The weekend is full of possibilities.
I've always thought that making bread-y breakfasts would eat into my precious lie in time, but not this recipe. By making the dough and forming the buns ahead, they last up to two days in the fridge or even longer in the freezer, ready to rise overnight whenever needed.
I made this batch of a dozen buns a day ahead, freezing half and cooking the rest as a decadent Saturday morning treat.
There really is no better smell to wake up to than sweet cinnamon drifting from the kitchen...
SWEET CINNAMON BREAKFAST BUNS WITH VANILLA GLAZE
~for the dough:
200ml warm milk and 50ml warm water
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
½ tsp salt
210g golden caster sugar
3 tsp instant active dry yeast
600g bread flour
~for the cinnamon filling:
150g butter at warm room temperature
250g dark brown sugar
6 tbsp ground cinnamon
~for the vanilla glaze
150g golden caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbsp water
1) Whisk the milk, water, vanilla, butter and eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the yeast, sugar and salt. Leave for 15 minutes, then stir in the flour. You should have a slightly sticky dough - if it feels dry at all, add another tablespoon or two of water. Now knead the dough on a lightly oiled surface for ten minutes, until smooth and bouncy. Leave to rise until doubled in size in a large lightly oiled bowl, covered with cling film.
2) Once the dough has risen, punch down and roll out into a 40cm x 60cm rectangle - this is quite large so plan your space beforehand! Using a spatula or a pastry brush, spread the softened butter from the cinnamon filling all over the surface of the dough, then mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and evenly sprinkle the mixture over the butter.
3) Roll the rectangle into a sausage, starting from the longest edge. Don't roll it too tightly or it will become misshapen during cooking. Dab a little water along the far edge to moisten it, and then pinch it firmly to the outside of the roll to seal.
4) Using a very sharp knife, cut a thin slice off each end of the roll to neaten it, then divide the rest into twelve equal slices. You can now freeze these on a tray for later use, or bake them straight away. If baking immediately, place as many as you want to cook into a 8cm high sided baking tray, leaving a 2-3cm space between each slice for them to rise. Leave in a warm place to double in size, or overnight if you like.
3) Bake on a low shelf at 350f/180c/gas mark 4 for 25 minutes, until golden and risen. Leave to cool while you make the glaze, by bringing the sugar and water to the boil, then simmering until a medium-thick syrup (the consistency of maple syrup) has formed. Stir in the vanilla, and brush over the buns.
Prepare ahead: These can be frozen for later use by making them up to stage 4 and laying out the slices on parchment paper on baking trays, which can then be bagged up when firm. To cook for breakfast, take out as many as wanted and place on a high sided baking tray the night before, and allow to rise overnight. Then bake and glaze as before. Easy!