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L.M. Browning’s Cinnamon Buns

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Alright kids, these would be perfect to make to have for Christmas morning in your home. This is the recipe of L.M. Browning who is a Connecticut award winning poet and author and founder of Homebound Publications.

Yield: 10-12 Buns | Prep-Time: 2 Hours | Cook Time: 20-25 mins

  •  2 Packages Active Dry Yeast (5 Tablespoons)
  • ½ Cup Warm Water (105 – 115° or slightly above body temperature)
  • ½ Lukewarm Milk (Scalded then cooled)
  • ½ Sugar
  • 1 Tea. Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ Cup Shortening, Butter or Margarine (softened) (I use Butter or Shortening)
  • 3½-4 Cups AP Flour
  • ¼ Raisins (optional)
  • ½ Cup Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar 
  • 2 Cups Confectioner Sugar
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Milk

Adjusted Recipe (A Slightly Less Rich Version): 

To make a slightly  healthier version of this recipe omit egg and shortening by following the adjusted recipe below. I personally do not find a difference in taste between the normal and adjusted recipes so why not cut out a little fat.

  •  2 Packages Active Dry Yeast (5 Tablespoons)
  • ½ Cup Warm Water (105 – 115° or slightly above body temperature)
  • ½ Lukewarm Milk (Scalded then cooled)
  • ½ Sugar
  • 1 Tea. Salt
  • 3½-4 Cups AP Flour
  • ¼ Cup Raisins (Optional)

Step 1: Making the Dough

Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. During this time your yeast should “bloom” or start to foam. This means that it has been activated and will help your dough rise. If, after 5 minutes, your yeast as not bloomed start over with fresh yeast and check your water temperature. Too hot and you will kill your yeast; too cold and they won’t activate. Aim for a water temperature slightly above body temperature.

After your yeast has bloomed whisk in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening.

With a wooden spoon blend in roughly 2½ cups of your AP flour just to start bringing the dough together. Once the dough has begun to form and pull away from the sides of the blow scatter some flour on a clean counter and transfer the dough to the counter for kneading. During the kneading processes you will add between 1 – 1½ cups of AP flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Once at this stage knead dough for 4-5 minutes.

Step 2: Letting the Dough Rise

After you have finished kneading the dough place it in a large bowl that has been greased (use shortening, butter, margin or oil), cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled (roughly an hour). Place the bowl in a warm place to rise.

Step 3: Rolling out the Dough

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it lightly until all the gas has left the dough. This is called “punching down the dough”. Sprinkle a little more flour on your counter and roll out the dough. You want to make a rectangle roughly 10-12″ x 9″.

Step 4: Filling

At this point it is time to spread our filling. In a small bowl cream together ½ cup butter with 1 tablespoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar. Spread mixture evenly across the dough.

Adjusted Recipe for Filling: If you do not want to use a butter-based filling lightly  sprinkle your rectangle of dough with lukewarm water. Make a mix of 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 teaspoon of sugar and dust it across your dough. The water is meant to lightly moisten the dough so help make the cinnamon mixture a paste.

Step 5: Rolling, Cutting and Second Rise

Starting on the edge facing you roll the dough up into a log. Roll it tightly to help reduce air-pockets. When you reach the far end pinch along the seam to ensure it closes.

With a sharp knife, cut 1½ sections and place evenly spaced on a lightly greased cookie sheet cut side up. Repeat until the dough is used. Let dough proof in a warm place for 40 mins until buns rise.

Note: I always favor aluminum pans to non-stick. Teflon heats fast and burns the bottom of most anything you bake.

Step 6: Baking

Pre-heat oven to 375° Bake rolls for 22-30 mins. If the rolls become too brown tent them with a piece of aluminum foil.

Step 7: Glaze

In a small bowl mix confectioner sugar and roughly 2 tablespoons of cold milk with a  fork. Making glaze is a bit tricky; too much milk and you will get runny glaze too little and you will have a chunky dry glaze. You are aiming for a thick, smooth consistency.

Use as much or as little glaze as you like on the buns. I usually put about a tablespoon on the very top and let it run down the sides.