Cinnamon rolls are a labour of love – they take time. The dough must be kneaded for ten minutes, then it rises for an hour and a half, and after it’s rolled out, the buns must rise again for nearly an hour before they’re baked. It’s a process. One I love.
Actually, when I was making them this weekend, I had this wonderful thought wash over me, that was “I’m BACK!” – life gets so busy when you have your first little one, and I spent the first year feeling overwhelmed, tired, and jumpy. Cooking was a necessity, but rarely did I have the time or the peaceful mental state required to work on yeast breads.
It was a really lovely feeling. And it was followed by an abundance of insanely gooey, delicious cinnamon buns, studded with apples and drizzled with a tangy buttermilk glaze.
They take time, yes. But they’re actually not that difficult. Especially when you let your stand mixer do the heavy lifting (i.e. the kneading).
I love the fall addition of apples to the rolls – such a natural fit. Make sure to slice them thin and chop them fine – because the baking time is short, you want to make sure they can soften a bit.
We enjoyed some while they were still warm from the oven, then I went ahead and froze the rest. Otherwise, I’d have a problem.
So good. So sticky. So cozy.
Om nom nom.
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg
- 4 to 4 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 ¼ tsp instant (or quick rise or bread machine) yeast
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- vegetable oil, for bowl
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- ? cup soft butter
- 4 medium apples, peeled, thinly sliced then chopped
- 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp buttermilk
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Warm buttermilk and butter in microwave in 20 second intervals until butter starts to melt; let stand for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to finish melting (don’t overheat buttermilk or it will curdle). Add egg and beat with fork.
- Whisk together 4 cups of the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add buttermilk mixture and beat until dough comes together.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding remaining flour as needed until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, but sticks to the bottom.
- Add a splash of oil to the bowl and turn dough to coat both the dough and the sides of the bowl. Cover with a clean towel and place somewhere warm to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in volume.
To make filling:
- Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
- On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll dough into a rectangle 15″ wide and 1/4″ thick. Spread evenly with softened butter, then sprinkle with brown sugar mixture and top with apples. Roll up the dough, starting at the long edge closest to you – use a bench scraper or metal spatula to help lift it if it sticks. Slice into 16 equal pieces and arrange in parchment-lined baking dishes (two 9″ square, or other sizes are fine – just don’t over-crowd them). Let rise 45 minutes, until nearly doubled again.
- Bake in 375ºF oven for 20 minutes, or until golden.
To make glaze:
- Whisk together all glaze ingredients and drizzle over cooled cinnamon buns.