There is one problem with baking, if you bake it you eat it.
Baking is a very precise science. You have to really stick to weights and amounts. I want to be more wild and free when I cook, and that doesn’t translate well into baking. The restrictions are killing me.
When I was little my mom always baked. A few different kinds of breads, lot’s of cookies, cinnamon buns and other things. She packed them up and put them into the freezer. She was so organized. I wish I could be more like her. I know that many things that I do come from her. I would tell you though, both my brothers are the better bakers. My older brother makes different kinds of cakes. They are delicious. My younger brother makes breads and cinnamon buns. It is funny when his idea of baby sitting involves baking and then going for sushi.
Here are the regular cinnamon buns my mother always used to make.
1 package of dried yeast (or 1 package of fresh yeast.)
1/2 – 1 stick of unsalted butter.
2 cups of milk.
1/2 tsp. of salt.
1/4 – 1/2 cup of sugar ( I prefer to use brown sugar.)
2 tsp. cardamom, crushed. (optional).
6 cups of flour.
2-3 tbsp. of sugar.
1 – 2 tbsp. of ground cinnamon or cardamom.
1/4 cup of finely chopped candied orange rind (optional).
1/4 cup raisins (optional).
1/4 cup of pearl sugar or 1/4 cup finely chopped almonds/ hazelnuts (optional).
Melt the butter. Add the water and make the liquid luke warm.
Prepare the yeast as per directions on the package. Add to the liquid.
Mix liquid, yeast, salt, sugar & cardamom with 3/4 of the flour.
If possible, use a kitchen aid, but if you are working the dough by hand, be sure to work it very well. Add flour in portions.
When it feels a little “tacky” sprinkle some flour on top and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rise to double the size.
Work the dough in the bowl. Put onto a floured surface.
Knead the dough well. Add the rest of the flour little by little, until it becomes light, smooth and somewhat “loose”.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle.
Mix soften butter, cinnamon (or cardamom) and sugar.
Spread the mixture on to the rectangle of dough, as if you are buttering bread. Make sure all edges are buttered.
If you would like to add a little grated almond paste & candied orange rind, add that in an evenly distributed line at the lower edge.
Start rolling/ folding over the dough from the same edge where you added the almond paste & orange rind.
Make sure it is rolled tightly. Fold over the dough evenly from one side to the other until finally rolled together. Cut into half.
Take the first half and start cutting about 1/2″ slices. Almost all the way down to the table. Place the first “slice” at center. Fold over the next “slice” to the left and the following to the right.
If you are making buns, cut off after 3 slices and place on lined baking sheet. If you are making the cinnamon bun loaf, keep alternating the slices, left and right.
When all are done, let rice again, covered with a clean kitchen towel.
After rising, brush with the whisked egg all over.
Sprinkle over the pearl sugar (and or the chopped almonds/ hazel nuts.)
Bake in the oven until golden brown.
Baking times for ;
Buns- 450 degrees for about 5-10 minutes.
Loaf- 400-450 degrees for about 12-20 minutes.