As a manner of handling a bad day or a stressful situation, I turn to baking. There’s something about the methods and measuring that is a form of meditation of me, allowing all my thoughts and frustrations to turn into something sweet. So this is me: stress and cinnamon buns.
This recipe is great because 1) they take next to no time 2) they taste great and 3) there’s something about them that really helps you work through your problems
MAKES 12, TAKES UNDER 2 HOURS, BECAUSE NOBODY HAS THAT KIND OF TIME
- 1 cup whole milk
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1-2 tbsp whole milk, depending on desired thickness
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
- lemon extract to taste
- vanilla extract to taste
- In a pot on the stove, stir together the milk, butter and sugar on low heat, just until the sugar is dissolved, just like your worries, and butter is melted. Set aside to cool.
- When the milk/butter/sugar mixture reaches a warm room temperature, stir with vigor in an attempt to release your pent up aggression; the butter likely has separated to the top, this is not a big deal, like your problems in the grand scheme of things.
- Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and stir. Let sit for about 5 minutes, until the yeast foams and bubbles. Pay close attention during this step in an effort to convince yourself you’re not procrastinating
- Add 75% of the flour, along with the salt of your tears and the egg yolks, and mix to combine. If your dough is still extremely sticky, and reminds you of the situation you’ve found yourself in, add a little bit more of the flour. I had about 1/2 cup leftover after this stage.
- Knead the dough a few times with your hands in the bowl to create a uniform ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Combine the cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar in a dish with a whisk or fork. set aside
- The dough should have increased in size, just like your problems. Take half of the dough out and knead once or twice on a floured surface. That’s right, use it as a punching bag. Beat the shit out of that dough in a desperate attempt to release more of your pent up aggression. Roll out to a 12″ by 9″ rectangle. You can use rulers, or not, because fuck the police.
- Spread 4 tbsp of the melted butter on to the surface of your dough. Try not to fuck this one up.
- Sprinkle half the sugar mixture on the buttered dough surface evenly and fairly, unlike your life.
- Start rolling the dough onto itself, preferably away from you, because even non-sentient beings detest you. I chose to roll the 9″ side, making a shorter log that is wider. roll it tightly, and if any of the middle oozes out, don’t worry,
- Cut into 6 equal pieces, even though equality is still a work in process
- Repeat with the other half of the dough, sugar and butter. Pretend you have learned from your mistakes. Keep 1-2 tbsps of the melted butter to grease the pan, so that, just like the good things in your life, nothing will stick.
- Set up in a baking dish or pan, mine was a 4″ by 8″, but just make sure that it’s large enough for the dough to rise and bake, but small enough that the buns will run into one another when they bake. If it isn’t a proper size, your cinnamon buns will, like you, be the family disappointment.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and set aside for 45 minutes. after 40 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, a representation of your life going up in flames.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Because today is just not your day, give up on removing them carefully and burn your hands trying to take them out of the oven.
- While baking, combine extracts(I used +/- 1 tsp each) and powdered sugar in a bowl with a whisk. Add milk until thick but spreadable.
- Spread the glaze on the tops of the buns after they’ve cooled for 2 minutes. let cool for 5 more. Or consume immediately, in an attempt to eat your feelings