When I was a child my mother would make these cinnamon buns for special occasions like birthdays and New Years Day. These are not ‘Cinnabon’ style cinnamon buns; I don’t actually like those, overly sweet white icing covering a less-than-perfect bun. My mother’s recipe is for buttery buns filled with cinnamon sugar and covered in gooey drizzle. This recipe is almost identical to my mother’s, using her ingredients with just a few technical changes. I make these for birthdays (including my own-my husband wakes up early to pop them in the oven), Christmas and New Years and hope to one day serve them to my children as they roll out of bed. You could just as easily make these for a treat any weekend but be warned, they are very time consuming to prepare. I strongly suggest preparing your buns the night before then waking up and baking them fresh, otherwise you will end up having them for lunch instead of breakfast (allow 2 hours for rising alone on top of preparation time). I hope you enjoy these as much as I have over the years!
1 tsp sugar
2 ¼ tsp yeast
½ cup warm water
½ cup milk
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup butter
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups flour
In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in warm water. Let it stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Be careful with your water, too warm or too cold and your yeast won’t properly activate.
Next, warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove it from the heat. Mix in the sugar, butter and salt and stir until melted. Let the mixture cool until lukewarm. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, milk mixture, eggs and 1 1/2 cup flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Next, lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn it to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
¾ cup butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
¼ cup melted butter
Large baking pan
While your dough is rising, melt 3/4 cup butter. Stir in 3/4 cup brown sugar, whisking until smooth. Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan. Melt your remaining butter and set it aside. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll into an 18×14 inch rectangle. Brush it with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter, leaving 1/2 inch border uncovered and sprinkle with brown sugar cinnamon mixture.
Starting at the long side of your rectangle, tightly roll up your dough pinching the seam to seal. Brush the roll with remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cut it into 1 inch disks using a serrated knife.
Place your cinnamon buns cut side down in the prepared pan and brush them with the remaining butter. Cover the tray and let them rise for 1 hour or until doubled in volume. If you plan to bake your buns the next day, cover and refrigerate after they have risen. Otherwise, preheat your oven to 375 F.
Bake your rolls for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool in the pan for 3 minutes, then invert them onto a serving platter. Finally, scrape the remaining filling from the pan onto the rolls.