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Cinnamon Buns

I met the challenge… the Daring Bakers challenge that is!


I am very excited to be involved w/ this great group of talented bakers. For September, we were asked to try our hand at cinnamon buns. I’ve never made these delicious goodies but was looking forward to it because who can resist the smell of cinnamon and other spices wafting from the oven!! And who can resist not biting into one (or two) of the finished product! I know I can’t!! Here’s my version of the selected recipe…


Cinnamon Buns (from Peter Reinhart´s The Break Baker´s Apprentice)


15 minutes mixing; 3 1/2 hours fermentation, shaping and proofing; 20 to 40 minutes baking.

Yield: Makes 8 to 12 large or 12 to 16 smaller 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 or margarine
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 1/2 cups (16 ounces) unbleached bread or all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast*
  • 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature OR 3 tablespoons powdered milk (DMS) and 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar (6 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, or any other spices you want to use, cardamom, ginger, allspice, etc.)
  • White fondant glaze (at the end of the recipe.)  

*Instant yeast contains about 25% more living cells per spoonful than active dry yeast, regardless of the brand. Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or fast-rising.

1. Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening or butter on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a large metal spoon and mixing bowl and do it by hand); if you are using powdered milk, cream the milk with the sugar, and add the water with the flour and yeast. Whip in the egg and lemon extract/zest until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast, and milk. Mix on low speed (or stir by hand) until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes (or knead by hand for 12 to 15 minutes), or until the dough is silky and supple, tacky but not sticky. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the 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. Proceed as shown in the photo on the left for shaping the buns.

(Transcription: (A) Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, lightly dusting the top with flour to keep it from sticking to the pin. 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. Don´t roll out the dough too thin, or the finished buns will be tough and chewy rather than soft and plump. (B)Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and (C) roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log, creating a cinnamon-sugar spiral as you roll. With the seam side down, cut the dough into 8 to 12 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 so that they aren´t touching but are close to one another.

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. You may also retard the shaped buns in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, pulling the pans out of the refrigerator 3 to 4 hours before baking to allow the dough to proof.

6. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with the oven rack in 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 streak white fondant glaze across the tops, while the buns are warm but not too hot. Remove the buns from the pans and place them on a cooling rack. Wait for at least 20 minutes before serving.

White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns are usually topped with a thick white glaze called fondant. There are many ways to make fondant glaze, but here is a delicious and simple version, enlivened by the addition of citrus flavor, either lemon or orange. You can also substitute vanilla extract or rum extract, or simply make the glaze without any flavorings.

Sift 4 cups of powdered sugar into a bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon or orange extract and 6 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of warm milk, briskly whisking until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the milk slowly and only as much as is needed to make a thick, smooth paste.

When the buns have cooled but are still warm, streak the glaze over them by dipping the tines of a fork or a whisk into the glaze and waving the fork or whisk over the tops. Or, form the streaks by dipping your fingers in the glaze and letting it drip off as you wave them over the tops of the buns. (Remember to wear latex gloves.)

**The only variations I made to the recipe were:

1) I used orange zest instead of lemon zest

2) For the spices, I used Penzy’s Cake Spice and ground cardamom seeds

3) I brushed the fondant onto the buns which resulted in a light glaze

I brought the buns to my friends’ house for dessert. We all loved them and found it hard to resist eating all of them!!

Until next time…


31 Responses to “Cinnamon Buns”

  1. 1 Laurie

    Congrats on your first challenge! Job very well done I would say. They look fabulous! xo

  2. 2 Dolores

    Congratulations and welcome! Nice buns, heh.

  3. 3 Marce

    Congrats on your first challenge! I´m glad you liked the buns.

  4. 4 peabody

    Looks like you have been making them all your life…well done.

  5. 5 steph (whisk/spoon)

    mmmm…perfect and round (mine cme out on the square side for some reason)! great job on the challenge!

  6. 6 Anne

    it’s good to know you liked it. your buns looks utterly delicious with that shiny glaze :)

  7. 7 Annemarie

    Congrats on being all daring, and getting that first challenge done. Great buns!

  8. 8 Anne

    Congratulations! :) The buns look great!

  9. 9 Jes

    Your buns look wonderful!

  10. 10 Anita

    Great job and welcome to the DBs!

  11. 11 Tartelette

    ABsolutely lip smacking good Bruno! Great job on your first challenge!

  12. 12 Belinda

    A Daring Baker challenge well done! The cinnamon buns looks gorgeous! No surprise that your friends gobbled them all up! :-)

  13. 13 breadchick

    Great job on your first challenge. Welcome to our crew!!

  14. 14 Jenny

    Beautiful! Welcome to the DB!

  15. 15 Anh

    Just excellent!

  16. 16 brunosdream

    Hello everyone and thank you all so much for your compliments about my buns… I had no idea that flour, butter and sugar were so good for “bun enhancement” :-)

  17. 17 Pille

    You certainly have met the Daring Bakers challenge, Bruno! Well done!

  18. 18 The Cooking Ninja

    Your buns looks delicious and I learn something new from your blog on these buns. I tend to roll out my bun a bit thin. Perhaps that’s why it doesn’t taste as good.

  19. 19 Deborah

    Great job on your first challenge!!

  20. 20 maria~

    Whoa! The glaze reminds me of the Krispy Kreme glaze. Awesome!

  21. 21 Aoife

    Welcome to the Daring Bakers! It looks like you aced your first challenge with those tight, neat rolls.

  22. 22 Bruno

    Deborah – Thanks! I’m looking forward to the next challenge.

    Maria – Thank you! The light glaze added just the right amount of sweetness.

    Aoife – Thanks so much! I enjoyed the challenge.

  23. 23 Lisa

    Awww Bruno, they turned out beautifully!! I’m so happy you and your guests enjoyed them! I can’t wait to see what you create next month!


  24. 24 brilynn

    Well done Bruno! The orange zest would have been really good too.

  25. 25 Julie

    That’s a tasty-looking plate of buns! Congrats on your first challenge. =)

  26. 26 Baking Soda

    Yes…bun enhancement…let’s not go there..sigh. I think your friends love you for your buns! Good job!

  27. 27 brunosdream

    Lisa – Thanks! I’m looking forward to the next challenge…

    Brilynn – Thank you! The orange zest added a nice touch.

    Julie – Thanks! See ya next time…

    Baking Soda – Gracias!

  28. 28 Andrea

    Your first challenge turned out great! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!!

  29. 29 brunosdream

    Thanks Andrea! I’m enjoying the Daring Bakers….

  30. 30 Patricia Scarpin


    I’m no longer a part of the group but I’m glad to know you are – the buns look amazing!

  31. 31 brunosdream

    Thanks Patricia! Sorry to hear you are no longer a “Daring Baker” – I’m not sure how long I will last before I break the rules…

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