Chef Michael Smith is one of my favorite chefs, not only because he’s Canadian, but his recipes are simple and very delicious! I was craving something different for breakfast and decided to make a batch of Chef Smith’s Cinnamon Buns. Just a piece of advice, make sure you plan ahead and give yourself enough time, you want to give time for you dough to rise properly.
The Sweet Dough:
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 – 1/4 ounce package instant yeast
The Cinnamon Filling:
1 stick butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (35%)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the sweet dough, gently warm the milk, butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a small pot. Don’t bring to a simmer; warm just enough to melt the butter.
Meanwhile, measure one-half of the flour into the bowl of your stand mixer along with the yeast. Add the warm milk and melted butter mixture to the flour and beat with your paddle attachment until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating until smooth before proceeding. Switch to a dough hook and add the remaining flour.
Remove and knead until a soft dough forms that is no longer sticky to the touch, about 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rest in a warm place until dough doubles in size. This could take as long as 2 hours.
For the filling, stir or whisk together the softened butter with the brown sugar and the cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
Once the dough has risen, knock it down and let it rest for a few minutes. Flour your work surface, the dough, your hands and a rolling pin. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle shape, about 18 x 12 inches (45 x 30 cm), with the long side facing you. Evenly spread the cinnamon filling all over the top of the dough, leaving 1 or 2 inches (2.5 or 5 cm) uncovered along the top edge (Leaving a border helps the dough stick together when you form the roll.)
Roll into a long, tight, cigar-shaped log from the covered long edge to the uncovered long edge. Brush the outside of the log with oil or melted butter. Slice the dough log into 12 or 16 sections. Turn each on its side and position evenly in a lightly oiled 15- x 10-inch baking pan.
Rest, uncovered, until the dough doubles in size once again and the rolls swell into each other, filling the pan. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). When the dough has risen a second time, bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
When the cinnamon rolls have cooled enough to handle, stir together the glaze ingredients and drizzle all over the rolls. Serve immediately!