September 30, 2007

Daring Bakers - September 2007 Challenge: Cinnamon Roll/Sticky Buns

Here it is the last day of the month and I have been so scarce you might have assumed that I had fallen off the edge of the world. Do not fear... I did the challenge this month and I pushed it up to the very last minute. This month we did either/and sticky buns or cinnamon rolls. I mixed it up a bit with cinnamon rolls with added stuff like walnuts and craisins. I did my cinnamon rolls for church THIS MORNING!!! I have been a little stressed and got a bit of bad news last week that put me in a funk but I am here and here are the results...

This was the most beautiful dough!!! The recipe is from a book called The Bread Baker's Apprentice and it is a MUST HAVE on my wishlist. Every recipe I make from this book is beautiful and scrumptious.

Here is that lovely dough...

Choice of toppings (cinnamon/sugar mixture, walnuts and then I added craisins) and the powdered sugar for the glaze on top...

Before rolling...

Rolled up... I used my dough cutter to cut sections out.

Proofing... I covered them with cotton towels to proof in the oven at 120 degree F. This works as well as any proof box we have at school.

Baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so. I baked these at the church and the oven seems to be cooking hotter than the thing reads because they burned in spots in only 20 minutes. It does not bake evenly either. They were obviously still edible because they are all gone... so, the first round was devoured but I need practice... LOL

Done and served!!! There were actually three trays when I was done because I made a double batch.

Happy Customer... my littlest boy enjoying a treat before church starts. See the crumbs on that sweet face??? LOL

Here is that recipe for anyone interested....

Cinnamon and Sticky Buns
(from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice)

Daring Bakers Challenge #10: September 2007

Host: Marce (Pip in the City)
Post Date: Sunday, September 30
Allowed Modifications:
  • You can mix up the spices to your liking. Meaning you don´t have to use cinnamon if you don´t like it. I´m thinking you could use ginger, allspice, cardamom, etc. (Personally, I´m going to leave the sticky buns as they are and mix up spices in the cinnamon buns)
  • You can do both cinnamon and sticky buns or choose one.
  • You don´t have to use nuts for the sticky buns if you are allergic or you don´t like nuts.
  • You don´t have to use raisins for the sticky buns, and you can substitute the raisins for any other dried fruit you like and think would work with the other flavors.
  • Recipe ingredient exception allowed only if allergy or an ingredient not available or cost prohibitive in your region

Days to Make: One (1)
Active/Resting/Baking Time: 15 minutes to mix, 3 1/2 hours fermentation/shaping/proofing, 20 - 40 minutes to bake
Recipe Quantity: Eight(1) - twelve (12) large rolls or twelve (12) - sixteen (16) small rolls

Making the Dough
  • 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.

Step 1 - Making the Dough: 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).
Note: 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.
Step 2 - Fermentation: Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
Step 3 - Form the Buns: Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter. Proceed as shown in the photo below for shaping the buns.
(Transcription in case photo did not print: (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.)
Step 4 - Prepare the Buns for Proofing:
  • 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.
Step 5 - Proof the Buns: 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.
Step 6 - Bake the Buns:
  • 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.
  • 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.
Step 8 - Cool the buns:
  • 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.
  • 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.
Toppings for the Buns:
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.
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
Caramel glaze is essentially some combination of sugar and fat, cooked until it caramelizes. The trick is catching it just when the sugar melts and lightly caramelizes to a golden amber. Then it will cool to a soft, creamy caramel. If you wait too long and the glaze turns dark brown, it will cool to a hard, crack-your-teeth consistency. Most sticky bun glazes contain other ingredients to influence flavor and texture, such as corn syrup to keep the sugar from crystallizing and flavor extracts or oils, such as vanilla or lemon. This version makes the best sticky bun glaze of any I´ve tried. It was developed by my wife, Susan, for Brother Juniper´s Cafe in Forestville, California.
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.


  1. Way to show all the steps, always a nice touch!

  2. You are brave making a double batch for a crowd of people on your first try of the recipe! Bravo!

  3. Wonderful job, Leann! I´m delighted you liked the recipe. And your son sure looked delighted as well haha

  4. Glad you made it in under the wire, they look great!

  5. That happy customer is the cutest customer ever! Your buns have really brought a smile to his face:)

  6. Great step by step instruction and with a satisfied "customer" like that how COULD you go wrong!!

  7. Great job! And you can tell by the smile on your son's face that they were a complete success!

  8. I love your step-by-step photos! And your little boy is so adorable with his crumby face!

  9. Ivonne7:29 PM

    Wow! You did a beautiful job and it looks like the buns were enjoyed by everyone!

  10. Leann your rolls & buns look divine! And what a cute little boy you have! =)

    Congrats on another excellent challenge post!


  11. Oh, you rolled out your dough so nice and thin. I like the idea of incorporating sticky bun ingredients into the cinnamon rolls. Nice job!

  12. The very coolest of the daring bakers save the challenge for the last possible minute. :)

    I love your photographic essay of the process. Congratulations on a successful challenge.

  13. Your buns look very delicious! Congratulations on such a nice job!

  14. A very happy little boy indeed! Nice job

  15. Thay look beautiful! Isn't it wonderful to share these sweet treats with willing and happy eaters?! :)

  16. Very lovely! And that photo of your son with the gooey stuff on his face is JUST ADORABLE! Congrats on a successful challenge!

  17. Now that is Daring to be doing it for the first time, doubling the recipe and taking it to feed a crowd. Just the kind of thing to keep you on your toes.
    Beautiful job and your satisfied customer is total proof . . . great job!! ;;))

  18. These are really tasty-looking! I looove cinnamon rolls, great job on this DB Challenge. I just completed my first DB challenge last week was definitely a challenge, to say the least ;).

    (oh, in case you're wondering, this is the same Sophie from Key Ingredient; but I also have a personal blog :D)