Leah is Mom to four great Kamloops kids, aged 17, 14, 12 and 2.5.
Summertime can occasionally be a boring time for school age children – especially when their friends are away on vacation or busy with sports camps etc. This summer we found that there was a lot of down time for my son, Liam, so one day I asked him to help me make cinnamon buns. He loved it and did a great job! We used a recipe I’d recently received from a friend, who had found it on someone else’s blog, who in turn found it on the blog Mennonite Girls Can Cook. (I call this mom-networking) (Guess what, Leah? Those came from here!!). It’s actually a recipe for pizza buns (which we have made and all the kids LOVE) but we made the dough the same way and simply replaced the standard pizza toppings with melted butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
For your dough:
2 Tbsp cooking oil
2 Tsp salt
2 cups HOT tap water
4 ½ – 5 cups flour
2 Tbsp instant yeast
Method: Mix in order given, mixing the yeast with a little flour and adding that while the dough is still very soft. Add enough flour to make a dough that holds together in a ball shape and is not sticky if you handle it with floured hands. Cover. Let rise until double, about ½ an hour.
Once the dough is done rising, roll it out into a rectangle about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle your counter or table with flour before you roll the dough out. If you want smaller, kid sized buns, make the rectangle longer. Spread with melted butter or margarine, brown sugar and cinnamon.
Now here is where it gets interesting! I consulted some other cinnamon bun recipes but then just winged it – and it worked! We melted about a ¼ cup of margarine in the microwave for about 25 seconds. This time will likely differ on the strength of you microwave and whether you are using soft or hard butter or margarine, frozen or thawed. Liam coated the dough evenly with the melted margarine using a pastry brush.
Next we sprinkled the dough with brown sugar. I believe we used about 2/3 of a cup of brown sugar – you can change this based on your own sweet tooth, but you might not want to use the brown sugar excessively because it will melt out the bottom. Then we sprinkled the dough with cinnamon. Again, we just winged it, we probably used 2 – 3 Tbsp of cinnamon and our buns had a moderate cinnamon taste. Use more or less based on how you like it but just make sure to coat it evenly. Finally you could sprinkle raisons and/or chopped walnuts or pecans depending on what your family likes. My family doesn’t like either so we didn’t add these ingredients.
Roll up the buns. Start on one side and it helps if you can get that whole side going rather than starting with a point. The advice from Mennonite Girls Can Cook is “the tighter you try to make the roll, the more difficult it is to make tight…” This sounds a little vague but is actually really good advice.
Slice the buns every inch or so and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper (not wax paper, trust me).
Cover the buns and let them rise another 15 – 30 minutes.
Once the final rising was complete, I gave them a quick brush with the leftover melted margarine so they would have a nice golden colour.
Bake at 375F for about 15 minutes. Once ours were done, I drizzled a glaze over them. My family likes the added sweetness, but you don’t have to glaze them – they are yummy already!
Glaze: 1 cup icing sugar.
1 tsp margarine or butter.
2 tbsp of milk
1/8 tsp vanilla
Some people just use icing sugar and milk, which works too. The idea is to have the consistency such that you can scoop it with a spoon and it will drizzle nicely off the end to coat the cinnamon buns.
Hope you have a much fun as we did. Enjoy!