Dorie Greenspan’s Cinnamon Raisin Buns , Brown Sugar Sticky Pecan Buns
Let me tell you a story about Annie and her husband. I’ve never met Annie, never spoken to her and she doesn’t even know I exist. And her husband? He died at the age of 35.
But somehow, I know they will change my life. I came across Annie while reading an article from the New York Times. The article was on how people tend to procrastinate having fun. How many of us are guilty of NOT redeeming frequent flier miles, NOT cashing in gift certificates, NOT drinking that special bottle of wine (in my case, SAVING that special bottle of balsamic vinegar for a special occasion)? Many of us are by nature, procrastinators of pleasure.
If there is one thing I urge you to do today please read these articles . I don’t think I can paraphrase better than the author can write so best you check it out yourself . Please don’t just bookmark it and save reading for a day when you have more time. Read it now.
So I learned about Annie when I read her comment to the article. This is what she said:
“My late husband was a frugal, intelligent, cautious man who made choices carefully, researched his options, weighed the cost versus benefits of any situation and generally erred on the side of saving, money, time, and energy for later. He worked very hard, took good care of his health and his things and didn’t allow himself too much pleasure, often stealing from the pleasures he did allow to touch him by worrying that they were undeserved or could have been gotten for a better price, the time or money used for something more “useful”. He died when he was 35 years old with money in the bank and all his bills paid. He loved to ski but hadn’t done any skiing in years. He was waiting, who knows what for? I have made it my task in life to honor his memory by living the life he denied himself. I appreciated everything about him, and I know he is glad that I am living a joyful life in his absence. It was the only request he made of me before he left the planet, that I be happy. If you can’t seem to allow yourself joy for your own sake, do it for someone who can’t do it for themselves. A friend or love one who is in the hospital or sick, or dying or gone. Do it in celebration of them and the life they didn’t get to live fully….”
Why do people put of for tomorrow what they can enjoy today?
So here’s a simple New Year’s Resolution that I have made to myself – start having fun… NOW!
Oh, and what better way to do it than to make some delicious Cinnamon Raisin Buns using Dorie Greenspan’s Spiced Sweet Dough.
Basic Recipe – Spiced Sweet Dough Adapted from Dorie Greenspan
- 1 cup warm whole milk (41 c)
- 2 envelopes active dry yeast (total 14 grams or 4 1/2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon plus 2/3 cup sugar
- 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature(125 grams)
Stir milk, yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar in small bowl. Let stand until mixture bubbles, about 6 minutes. Stir again.
Mix remaining 2/3 cup sugar and orange peel in medium bowl.
Add flour, cinnamon, salt, and ginger to bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment; mix on low speed. Add yeast mixture; mix on medium-low speed until dry shaggy mass forms, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 2 minutes. Add egg and egg yolk; beat on medium speed until well blended. At this point in time I was starting to doubt the recipe was going to work. The dough did not seem to be coming together into a smooth mass, it had looked almost like it had split.
Add sugar mixture; beat until moist soft dough that resembles thick batter forms, about 3 minutes. Dough now starting to improve… looks like there is hope!
Add butter by 1 1/2 tablespoonfuls; beat on medium-low speed until almost incorporated before adding more, about 2 minutes (dough will be sticky). Beat dough on medium-high 2 minutes longer. Finally dough has come together into a smooth mass! Hooray! Let dough rest in bowl 10 minutes (dough will become less sticky).
Scrape dough out onto work surface; gather together. Place in large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise at room temperature until almost doubled, about 2 hours. Punch dough down; cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
Recipe for Filling – adapted from Dorie Greenspan
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons golden brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange peel
- 3/4 cup raisins
- Spiced Sweet Dough (above)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, warm room temperature (Around 125 grams)
Butter two 33 x 23 x 5-cm baking dishes.
Whisk both sugars and cinnamon in small bowl.
Turn cold Spiced Sweet Dough out onto floured surface; sprinkle with flour. Divide dough in half. Roll out dough to two 38 x 30 -cm rectangles. Using fingers, spread 4 tablespoons butter evenly over each rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar, half of the grated orange peel and half of the raisings over each. Starting at 1 long side of each dough rectangle, tightly roll up dough jelly-roll style, enclosing filling. Using a piece of butcher’s twine, cut each roll crosswise into fifteen 1-inch-thick slices. (See image below, otherwise, use a sharp knife). Arrange 15 dough slices in the baking dish, spacing evenly apart. Cover with plastic wrap; let rise in warm draft-free area until buns are puffy and doubled, about 1 hour 45 minutes. This will depend on the weather as well. It has very hot the day I made these and only needed an hour before the buns rose.
- Preheat to 170 °C (fan forced). Bake buns until deep golden brown and filling is barely bubbling around edges, about 25 minutes. Let buns stand 2 minutes. Cool at least 45 minutes. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
To Glaze (optional)
- 1 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Heat the milk and maple syrup in a small saucepan.
- Pour the milk mixture into a bowl with the icing sugar and stir until the mixture is lump free.
- Spread over the cinnamon rolls.