Monday, August 18, 2014

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns



3/4 cup warm whole milk (110 degrees)
2 1/4 teaspoons instant/rapid-rise yeast (one packet)
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 1/4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 12 pieces and softened


1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1/2 stick)


1 1/2 cups confectioners' (icing) sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon whole milk or cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. For the Dough

Make foil sling for 13x9 inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan.

Grease foil.

Whisk milk and yeast together in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves, then whisk in eggs.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and place loaf or cake pan on bottom of oven. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix 4 1/4 cups flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. Add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute.

Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes (if dough is still wet and stick, add up to 1/4 cup flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it releases from bowl). Turn out dough onto counter and knead to form smooth, round ball.

Transfer dough to medium greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to middle oven rack. Pour 3 cups boiling water into loaf pan into oven, close oven door, and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

3. For the Filling: 

Combine sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Remove dough from oven and turn out onto lightly floured counter. Remove dough from oven and turn out onto lightly floured counter.

Roll dough into 18-inch square and, leaving 1/2-inch border around edges, spread with butter, then sprinkle evenly with sugar mixture and lightly press sugar mixture into dough.

Starting with short edge, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam, and cut into 8 pieces.

The tighter the "cylinder", the better

Transfer pieces, cut side up, to prepared pan.
Cover with plastic and let rise in oven until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

The sliced buns, ready for their second rise.

4. For the Glaze:
The buns, fresh from the oven
Remove buns and water pan from oven and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk all ingredients together in medium bowl until smooth. Remove plastic and bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35-40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking.

Transfer to wire rack, top buns with 1/2 cup glaze, and let cool for 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift buns from pan and top with remaining glaze.

Serve. And try and stop with just one.

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