Baking buns has always been a favorite in my kitchen. I find it easy and relaxing to make and such great fun to do with the kids. I always have cinnamon buns in the freezer, which is perfect if you get unexpected visitors. You can take them out and defrost in the oven very quickly and they will taste as if they were freshly baked. Mind they won’t keep very long after being reheated, but they are always best luke warm anyway and most times there won’t be anything left either.
The boys love to help out baking too and I normally give them a piece or two to work with and the filling they want to use. It doesn’t matter that type of buns I make. If they want raisin or chocolate buns, I just give them what they need in a bowl on the side so they can work as they wish. There is something special about being able to put something they have made on the tray and identifying it when it comes out of the oven, not to mention the anticipation while waiting for it to cool enough to be eaten. The only obstacle is when they both want to join at the same time. Then I struggle to get access to the bench myself. But we always find a solution that works. 🙂
I normally make the buns with soy milk and dairy free butter as my little one is allergic to milk proteins. Using soy milk has proven to be just as good as normal cows milk. We notice no difference in flavor and the dough behaves exactly the same as with normal milk. Soy milk has a lot of the same properties as cows milk and behaves similar to it when used in cooking and baking. It also has a similar texture and thickness, as opposed to rice milk or oats milk which I find makes a dough much more sticky and claggy.
1 kg all purpose flour
150 grams sugar
1 tsp vanilla sugar
7 grams dry yeast for sweet dough
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
500 ml soy milk
150 grams dairy free butter at room temperature
150 grams melted butter
Grated marcipan or chocolate
Bring the milk to luke warm temperature (approximately 37 degrees Celsius). I normally do this by pouring the milk into a metal jug and placing the jug in a hot water bath. Use a thermometer if you have one.
Add all the dry ingredients to your stand mixer and mix gently.
Add the milk and egg and let the machine work on slow speed first. Once all the elements are well incorporated, increase the speed a little and let the machine work for 10 minutes.
Cut the butter into dices and add to the dough, let the machine work to incorporate the butter and become a smooth and stringy dough. This should take about 10 minutes on medium speed.
Once the dough is well mixed, cover it with plastic wrap and leave in a warm area to prove for 1-2 hours.
When the dough has doubled in size, turn it onto a lightly floured baking surface. Divide it into two and work with one half first. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin. It should be 4-5 mm thick. Add the topping to the dough and then fold and cut into the sizes and shapes you want. For this recipe, I used half to make normal cinnamon swirls and half to make cinnamon knots.
Cinnamon swirls: Roll the dough into a long sausage and use a sharp knife to cut into round swirls. Place them on a baking tray to bake.
Cinnamon knots: Cover only the bottom half of the rolled out dough with filling. Fold the top half over to cover the bottom half. Cut into thick strips of dough which you first twist and then turn into knots. It is easier than it sounds and they taste just as good even if the shape isn’t perfect. Place them on a baking tray.
If you like to, you can brush some whisked egg on top and sprinkle with sugar. I prefer them without.
Bake at 215 degrees Celsius for 10-12 minutes depending on size. They should be golden on the outside.
Enjoy while with a nice cup of coffee or hot chocolate while they are still warm.
Make a double batch if you have a strong enough machine and freeze what is not eaten.
To defrost, I leave them on the bench for 1-2 hours first if I have the time and then heat them in the oven at 100 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
If I don’t have time to defrost them on the bench, I put them in a cold oven, turn the temperature to 100 degrees Celsius and leave them for 10-15 minutes to warm all the way through.