One of my favourite memories of visiting my grandparent’s farm on the Gaspé is my Grandmother’s (‘Mom’ as we affectionately called her) cinnamon buns. The smell of them baking was heavenly! As a young woman, I never even attempted to bake these delicious rolls because I knew I’d never match those of Moms. I’ve now accepted the fact that I cannot reproduce those specific buns or that smell of cinnamon mixed with the farm scents of manure and the ocean’s salty air in my grandmother’s kitchen.
About 15 years ago, I got a bread making machine for Christmas. I use it these days to make my own cinnamon roll dough. The Basic Sweet Dough recipe calls for the ingredients to be added to the bread maker and the setting set on ‘Dough’. After 90 minutes, the dough is ready to be rolled out on a floured countertop. Last time I made these, I was outside during the machine-making phase and was so busy in the garden that I forgot about it until 2 hours past the time it was done. When I got inside, the dough completely filled the entire bread machine right to the top! It was the best dough ever! I gently rolled it out being careful to maintain all the air bubble which make it rise.
Once the dough is rolled out to approximately 12 inches by 18 inches, I butter it generously over the entire surface. Then I spoon or shake on LOTS of cinnamon all over which I cover completely with brown sugar. I roll it up into a long ‘log’ and cut one inch ‘rolls’ – about 12-15 of them. Sometimes I put them in a glass pan but usually I bake them on a large cookie sheet. I move my oven rack up one level so it’s not too close to the heat. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes. I have a ‘hot’ oven so I usually take them out after about 14 minutes when they are just starting to brown. We usually can’t wait for them to cool, so I carefully pull one apart to ‘taste-test’ it…….. well that’s my excuse anyway.
Here’s the Cinnamon Buns recipe:
Basic Sweet Dough
Put all these ingredients into your bread-maker in order:
1 Cup Water
2 large eggs
¼ cup Butter, softened
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups flour
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons Skim Milk Powder
2 teaspoons quick-rise Yeast
As I mentioned, select the ‘Dough’ setting on your bread-maker and start.
Once the dough is done, in 90 minutes (like I said, I’m letting mine sit in the bread-maker for another 2 hours from now on), lightly flour a countertop. Dump the dough onto the flour. Use a floured rolling pin to roll it out. Check to see if it’s sticking to the counter and if it is, add more flour to the counter. Completely butter it, add the cinnamon and sprinkle on the brown sugar with your hand, roll up, and cut into pieces. Grease the baking pan with butter and ‘very lightly’ sprinkle a little bit of flour. Place the round buns on your pan and cover with a linen cloth, waxed paper, or plastic wrap. Put in the oven and turn the light on (which will add a bit of heat). Let rise for one hour. Remove from the oven after an hour, preheat to 325F and then bake for 12-15 minutes.
You can add icing if you want – I don’t usually. Mix icing sugar with a wee bit of milk so it’s thick enough to gently spread. AFTER the buns have cooled completely, drizzle with icing.
Store at room temperature in a container with a tight fitting lid. I use a cookie tin. It takes the two of us about 3 days to eat 15 cinnamon buns and the last one is as fresh as the first one.
For my cousin Bruce, in honour of Andrea