Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns

One Sunday I turned on PBS, and was immediately enraptured by Cook's Country. It wasn't so much the program - it was what they were making: Ultimate Cinnamon Buns. Big Daddy and I settled into the sofa, and watched, mouths ajar, as they whipped together the biggest, fluffiest, most delightful looking breakfast treat. I immediately printed out the recipe, and have been plotting a good time to test it out.

There are a lot of bad cinnamon rolls out there. From the mundane (Pillsbury) to the mediocre (Cinnabon), cinnamon buns are an indulgence that I have previously been intimidated by. About 2 years ago, I found a delightful recipe in Bon Appetit, and happily used that for a while. This recipe makes a good, solid cinnamon roll. Good cinnamon rolls take time, and because I am both lazy and hungry in the morning, I prefer to make them the night before, then pop in the oven once I awake the next day.

But last night, with a free weekday looming and a full moon luminescent in the night sky (that moon makes a girl do crazy things), I decided it was the perfect time to take those Buns for a test drive. They were everything I have ever hoped for in a cinnamon bun: the dough was smooth, malleable, and elastic. The buns themselves were pillowy, flaky, and with exactly the right amount of cinnamon + sweet. Paired with an icy glass of milk, these made a delightful - and filling - start to our morning.

Cholesterol beware: these babies have 12 tbs. of butter in the dough. I plan to make them no more than twice a year (Christmas morning, Big Daddy's birthday), and my love handles are already thanking me.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns

From the episode: Rise and Shine, Cook's Country TV

3/4 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp.) instant or rapid-rise yeast
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces and softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 Tbs. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbs. unsalted butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs. whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

1. For the dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When the oven reaches 200 degrees, shut off. Line 13-by-9-inch baking pan with foil, allowing excess foil to hang over pan edges. Grease foil and medium bowl.

2. Whisk milk and yeast in measuring cup until yeast dissolves, then whisk in eggs. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium, and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

3. For the filling: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 18-inch square, spread with butter, and sprinkle evenly with filling. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam, and cut into 8 pieces. Transfer pieces, cut-side up, to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size.

4. For the glaze, and to bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and confectioner's sugar on medium bowl until smooth. Discard plastic wrap and bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and top buns with 1/2 cup glaze. Cool 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift buns from pan and top with remaining glaze. Serve.

Make ahead: After transferring pieces to prepared pan in step 3, buns can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 24 hours. When ready to bake, let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Remove plastic wrap and continue with step 4 as directed.


Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go jog around the block 1,216 times to burn off this scrumptious treat.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe - we watched the episode the other night and I tried to get the recipe from the website - of course there is a free 14 day trial - but now I didn't need to sign up! Thanks again - from Canada!

Jackie S said...

Love it! There was a lady in my hometown that made the most fantastic cinnamon rolls. It was just so much easier to pay her for them rather than try to make your own (which were never as good). I'll have to give this a try. Those of you wno know me please don't choke at the thought of me attempting to bake anything from scratch! :)

Rosie said...

These look delightful. Thanks a lot.

Ben, Rebecca, Natali, & Isaac said...

For the LOVE of the Cinnamon Roll, that looks and sounds AMAZING. The recipe looks intimidating to me (a cooking novice), but I have a feeling I will be trying it out sooner than later. I agree Christmas seems like the perfect time to wake up to cinnamon rolls baking in the oven....oh I love it!

Kelly said...

I'm so excited to try these. I've been looking for a really good recipe for these. With the weather starting to cool off I always get in the mood to bake.

Ashley said...

So....maybe I will start losing my baby weight tomorrow - after I make and eat these ;). Oh how I love myself baked goods and especially cinnamon rolls - thanks for this recipe Amy!

Anonymous said...

I made the cinnamon buns from the pbs show. I had trouble getting the dough as stiff as theirs,the dough, after 10 mins. of kneading never did clean the sides of the bowl, as theirs did. I personally think there's to much butter in this recipe. The buns took about 5 hours to raise, in a barely warm oven, after baking a lot of the filling baked out onto the foil sling, that by the way stuck anyways. The icing wasn't as white as theirs, I think the recipe calls for to much vanilla ext. I was careful to measure everything, wrote the recipe down from the t.v.show and played the recorded show as I was making the cinnamon buns. I did end up baking them, over all the outside layer wasn't that great, the inside layers were better. Happily, my family who will eat anything, really liked them.

That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

So sorry the recipe gave you trouble. I suggest you try it again. I know it took my mixer 10-15 minutes to get the bowl clean. I haven't had any problem rising the dough - The only problem I have had with this recipe is in the baking. I've had to bake them at near double the time suggested. Try, try again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for posting these...I too tried to get these off their site after watching it over and over again on TV - they look absolutely scrumptious! I can't wait to try them.

Anonymous said...

Here are a few more tips from the COoks Country website that might help....
In step 2, if after mixing for 10 minutes the dough is still wet and sticky, add up to ¼ cup flour (a tablespoon at a time) until the dough releases from the bowl. For smaller cinnamon buns, cut the dough into 12 pieces in step 3.

Hope this helps for the dough still sticking to bowl after 10 min :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this recipe! I watched the show in the ICU waiting room, but missed most of the recipe due to the noise in there. Had no luck finding it on pbs.org. Can't wait to make them when I get home! :D

Anonymous said...

Have made these multiple times and have never had a problem. I do make them the night before and keep them in the fridge overnight. I pull them out in the morning and let them rise for one hour and bake.

macley said...

Thank you so much for posting this recipe I had been hoping to find it online again :). You inspired me to look at the original video recipe since I was able to get a free 14 day trial at Cook's Country website and noticed they listed 1/2 C of sugar as part of the dough ingredients that was not listed in your recipe, so I thought I share that with you :). Again, thank you for posting the recipe :).

That's Ms. Amy to You... said...

The sugar is in the recipe above, so I'm not sure if you mean they state a full cup instead of the 1/2 cup above. I took this directly from their printed recipe.