A Christmas morning tradition in our home is always having fresh, tender, homemade cinnamon rolls on the breakfast table. Christmas morning may be very busy, but it is a must while opening up the gifts to be teased by the heavenly, sweet-smelling cinnamon buns baking in the oven to occasionally distract or lure you to the kitchen!
Year after year, Christmas morning breakfasts may vary but warm, soft cinnamon rolls are a must. These Christmas buns have light layers of buttery dough that reveal the swirled, aromatic cinnamon sugar filling and are topped with a sticky, sugary, gooey glaze with endless nuts. These buns are always on the table for special mornings!
Since fall is officially here, let’s swap in a warm cider honey glaze and stuff them with sweet, diced apples. These buns are made to be enjoyed whenever the time is right and especially when the leaves are slowly falling.
See ya in the kitchen!
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup flour
For the Dough:
4 1/4 – 4 1/2 cups of flour
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Filling:
1 1/2 cups apples, peeled, cored and diced, such as Golden
Delicious, Rome, Granny Smith, or Jonathan
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Glaze: Bring the apple cider to a boil in a small saucepan, simmer to reduce by half, about 15 minutes. Off heat, whisk in the powdered sugar, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla until smooth. Cider glaze will thicken as it cools. Set aside. Can be doubled.
Making the Flour Paste for the Dough:
Whisk water and flour together in a small bowl until no lumps remain. Microwave, whisking every 25 seconds until mixture thickens to stiff smooth, pudding-like consistency. May take 50 – 75 seconds. Cool mixture, to be added to dough later.
For the Dough: In a large mixer bowl to a stand-up mixer, combine 2 1/4 cups of flour and yeast.
In a small saucepan heat, the milk just until warm (120 degrees to 130 degrees). Add to flour, warmed milk, melted butter, sugar, salt, and flour paste. Add in eggs one at a time. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, just until moistened, then beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Then on low speed, add the remaining 2 to 2 1/4 cups of flour as needed.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in a greased bowl, turning once. Cover, let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
For the Filling: In a small bowl, combine sugars, flour, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Cut in the butter till completely combined; set aside
Place the diced apples in a small bowl and toss with the cinnamon; set aside
To Shape the Dough: Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and rest for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a 16″ x 16″ rectangle.
Sprinkle filling over dough, smooth with an offset spatula, top with diced apples, leaving an uncovered strip about 1″ wide along one long end of the dough. Loosen the dough from the counter using a bench scraper, and roll up jelly-roll style; starting from a long side of the dough. It needs to be snug but not tight. Pinch seam to seal, leaving with the seam underneath the completed roll. Using a serrated knife, slice the log into slices. Place buns in prepared muffin tins cut side down. Loosely cover with greased/ sprayed plastic wrap, let the dough rise in a warm place till nearly double, about 45 minutes.
Brush dough with milk and bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until light brown. To prevent over-browning, cover rolls loosely with foil the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove the rolls from the oven, cool slightly. Brush the cider-honey glaze on while the buns are still warm
**Flour Paste is an Asian bread-baking technique called Tangzhong, which makes the dough light and moist.
Hope you enjoy every bite!