I procrastiated quite a bit on this one. First post felt so monumental. Do I keep it simple and just post something I have done over the last few months? Or do I put on a big splash with a grandiose post with a recipe, tags for days and 20 how-to photos?
I think I found a healthy middle ground. I decided to try make something I haven’t done before, challenge myself a little. But I also wanted something warm and comforting, considering this past weekend was pretty cold and the overcast skies provided great lighting in my Mum’s kitchen (cold weekends always mean we head back home to Mamma).
I, admittedly, have not had a lot of experience with doughs and yeast and making breads from scratch. Temperature sensitivity and moisture and all that, was a little intimidating, but let’s give it a try. I also wanted to avoid the traditional, over sugary, fondant topping. So I opted for a cream cheese topping and wanted something to cut the richness of the cream cheese, cinnamon and raisins. So I basically used my cream cheese icing recipe for my carrot cake, adding lemon juice and zest with considerably less icing sugar than a traditional fondant or icing. This would then decadently melt into the cinnamon buns as it is applied to them, fresh out the oven. Most recipes called for either raisins OR walnuts. I don’t need those kind of restrictions in my life, so I went with both.
Off I went! Activated yeast, mixed dough, kneaded till my palms felt strange. Dough looked good. It was one perfect ball, all the crumblings and dusting flour I was able to collect with the perfectly plump lump, without anything sticking to the counter. I popped it in a bowl, covered with a damp dish towel and left it to rise for about an hour. While I waited, I made my filling. Butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, vanilla. All the good stuff. It makes this delicious paste that you can’t help “quality test” more than once.
Dough had risen, not as much as I had hoped for, but it rose. Rolled it out about half a centimeter thick, spread a thick layer of filling over the top and then tightly rolled it up into one long dough sausage. Sliced it up into 16 little rolls and arranged them in a cast iron dish,greased with butter. In theoven it went.
I don’t think I have ever smelt anything as fantastic as when those little devils were in the oven. Then when I pulled them out, there is a bubbling, syrupy thing happening all over the pan. I tried to photograph as quickly as possible to capture the bubbling but they cooled quite quickly. So before they got too cool, I drizzled on the cream cheese icing. Not too much, so it was overbearing but keeping some aside incase anyone wanted a little extra.
There they were! Gorgeous, sticky, delicious Cinnamon Buns! The filling to pastry to icing ratio was spot on. The buns were a nice size, so one was not so much that you felt sick afterwards and the hint of lemon in the icing was a solid win.