Cinnamon buns area classic, a yearly staple for Christmas brunch at the Romanos table. Ever since I canremember weve always had them along side a table full of timelessbreakfast foods; my dads famousomelette with cheese andvegetables, potato hash, bbqd back bacon, fruit and the list goes on and on. Theres enough food tokeep us full until the table is re-filled for the nights feast of turkey dinner.
And what a feast it is! But thats another story.
Last weekend a good group of friends got together at the cottage to celebrate some holiday cheer. Because of the holidays and this classic tradition that our family has, I wanted to share and pass those on to my friends. Between all of us we shared the meals and the work load. I knew instantly that I wanted to make cinnamon buns for brunch.
Instead of the classic recipe I made a few changes to make them a little more festive jam packed with tart cranberries and toasted pecans with a dash of nutmeg! These tweaks made our meal just a wee more merry than the usual cinnamon bun recipe.
With only a few left in the dish and bellies full, Id say we had a successful brunch!
Notes when making cranberry pecan cinnamon buns
- The temperature of the yeast is important to activate it properly.Keep the milk between 110 and 115F. If its cooler the yeast may not activate and if its hotter you may kill the yeast before it can help the dough rise.
- Flour can be difficult to gauge. Just remember to go easy at first and add as you go. If you add toomuch flour the rolls will be dry and tough. Not enough flour and the buns wont have any structure to rise.
- Roll your dough as tight as possible. This can be difficult when its full of cranberries and nuts but if its too loose the buttery, cinnamon filling will fall to the bottom of the pan.
- For fresh cinnamon buns in the morning refrigerate the dough overnight.This is also great to do as working with a colder dough is easier for rolling out and rolling the filling. Do this stage after the first rise in the recipe.
- You can use fresh or frozen cranberries, either work so dont fret!
- Dont overbake your buns. You dont want crispy hard dough, just bake them until browned and the centre is set.
- cup full milk
- cup sugar, separated (2 teaspoons of sugar)
- cup unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- cup warm water
- 1 package active dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 - 3 cups all purpose flour
- cup packed brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- cup toasted pecans
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1-2 tablespoons hot water
- teaspoon almond extract
- In a small saucepan, heat milk, sugar (all but 2 teaspoons of the sugar) and butter together until sugar has dissolved and butter is melted, add salt. Turn off heat and let cool until lukewarm.
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl add warm water, yeast and the 2 teaspoons of the remaining sugar. Let rest approx. 10 minutes until frothy.
- Add milk mixture, eggs, and 3 cups of the flour to your yeast. Knead dough for approx. 8 minutes until smooth and elastic (add more flour if needed).
- Form dough into a ball and place in a greased (oiled) large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest until doubled in size, approx. 1 - 1 hours.
- Once dough is doubled in size, place on a lightly floured work surface and punch dough down. Roll into a large rectangle approx. 13 inches x 9 inches.
- Spread butter over the entire rectangle leaving about inch from the edges.
- In a small bowl mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Spoon the sugar mixture over the butter and press down. Sprinkle cranberries and pecans evenly over and gentle press into dough.
- Starting at the long side of the rectangle, tightly roll into a log pinching seam to seal.
- Using a serrated knife, cut rolls approximately 1 inch thick and place into a buttered 9x13 baking dish.
- Cover with plastic and let rest for 20-30 mins.
- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350F.
- Place cinnamon buns in the middle of your preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Let cinnamon buns cool on a cooling rack before icing.
- Make your icing. Add all ingredients together and whisk. Add more water for a thinner icing or more icing sugar for a thicker icing. Drizzle over the top and serve warm.
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