Saturday, 19 February 2011

Heaven scent

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...


Makes 12

~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!


  1. mmmm...sweet! They are really perfect for the breakfast!

  2. Wonderful recipe! I love the fact you can leave these overnight/freeze/bake immediately, no excuse not to make them! They look and sound absolutely gorrgeouuussss, definitely getting a big ol' save from me :)

  3. Thanks! These are totally scrummy, and the freezer option is a real time saver.

    The freezing trick also works with the chocolate and almond brioche I posted last week. Same rules apply: get the buns to the point where they would be left for the final rise, then lay them out on a tray in the freezer. It's like magic when you wake up to find them all perky and ready to go! x

  4. They look marvels !!!!!

    I tried the recipe yesterday but it didnt double size I waited for hours ..
    butter& eggs were all at room temperature maybe the milk was too warm but i think it cooled down after i added the butter , eggs and the vanilla !
    should the butter melt in the batter or like just i have to break it down with a whisk ?mine was small bits floating on the water and eegs.

  5. Hi,
    Oh I'm sorry to hear that! It shouldn't matter if you have bits of butter floating in the mixture as they will be kneaded into the mixture afterwards. The butter doesn't need to be melted, just softened.

    Two things that might have affected your dough rise: 1) is your house particularly cold? This will slow down the rising process but shouldn't stop it altogether, which makes me think it might be 2) could your yeast out of date? It will die after a time (I tried to revive some last weekend but to no avail). You can test if your yeast is alive by mixing some with warm (just above blood temperature) water, then adding a spoon of sugar or flour. If it doesn’t start to bubble after 20 minutes then I’m afraid you may be better off throwing it away.

    Good luck!

  6. aweee sweetie thanks for ur reply

    i think No.1 was the problem the batter wasn't warm enough so should the batter be warm before adding the yeast the cus the butter and eggs will effect the water/milk temperature even if they are at room temperature?

    and by whisking do u mean hand whisk just to dissolve the ingredients together or should i use stand mixer ?

    cus im backing them agin bebe till i get to that gorgeous buns in that pic :D

  7. Hello,

    Yes, the milk and water should be warm (just above blood temperature) when you add the yeast. If you keep your eggs in the fridge then make the water a little warmer.

    A hand whisk is fine for beating together the wet ingredients - they just need to be well mixed, not fluffy or aerated.

    If you have issues with a cold house, you could try leaving the dough to rise in a bowl that is sitting inside a larger bowl of warm water, but you may need to top it up with warm water every half hour or so. I tried this when our heating broke down last winter!

  8. hello ,

    sadly i tried the recipe for 3 times and each time the dough didnt double size even in warm place and each time after 2 hours waiting !
    and im sure that the problem is not from the yeast cus after the 15 min waiting it became foamy maybe from the flour cus im using strong bread flour who knows!


    Thank you


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