18 August 2011
Ever since I was about 2ft tall, cinnamon buns have been one of my favourite treats; especially the super-gooey middle bit of the bun. Well, I say ever since I was 2ft tall, but there were actually a short period in my teenage years when I was rather bored with them - then I came across cinnabon, and the best darn cinnamon buns in the world. Thankfully the interweb is full of cinnabon clone recipes, many of which are exactly as good as the original. Unfortunately I can't remember where I found the recipe I used for the buns in this post as it's one I've been using for quite a while now and I didn't write down the source.
Anyway, I decided to make a bacon version after drooling over the cream cheese cinnamon buns made by Tracy over at Shutterbean. I basically figured that bacon would go rather well with the creamy gooeyness of the butter/cinnamon/brown sugar filling and cream cheese; especially if you drizzle them with a maple syrup icing. Luckily I was right - I don't think I could have handled another failed experiments post quite so soon after my last one! Now, before you scroll down to look at the rest of the recipe I'd like to warn you: the quality of some of the pics below is truly awful. The sun wasn't playing very nice, so some are over-exposed while other are under-exposed, heck some are even out of focus which I can't really blame on anything but my own impatience. Ah well..
(Makes about 16-18)
- 235ml Milk - warmed up to about 40c
- 2 Eggs
- 75g of Butter - melted
- 100g of Caster Sugar
- 615g of Strong White Bread Flour
- 10g of Dried Active Yeast
- Pinch of Salt
The easiest way to make these bad boys is to use a bread machine, which is what I did. If you have one, just check your manufacturer's recommendations for dough preparation - mine recommends putting in the liquids first, followed by flour, salt, sugar and finally yeast. Once you've measured everything out, just turn on your dough prep setting and leave it to do its thing until the dough has doubled in size. In my case that took about 20-25 minutes.
If you don't have a bread maker, making the dough by hand isn't all that complicated either. Firstly you will need to grab a bowl and combine about 1tsp of the sugar, 50ml of the warm milk, and your yeast. Stir carefully until it's all combined then set aside somewhere fairly warm for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add the remaining sugar, milk, butter and eggs to the yeast mixture and whisk it up; once combined, add in the flour a bit at a time. When it starts to look doughy, cover the bowl with cling film and leave somewhere warm until it has doubled in size.
Now, here's the first truly awful picture - brace yourself.
- 200g packet of Cream Cheese - at room temperature
- 220g of Brown Sugar
- 15g-ish of Ground Cinnamon
- 75g of Butter - at room temperature
- 18 Rashers of Bacon
Unfortunately I didn't manage to get any usable pictures of the first step here, but luckily this is he part of the process that I borrowed from the previously mentioned Tracy over at Shutterbean, so you can see step by step pics there.
Anyway, here's what you do:
1) Preheat your oven to 200c. Lightly flour your working surface and rolling pin, then turn the dough out onto it (the surface, not the rolling pin)
2) Roll your dough out into a rough square, about 0.5cm thick.
3) Get your cream cheese and spread it all over the dough - from the middle and right out to the edges. Ideally you'd use a soft rubber spatula for this, but the back of a spoon will work equally well if you don't have one - and the same goes for the cinnamon filling, which we will get to soon.
4) This is the part of the process that you may want to visit shutterbean for - imagine that your dough is divided into three horizontal columns; fold the top column over the middle column, then the fold the bottom column over that. Do the same vertically, and you will end up with a wee square like the second dough picture above.
5) Now grab your rolling pin again and carefully roll the dough out as thin as you can - be careful not to overdo it, though, as rolling it out too thin may cause the cream cheese to leak a bit which could get messy. Mine was about 20% smaller than pre-cheesing.
6) Combine your sugar, cinnamon and butter, then spread it in a similar fashion to the cream cheese.
7) Finally, get your bacon out and place it over the cinnamon filling, as in the picture above.
8) Grab on to the bottom horizontal edge of the dough and carefully start rolling the dough up - ensuring that the roll is as tight as possible.
9) The very last step is to cut the dough into 2-3cm thick slices. Before you do so I would recommend sharpening your knife - if it isn't supremely sharp already - as trying to do this with a blunt knife will result in horribly messy looking buns. You don't want to press down at all when slicing your dough, which is why you need a good knife - this is always true when making cinnamon buns, but even more so with these as you will have to cut through bacon. When you're done, put your slices into a buttered baking tray or other ovenproof dish. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
- 150g of Cream Cheese
- 200g of Icing Sugar
- 4tbsp of Maple Syrup
All you need to do for the icing is combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or other suitable vessel, then drizzle it over the buns using a spoon or knife as soon as they come out of the oven. These are best served warm, so if you don't intend to eat them all straight away I would recommend warming them up before serving them (set your oven to, say, 75C and pop them in for 5-10 minutes) and I'd personally ice them just before serving, as the icing stays nicer that way.
And there you have it - bacon cinnabon-style cinnamon buns! Next time I make these I am going to try a load of different icings - I reckon a savoury mustard, or even bbq-sauce, icing could work really well. Yet another thing for the to-cook list, I guess!