instant yeast, I added a little of my starter for some extra flavour.
James recommends baking the buns in a cast iron casserole eg a Le Creuset dish. Cooking them in a pot creates lovely soft buns.
250g plain white flour
250g strong white flour
8g table salt
7g instant yeast
100g sourdough starter (optional)
50g caster sugar
280g milk, warmed until tepid
1 free-range egg, at room temperature
50g unsalted butter
50g unsalted butter, melted
75g soft brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
100g dried cherries
100g dried cranberries
1 tbls apricot jam, sieved, mixed with a little warm water
Juice of 1 lemon
200g icing sugar
Place the flour, salt, yeast, sourdough starter if using, sugar, tepid milk, egg and cinnamon into a large bowl and mix them together by hand or you can use an electric mixer with a dough hook. Knead by hand or in the mixer about for 10 minutes.
Melt the butter and add to your dough. Mix it in by hand or use a machine until completely combined. Cover the bowl (I use a disposable shower cap but cling film is fine) and leave the dough to rest for 60-90 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge, until it has grown to roughly double its original size.
Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out into a big, long rectangle. The rectangle should be about 20cm wide and up to a metre long. Melt the 50g of butter and brush over dough. Sprinkle the dough all over with brown sugar and then cinnamon. Scatter the cherries and cranberries over the dough.
Roll up the dough along its long edge into as tight a cylinder you can get, but be careful as the dough is quite fragile. Slice this cylinder into 6-9 roughly equal pieces using a knife. Line a large lidded casserole pot with a piece of baking paper and arrange the buns cut end down.
Place the lid on the casserole and leave to rise for another hour at room temperature, then check to see that buns have risen.
30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C fan forced. Put the lid back on the casserole and place in the oven. Cooking time seems to vary – James says 40 minutes lidded then another 10 minutes with the lid off. He says if the casserole is thinner walled, they’ll probably bake quicker. My buns took about 25 minutes with the lid on and 10 minutes with the lid off. As you can see from the photo, my buns browned too much, so I will need to watch the cooking time carefully when next I bake.
Remove from the oven, and brush with the apricot glaze while still warm. Cool to room temperature.
For the lemon icing, mix the lemon juice and icing sugar until thick but of dropping consistency. Drizzle over the buns using a fork or spoon.