Starting off with a photo of Mr. Jethro Bell, no not the rockin’ band with a flautist Jethro Tull, although my cat warbles well enough to get a grammy himself, staring out of the window of our summerhouse in The Thousand Islands. What a cutie. Another staple of summerhouse livin’ is my mother’s recipe for Cinnamini Buns. They are so good. I mean like really really good. Like the best things ever. And not that hard to make if you’ve ever made bread before.
Here’s the deal with me and breakfast: we are constantly bickering lovers. Sometimes its the best thing ever, sometimes I wake up and want to throw breakfast out the window. This has nothing to do with how much I’ve drunk the night before… But my big thing about breakfast is sugar. I cannot deal with it in the morning. This is weird for someone who lives on a diet of ice cream, pie, and cheese during most of the year. But I’m weird so whatever.
Somehow Cinnamini Buns happen to taste slightly savory to me. And by that, I mean yeasty and not overly sweet. Plus there is so much butter in that filling. I love butter. And a tiny bit of rum to start the day off right. So they are perfect breakfast no matter how much I might hate (or love) breakfast on any given morning.
They do take a bit of prep the night before. It really is best to let the dough rise overnight. It will develop more flavors and you’ll be really happy that you can just roll out the dough and voila about an hour and half later you have breakfast… Ok that doesn’t sound incredibly appealing, but deal with it. Its worth it.
Cinnamini buns must be eaten warm. It is cruel to yourself and everyone around you to eat them cold and I will yell at you if you do so. Obviously the recipe makes a lot of em, so make sure you have friends to eat them right out of the oven. For a couple days you can microwave the buns for about twenty seconds and they’ll perk right back up, but I suggest freezing leftovers. You will be so proud of yourself a month later when you are still eating them.
If you don’t like raisins, well I’m sorry for you.
Adapted from a 2000 Providence Journal and shared by my wonderful mother who is holding the batch up above.
Sweet Bread Dough:
2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry active yeast
2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
3 cups (420 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
1 stick of butter softened- either cut it up into little cubes and leave it out for about three hours or cut it up and microwave for about 15 seconds, stir up, another 15
4-5 cups (560- 700 grams) unbleached all purpose flour for kneading
1 tablespoon melted butter
Cream together with a spoon, 2 cups sugar, 2 to 3 tablespoons cinnamon, 1 stick softened butter
To plump raisons: heat 1/3 of a cup of rum with a one inch strip of orange or lemon zest and 2/3 of a cup of raisons. Let boil for one minute, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for a few hours or overnight.
Combine: 1 cup confectionary sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
For that dough:
Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and let sit for about five minutes until yeast is starting to foam a bit. Stir in the eggs, 3 cups of flour and the softened butter, beating the dough for about 50 strokes until it is smooth. Stir in additional flour until the dough becomes too stiff to stir. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface, and start kneading, adding in more flour as the dough needs it. The dough should end up being slightly sticky. To tell when it is done, poke the dough with your finger, going in about half an inch. When the dough springs right back at you, its all set to go.
Put about a tablespoon of melted butter in a clean bowl. Put the dough in the bowl, turn it so it is covered in the butter. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Rise until doubled,either 60-90 minutes at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Once risen, punch down the dough and divide in half. Allow the dough to rest for ten minutes. While this is happening, prepare your filling. Line two cookie sheets or jelly roll pans with tin foil. Once the dough has rested, roll each half out into 12 X 16 inch rectangle. Spread the filling evenly over both halves, leaving about an inch clear on each edge of the dough. Sprinkle on raisons and juices. Roll up TIGHTLY and then, using a sharp knife, cut into two inch slices. Arrange the slices one inch apart on the jelly roll pans. Cover with clean dish towels or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, until just barely golden. Turn out of pan IMMEDIATELY or the sugar will fuse to the foil. Cool a couple minutes, ice as you please, and then eat. Best eaten the day they are made, freeze and microwave well.