I can’t remember where I first got the inspiration for making cinnamon buns using bought dough; it may have been a magazine or the TV. Anyway, when I was in digs and on a very tight budget, I started making them. Most Pick n Pay stores will sell you bread dough if you ask for it. It’s quite economical, I paid R 10 for a kg of dough, and the best part is the hard work is already done for you. However if you want to make your own basic bread or brioche dough, I applaud you, but as I have no breadmaker I have decided life is too short. Anyway this is supposed to be a shortcut recipe.
So this is my cheating way of making cinnamon buns. They were a firm favorite of most of my dig mates. This week Tandy of Lavender and Lime, issued a “sweet challenge” using cranberries. I love cranberries and could not resist taking up the challenge. So I substituted cranberries for the raisins and chucked in some chopped pecans and some lemon zest. The result is a comforting, doughy, sweet- tangy bun that is comforting.
1 packet, about a kilogram of fresh bread dough
50g of softened butter
4 tablespoons dark brown (treacle) sugar
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
100g dried cranberries
50g chopped pecans
Zest of 1 lemon
100g icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Beaten egg for glazing
The dough you have bought will probably have risen a bit. Punch it down flat, and roll it out into a rectangle 30×60 cm and about ½ a centimeter thick. The butter needs to be soft enough to smear across the dough. Smear the dough with the butter. In a small bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle the sugar mix evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the cranberries over the dough. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the dough. Zest the lemon and sprinkle the zest over the dough. Roll up the dough, pressing firmly so that you form a log about 60cm long.
Cut into 6cm rounds, you should get about 8- 10 rounds. Or square tin that the buns will fit tightly in. Turn the rounds on their sides and flatten slightly with your hand. Grease a 26cm nonstick round tin with Spray n cook. Place the biggest bun in the middle. Place the others around it leaving a slight gap in-between. I sometimes have two buns left over so I cook them separately.
Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Leave the buns somewhere warm to rise for 20min. Brush with beaten egg and bake for 25 min till golden on top.
Cool the buns slightly in the tin before removing. Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice to make a thin icing to drizzle over the top. These are best served warm and eaten the day they are made.
Note: To make plain cinnamon buns leave substitute raisins for the cranberries and leave out the lemon.