i truly only like two seasons – summer, obviously, and fall. for a quick second on the weekend it felt like fall and i was very happy. it’s now 25 degrees out again and i know i’ll be cursing myself in a couple of months for being slightly irritated at the extended summer, but i can’t help it. it was cloudy and chilly and i had the windows open wide and the oven on all day. i didn’t feel guilty about not being outside enjoying the weather; it was cold enough that i wore a cute sweater and walked to the grocery store with a latte (no, not a pumpkin spice one – we’re not there yet).
i want my cold weather sunday ritual to include a good pot of coffee, a good book and and my apartment smelling like something sweet. grey weekend mornings are the perfect time to wake up reasonably late and wander to the kitchen in slippers, make a pot of coffee and pull out your flour and sugar jars. quiet baking is relaxing, and the smell that will envelope your kitchen and float into the living room is heavenly, regardless of what you’re baking. something about flour rising and butter melting and science doing it’s thing.. mmm.
these cinnamon buns take only a few staples you probably already have on hand and come together pretty effortlessly. the dough isn’t finicky at all, a couple of kneads and some resting time and they still puff up nicely. i added pecans because i wanted a true cinnabon taste, and slathered them in icing because obviously.
4-5 cups all purpose flour
2 packages dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
mix together 1 1/3 cups flour, yeast, and salt. set aside.
in a small saucepan, heat the milk, water, butter, and sugar over med-low heat until it reaches 120-130F, stirring constantly (i stuck my regular meat thermometer into the pot and it worked fine. if you don’t have one, it reaches this temperature right before the mixture starts to simmer). pour into the dry mixture and beat until smooth (if you haven’t saved up for a stand mixer like me and are using a regular hand mixer, if you have the bread hook attachments these work very well here)
add egg and 1/2 cup flour and beat for another 2 minutes. gradually add enough flour to make a soft dough (probably cup or two).
knead dough a couple of times until it forms a smooth ball. cover and let rest for 20 minutes
about 1/3 cup of melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2-3 tablespoons cinnamon
1/3 cup chopped toasted pecans
mix all ingredients together and set aside (yep that easy)
preheat oven to 375.
once dough has risen, roll it out into a big rectangle. the thinner you roll your dough, the more layers of cinnamon goodness you get inside. brush the dough generously with the butter and then sprinkle the filling mixture all over.
roll very tightly, and then cut into about 1 inch thick pieces. place in greased baking pan and bake for 15-20 minutes. if the tops start browning like mine, put a piece of tin foil over top.
once slightly cooled, whisk together a couple of tablespoons of icing sugar, a tablespoon of melted butter, a couple tablespoons of warm water and a splash of vanilla.
lick whisk, then top buns with icing and enjoy!