Cinnamon swirly buns
Once there was a chunk of yeasty dough left in a dark corner of the freezer, after making a strudel or a sweet focaccia. It was feeling quite abandoned, thinking: ‘oh, I’m never going to make a Panettone! I’m not even going to make cherry buns! So miserable, cold (well, figures) and lonely it was feeling it decided to take its fate in its hands.
And so it called the cupboard staples to the rescue: cinnamon, nutmeg and raisins. Butter chipped in, as butter is usually of a soft and melting disposition, and so did the raisins, always answering a call of well-kneaded dough.
The rolling pin did its magic, the cinnamon got at the job busily, and the raisins happily jumped on board, always keen to do the cheering-up trick.
Almost – Danish. Best straight from the oven. If you keep them longer than a day – give them a two minute grill attention.
- 350g flour
- 60g sugar
- 2 tsp fast action or 13g fresh yeast
- 80ml/1/3 cup milk
- 55g butter
- 1tsp glycerine
- 60ml/1/4 cup water
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 large eggs
- For the filling:
- 30g melted butter
- ground cinnamon
- ground nutmeg
- about 50ml maple syrup
- zest grated of 1 lemon
- two good handfuls of raisins or sultanas
- a little palm or demerara sugar, for topping
Mix the flour with sugar, salt and yeast. Heat up the milk with vanilla and the butter until it melts, then add the water, put aside to cool slightly, then add to the dry ingredients with the glycerine. Mix with a dough hook attachment adding the eggs, one at a time. Knead until it stops sticking and bounces off the sides of the bowl, or stops sticking to your hands. This takes quite a long time and a couple of tablespoons of extra flour might be needed if the dough keeps sticking. Leave in the bowl in a warm place for an hour, until doubled in volume.
Turn the risen dough out onto a floured surface roll or stretch it out to a rectangle 30 x 20cm. Brush the surface with melted butter quite generously, reserve a little to brush the sides of the swirls before baking and the tops of baked ones. Sprinkle the cinnamon equally generously and the nutmeg more sparingly. Grate the lemon zest over the dough, drizzle with maple syrup and sprinkle the raisins so they cover the surface in a layer. Roll the dough up like a long sausage from the longer side. Seal the seam well, then slice into 2cm chunks.
Place them, cut side up, in a large baking dish lined with parchment, well-spaced apart. Smear some butter on the outside of the swirls so they don’t stick together. Sprinkle a little palm or demerara sugar on top of each bun. Leave covered in a warm place for half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. When the buns have puffed up considerably, transfer them into the oven and bake for 25 minutes until golden. Drizzle some more maple syrup over them while still hot and brush with remaining butter.