Cinnamon buns have been calling to me lately. It must be the strong force of winter this season. Storm after storm seems like at least once a week. Not that I mind the snow. We usually have little to no snowfall during the winter months on the island. Rain and wind are frequent, so when it does snow its magical. Cold weather beckons for warm and hearty meals and decadent treats to share with loved ones and friends. But let’s not digress from cinnamon buns…. Citrusy notes of blood orange and tangerine mixed with sweet vanilla bean and maple syrup and the warm spice of cinnamon come together in sublime unison. Cravings satiated.
This recipe uses a no-knead dough which will need 12-18 hours to rise. So start the dough the day before and bake the following morning.
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/3 cup of a mixture of equal parts fresh blood orange and tangerine juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp zest from blood orange and tangerine (zest before juicing)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean powder (or seeds scraped from vanilla bean)
- 3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil (you may substitute with melted coconut oil or melted earth balance spread)
- 1/2 cup rapadura (whole cane sugar)
- 1 Tbs ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp blood orange or tangerine zest
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together flours and yeast.
- In a large liquid measuring cup whisk together water, juice, maple syrup, zest and vanilla.
- Add wet to dry and use a fork to mix everything together and then use your hand to bring dough together. This dough will be wet and sticky. If dough seems too dry add more water a tablespoon at a time until soft and sticky.
- Cover bowl with plastic film or a tea towel and let sit for 12-18 hours. Dough should double in size and be covered in air bubbles.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl.
- Scrape dough out of bowl onto a well floured surface. Generously flour the top of dough and your rolling pin. Roll dough into a roughly shaped rectangle to about 3/8″ thick, flip dough over throughout the process and re-flour work surface to keep dough from sticking.
- Spread oil evenly over dough and then sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly on top of the oil. Sprinkle zest on top of sugar mixture.
- Starting from the long side closest to you roll the dough up into a log. Cut dough into pieces about 2″ in width.
- Arrange rolls in an 8″ cast iron skillet or cake pan and cover with a tea towel.
- Let rise for 1-1.5 hours until they become quite puffy.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF for 1/2 hour.
- Bake buns for 35-45 minutes or until they are golden brown and you can smell them in the oven.
- Cool buns in skillet on a rack while you assemble the glaze.
- In a medium saucepan whisk all ingredients together on medium heat until thickened and smooth and shiny. This glaze is very forgiving- if it seems too thick add more juice/if it seems to loose and more arrowroot.
- Pour warm glaze over warm buns and serve right away.
These buns are best eaten warm the day you make them but can keep overnight. This recipe can be easily doubled. You can also freeze uncooked buns (best to use a disposable cake pan here) that have not risen for a second time. When ready to bake, remove from freezer and allow to come to room temperature and then let them rise and continue recipe from there.