As I’ve mentioned before, my dad loves cinnamon rolls. So I made a variation of them – aka these mouthwatering morning buns – to give as a belated birthday/Father’s Day treat. Needless to say, they were a hit and I’ve already received a request for an encore.
Credit goes to Bon Appétit magazine for the inspiration. As soon as I laid eyes on the recipe in the May issue, I wanted to tackle it. But the plan quickly unraveled when I fractured my fibula.
Fast-forward a few months and I’m now standing on two feet and back in baking action! Thank goodness. I missed messing around in the kitchen – and judging by how quickly my dad devoured the mouthwatering morning buns, I think he did, too.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit.
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons milk, divided
- 1⅛ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon + 2 tablespoons honey, divided
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1¾ cups bread flour, divided
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 6 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup honey, divided
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- Turbinado sugar (for finish, optional)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, heat ½ cup milk until warm - about 30 seconds in the microwave should do. Add the yeast and ½ teaspoon honey. Whisk together until thoroughly combined and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the egg whites, remaining 2 tablespoons honey and 1 cup bread flour and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes.
- Remove paddle attachment, scrape down sides of bowl and sprinkle whole-wheat flour and remaining ¾ cup bread flour on top. Let it sit in a warm place, uncovered, for 40 minutes.
- Add the vanilla extract, orange zest, salt, remaining 2 tablespoons milk and egg yolks and knead with a dough hook on low speed until everything comes together to form a shaggy ball. Increase speed to medium and knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic - this will take about 8 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and add the butter pieces, one at a time, beating well after each addition until completely incorporated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.
- In a small sauce pan, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, 2 tablespoons honey and 4 tablespoons butter. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Once the dough has chilled, transfer it to a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Roll out dough into a 16"x12" rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough in an even layer all the way to the edges. Using the parchment paper, roll the dough up lengthwise into a long log and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Transfer it to the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the dough at a slight angle into 6 equal segments.
- Butter 6 jumbo muffin cups. Place the segments into the muffin cups, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough is puffed, about 1 hour.
- When the dough has almost finished rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.
- While the buns are baking, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons honey and 2 tablespoons butter in a small sauce pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the butter melts. Brush over warm buns and sprinkle with Turbinado sugar, if using.
- Remove the buns from the muffin cups and let cool completely.