Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Best Cinnamon Buns

I think I've found my favourite cinnamon buns.

I was at a drug store the other day, waiting for a prescription for what will be the first of many winter sinus infections (still hungry?), killing time palming through food magazines when I spotted Cook's Illustrated Holiday Baking 2010.  "YES!," I exclaimed embarrassingly loud when I saw the recipe for what they deem the best cinnamon buns ever.  I had to purchase.

No, these cinnamon buns aren't healthy (like these ones), but they are huge, gooey, and delicious.  Because I like excess, I'd probably even add more filling the next time I make them-- and I will make them again very soon. I didn't even mind the cream cheese icing, and cream cheese fits into my condiment aversion.  

Make these.  You will thank me.  Your hips might not, but come on, they're not the boss of you.

Ultimate Cinnamon Buns
from Cook's Illustrated and online over here

3/4 cup whole milk , heated to 110 degrees 
1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant or rapid-rise yeast  
3 large eggs , room temperature 
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour  
1/2 cup cornstarch  
1/2 cup granulated sugar  
1 1/2 teaspoons salt  
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter , 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 
4 ounces cream cheese , softened 
1 tablespoon whole milk  
1 teaspoon vanilla extract  
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 
1. For the dough: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. When oven reaches 200 degrees, shut off. Line 13- by 9-inch baking pan with foil, allowing excess foil to hang over pan edges. Grease foil and medium bowl.
2. Whisk milk and yeast in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves, then whisk in eggs. In bowl of stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt until combined. With mixer on low, add warm milk mixture in steady stream and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium and add butter, one piece at a time, until incorporated. Continue to mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes. Turn dough out onto clean surface and knead to form a smooth, round ball. Transfer dough to prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in warm oven. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
3. For the filling: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 18-inch square, spread with butter, and sprinkle evenly with filling. Starting with the edge nearest you, roll dough into tight cylinder, pinch lightly to seal seam, and, following photo 3, cut into 8 pieces. Transfer pieces, cut-side up, to prepared pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
4. For the glaze and to bake: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk cream cheese, milk, vanilla, and confectioners’ sugar in medium bowl until smooth. Discard plastic wrap and bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is melted, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and top buns with ½ cup glaze; cool 30 minutes. Using foil overhang, lift buns from pan and top with remaining glaze. Serve.


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