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In Search of the Perfect Cinnamon Bun

Updated: May 14, 2020

I love bread. All kind of bread.

Unless it’s filled with whole grains and it’s good for you . . . Then, not so much.

If it’s made with white flour, and butter and eggs happen to be involved, I know I’m going to love it. I am not a third generation baker for nothing . . .

I’ve been making bread for years and over time I began to make a simple cinnamon bun as a treat, using some of my bread dough. They are pretty yummy.

But . . . by no stretch of the imagination can they be called the perfect cinnamon bun!

And that’s what I began to crave.

Jesse’s idea of a perfect cinnamon bun would be a Cinnabon cinnamon bun. I find them too spicy. I like my cinnamon in moderation. In Henry and Jesse’s opinion, it’s too moderate . . . To them, my idea of moderate is their idea of bland.

And so, the search for the perfect cinnamon bun recipe began . . .

My first stop is chef Michael Smith’s cinnamon roll recipe. He starts with sweet dough which I haven’t done up until now. People . . . he uses 2 tablespoons of vanilla and a stick of butter! How could you go wrong with that?? And just to note: I always use butter when I bake, never margarine. It’s more expensive for sure, but I figure if I’m going to take the time to bake I may as well use the good stuff. (that said, when my kids were little and I went through a lot of baking I used margarine and saved the butter for special occasions) Chef Michael’s recipe is a little involved, and it takes longer than my bread recipe, but oh my, is it worth it! So, so yummy! I did tweak his recipe a bit though. He used an icing glaze on his rolls but, since I’m in search of the perfect rolls, I substituted my own recipe for butter icing. And yes, I use real butter in that too. ;D

You can find chef Michael’s recipe here: cinnamon rolls

And this is my recipe for Butter Icing:

Rosa’s Butter Icing 1 cup softened butter 2 2/3 cups icing sugar 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla (to taste) 2-3 tablespoons milk or unwhipped (35%) cream

Beat butter til nicely softened. Add in icing sugar, vanilla and milk. Mix until icing sugar is incorporated. Beat 3-5 minutes on high. Icing gets light and fluffy and increases in volume. (Of course if, like me, you go off to work on a new fantasy piece on your computer and then lose all sense of time, you will come back to overly warm, rather thin icing. Still yummy, but not perfect.) *The one pictured is just about right though.

Enjoy! We sure did . . .

Do you have a better recipe? Is it your idea of the perfect cinnamon bun?? I’d love to try it out if you’re willing to share.

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