Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Avid Baker's Challenge: Overnight Cinnamon Buns

I've been really busy with work these past 6 weeks or so and haven't been able to bake as much as I would have liked. I was sad to miss the last assignment of the Heavenly Cake Bakers, Zach's LaBomba - thank you Marie, this has been a lot of fun! And, luckily for us HCBakers who came late to the kitchen and haven't yet finished the book, Knitty Baker is picking up the torch.

For now though, I'm very late to the party for the Avid Baker's Challenge this month, but hey, better late than never! May's assignment was Overnight Cinnamon Buns from the wonderful Flo Braker's Baking for All Occasions. Although I've only made a few recipes so far from this book, they really do seem pretty fool-proof. My only continuing complaint is the lack of pictures in the book. *lightbulb!! I should print out a picture of each recipe I make and tape it into my book.*

Overall, these cinnamon buns were fantastic and I will definitely be making them again! They were pretty easy to make which was nice because I've always thought that cinnamon buns = hard and intimidating. And they made me want to throw a brunch party, because, really, there's not much else better than pulling a hot tray of cinnamon buns out of the oven, drizzling on a sugary glaze and them serving hot to the ooohs and aaahs of hungry family and friends! The texture was light and airy (due to the potato?!) and the flavor was great - a hint of orange, cinnamony but not too sweet, and a yummy glaze. Next time though I think I'd like a bit more filling and a bit more glaze.

I was too impatient to make this a true overnight baking adventure so I went with a more traditional rising cycle. I checked a few other similar recipes in the book and "about an hour/doubled in size/until your finger pressed into the dough leaves an indent" seemed to be the standard, so that's what I did. I let it rise for about 50 minutes until it was a bit more than doubled in size. The dough was still a bit sticky so I wasn't able to see if my finger would leave an indent but since the other telltale signs were there I figured I was good to deflate and roll it out. Flo's doughs are always so nice (and easy) to work with! The only thing I was confused about was - unless I somehow missed after several readings - the recipe never indicated when/where to add the orange zest. I ended up just adding it to the dough at the last minute. I think it also would have been nice added to the filling mixture.

mise en place

mixing the potato, milk, butter while the yeast proofs

yeast gets added to the potato mixture and after a bit gets all light and foamy...I love baking
because it's really a big science experiment!

finished dough, ready to rise. It was a little sticky at this point, but
I didn't want to toughen it up by adding more flour and continuing to knead it
so I kind of just left it alone...all good in the end.

while it's rising, I'll make the filling. I used pecans instead of macadamia nuts
and added a bit of cardamom in with the cinnamon and nutmeg.


divided in half and ready to roll out

filling sprinkled on

rolled up and ready to slice. I used the dental floss technique to slice it
(sorry for the blurry picture - I was trying to slice and take the picture at the same time)

I didn't have two quarter sheet pans so I used a half sheet pan and put all the buns on together...
worked perfectly!

after the second rise...ready to bake

smells delicious

mise en place for the glaze

I like the addition of nutmeg to the glaze...
it's my favorite spice, but I never would have thought to add it to a glaze.

glazed and ready for eatin'!


such a light and tender crumb

Bye for now...


  1. These turned out picture perfect for you! I'm glad you enjoyed them. I did too. I made a second batch shortly a day or two after making the first. Loved them. If you like citrus, you might like my sub for the cinnamon filling: citrus paste filling. You can find the recipe in Flo's book; I just doubled the citrus paste filling from her Pull-Apart Coffee Cake. Yum!
    Btw, I like to use floss too. Also, I have a quick tip for you: when the dough is tacky/sticky and you need to check if it has risen enough, just went your finger and poke the dough. It won't stick to your finger that way :o)
    PS: love your step-by-step pics!

  2. Hi Hanaa - I LOVE your idea about using the lemon filling...I will definitely try that! I made the pull-apart loaf a couple of months ago and loved it so I'm sure I would love it :) You're so good about finding delicious substitutions!