There are some words in the English language that elicit laughter. There are words like "Uranus" with slang definitions that translate into bouts of immature giggles when said out loud, particularly when uttered in a room full of seventh graders or college frat boys.
There are also words like "organism" that I always feared I would trip over in high school biology, tentative to say it out loud in case I subconsciously omitted the "ni." There are words that I'm completely comfortable saying out loud but dislike typing, such as "public." One too few taps on the keyboard and your "public knowledge" is not-so-public, if you know what I mean.
There are also silly words. "Wiener" is one that comes to mind. Though you might be tempted to laugh at the idea of a 15-foot long wiener, there are some silly-sounding words that are actually not so funny….
…such as the word 'buns.
Some buns are no laughing matter because they are just so good.
This week's Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge was a good one. I make no secret of the fact that Dessert is my favorite food group so it seems fairly natural that as we bake bread after bread…after bread, I would eventually start Jones-ing for something sweet and cake-like.
Made with shortening and buttermilk (Light buttermilk! Low-fat! Healthy cinnamon rolls! What? Yeah, I know. Not a chance), my dough for these was moist and pliable and did everything the way it was supposed to – from rising, to shaping, to tasting straight up delicious.
Now, I know the golden BBA rule is that we aren't supposed to post recipes. I have as much respect for Peter Reinhart as the next person and I truly don't want to be a BBA Challenge delinquent.
So I decided to find a so-close-it's-a-fraternal-twin version of the recipe for Peter Reinhart's cinnamon rolls over on an awesome food blog called Ezra Pound Cake. After you make these, you can decide if you want to buy the book or not.
Peter Reinhart's Cinnamon Buns
6 1/2 tablespoons (3.25 ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 tablespoons (2.75 ounces) shortening or unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon extract or zest
3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons (.22 ounce) instant yeast
1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups (9 to 10 ounces) whole milk or buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cinnamon sugar
(6 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 tablespoons cinnamon)
1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar, salt and shortening on medium-high speed. Whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook, and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is tacky but not sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to cover it with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap.
2. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
3. Mist the counter with spray oil, and transfer the dough to the counter. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour. Roll it into a rectangle about 2/3 inch thick and 14 inches wide by 12 inches long for larger buns, or 18 inches wide by 9 inches long for smaller buns. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough, and roll the dough up into a log, creating a spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 even pieces, each about 1 3/4 inches thick for larger buns; or 12 to 16 pieces each 1 1/4 inch thick for smaller buns.
4. Line 1 or more sheet pans with baking parchment. Place the buns approximately 1/2 inch apart.
5. Proof at room temperature for 75 to 90 minutes, or until the pieces have grown into one another and have nearly doubled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
7. Bake the buns for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
8. Cool the buns in the pan for about 10 minutes, and then glaze the tops. Remove the buns from the pans, and place them on a cooling rack. Wait at least 20 minutes before serving.
Cinnamon Bun Glaze (via Bon Apetit)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla. Spread glaze on rolls.
These were some nice buns.