During my trip to Alaska, I found this recipe book. It had lots of different recipes using sour dough. There was cakes, breads and even cinnamon buns. I wanted to see if sourdough cinnamon buns were better than regular cinnamon buns so I decided to try out both recipes. The sour dough cinnamon bun recipe comes from Simply Sourdough: The Alaskan Way by Kathy Doogan.
The best cinnamon buns involve delicious gooey filling. Gooey cinnamon buns have tons of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. The perfect mix. Some people like adding raisins, nuts and fruit. It depends on my mood but I love plain old cinnamon buns especially with cream cheese frosting.
Sourdough cinnamon buns start with 1 cup sourdough starter. The sourdough starter needs to be activated overnight with 1 1/2 cup flour and 3/4 cup water. Make sure to loosely cover the sourdough as it rises.
After leaving the starter to rest overnight, you want to mix it with the 2 eggs, 1/4 vegetable oil and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.
In another bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Unfortunately, I didn’t have baking soda in my pantry so I just used 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. (It still seemed to work). Once the ingredients are incorporated, you want to knead this dough for 5-8 minutes on a floured surface.
I like using my cutting board. A tip is to stick a damp cloth under the cutting board to prevent it from slipping.
After a couple of minutes of kneading, the dough would have formed gluten or the stuff that makes the dough nice and elastic. You can see that it has also turned very smooth and when you poke a finger on the surface, you the dough springs back.
Rest the dough for about 10 minutes before you roll it out. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle. The thinner you roll the dough the more crispy the cinnamon bun. You’ll be surprised at how much it grows as it rests and bakes.
To assemble your cinnamon buns, brush the dough with some melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon, brown sugar mix.
Make sure you have a lot more than you think. As the dough bakes, there will be more dough and less gooey filling so you want to make sure to put more of the sugar. After you have spread the sugar mixture over the entire dough, carefully roll it as tightly as you can. Then its time to cut the roll. Prepare a baking tray by spreading a generous layer of butter over the surface. Cut the roll into 1 1/2 inch pieces and place it carefully onto the tray as carefully as possible.
The rolls should be tightly packed. Once everything is nicely lined in the baking tray, generously brush the tops of the cinnamon buns with more butter. Leave the rolls for another hour or so until the buns have doubled in size.
While the first batch of cinnamon buns are resting, start the second one. Its a similar recipe but without the sourdough starter. To thing that makes this dough rise is yeast instead of the sourdough starter.
To start this cinnamon bun, mix a package of yeast with the water and sugar. Let it rise for about 10 minutes. In a bowl combine the one egg, 1/2 scalded milk, 1/3 cup melted butter and teaspoon of salt.
Slowly add the 4 cups of flour. Depending on the weather and how much water is in the flour, add the flour until the you make a dough ball that is not too wet or dry. Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes and then cover it with a damp tea towel to let it rest for about 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen. Prepare the dough as you did previously by rolling it out and covering it with the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Cover these with melted butter and let it rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and when the oven is ready, bake the cinnamon buns for 30-40 minutes or until it is nicely browned. In the meantime, make the a glaze. Instead of making cream cheese icing, I decided to go traditional and make the sugar glaze.
To make the glaze, mix 4 Tbsp of melted butter with 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Add 1 Tbsp of hot water to this and continue to add until you get a nice glaze that is runny enough to pour over the cinnamon buns. Double the recipe for the two batches!!
Paula Deen’s Cinnamon buns
1/4 -ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if desired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 30 minutes or until nicely browned.
Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.
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