Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bread Baker's Apprentice: Cinnamon Buns

My version of Peter Reinhardt's Cinnamon Buns wouldn't win any bake sale prizes--whole wheat flour gives them a less-fluffy look, and the lack of white fondant icing (which I think is overkill on a good cinnamon bun) completes their rustic charm. They were, however, sweet, fluffy, and lemony, and while not the most decadent pastry I could imagine, certainly enough so for Matt to call them dessert.

I had a surprising amount of trouble with this basic recipe, trouble which I tentatively blame on the flour combination I used. I've mentioned that I find many of the BBA recipes to need a lot of extra hydration. This one went the other way. I ran out of white flour halfway through, and so the recipe was half whole wheat bread flour, with a splash of fine semolina. In my mind, this flour substitution, especially with the absorption breaks I kept giving it, should have meant the dough was dry, if anything. Instead, it was so wet that I couldn't knead it, and ended up gooshing it around more like the ciabatta dough, after adding a good deal more flour on my hands. I finally just got frustrated and set it to rise, figuring it would be what it would be. I then forgot about it and it got a 6-hour rise instead of the two it was meant to have, and it would have been longer except that I happened to stumble on the bowl on my counter while going to make something else. It had more than quadrupled in size, but luckily the yeast wasn't exhausted and they proofed just fine once I had gotten the cinnamon and sugar and pecans and raisins in, and cooked up ok, though whole wheat dough never bakes as pretty as all white in pastries like these.Speaking of pastries, I am really looking forward to getting out of the all butter all the time part of the book (seriously, where's the bread--I miss Daniel Leader, who doesn't mess around), and relegating the butter back to where it belongs--Tuesdays with Dorie. But I have no complaints about these cinnamon buns other than the abysmal time I had kneading them, the flavor is a good mix of lemony and sweet.


Leslie said...

I bet these were delicious! You must have been surprised to find them after forgetting they were rising. Good thing the dough didn't take over your kitchen!

Sara said...

Looks yummy! I can't wait till I get to the cinnamon buns...they look so delicious!

Susie said...

Even though you say you had troubles they sure look great.
Nice baking along with you,

The Missing Piece said...

looks good! I had to add more flour to mine also... about 6 TBs.
I thought the dough smelled wonderful! (and they tasted good too! lol)

Rebeca said...

They look yummy! I'm making PR's whole wheat version from his Whole Grains Book. Too much butter for you, too much white flour for me!