Sourdough Cinnamon Buns with Honey Caramel Glaze

When I went to university, study breaks were accompanied by gloriously gooey cinnamon buns and endless cups of tea. UBC (the University of British Columbia) is very well known for its excellent cinnamon buns.

My son Greg is passionate about making sourdough bread and he was delighted to discover from an aunt that it’s possible to use a sourdough starter to make cinnamon buns too! This is Greg’s recipe which is a combination of hers and mine – the sourdough adds extra flavour and makes the cinnamon buns lighter.

In our experience, the best way to obtain some sourdough starter is from a friend who already has some, or you could try making your own. See tips and a useful link below the recipe to learn how to feed and nurture your sourdough starter.

Mixing up the dough should be done the day before (it only takes 5-10 minutes), then you can finish and bake your superb sourdough cinnamon buns in the morning. If your house is anything like mine, you’ll be met with rapturous smiles of appreciation.

This recipe is suitable for Thermomix TM5 and TM31.

ACTIVE TIME 20 MINUTES

TOTAL TIME 13 HOURS

MAKES 8 BUNS

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Ingredients

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

  • 190 g unsalted butter, plus 3 tsp for greasing
  • 420 g plain white (all purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 240 g active sourdough starter – see tips
  • 20 g real maple syrup
  • 130 g milk
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp soda bicarbonate (baking soda)
  • 90 g brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 80 g raisins or sultanas (golden raisins) – optional

Honey Caramel Glaze

  • 70 g whipping cream
  • 90 g unsalted butter
  • 40 g brown sugar
  • 25 g honey
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt

Method

Sourdough Cinnamon Buns

  1. Grease a large bowl with 1 tsp butter and set it aside; mix flour and 130 g butter 10 sec/speed 5.
  2. Add active sourdough starter, maple syrup and milk, knead 1 min/dough setting, transfer dough to greased bowl, cover with a tea towel or cling film and allow to rest and rise for 10 hours or overnight – the dough may rise only a little in a cold kitchen or it may double in size in warm kitchens.
  3. Measure sea salt, baking powder and soda bicarbonate into a small bowl, stir to mix, then sprinkle over risen dough; gently mix in by kneading dough lightly by hand just until incorporated.
  4. Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and remaining 60 g butter 20 sec/37°C/speed 5.
  5. Scrape down sides of TM bowl with spatula and mix 20 sec/37°C/speed 2 to create a soft, almost liquid, spreadable paste. Lightly flour a smooth work surface and rolling pin, roll dough into a 1.5-2 cm thick rectangle measuring approx. 35 x 45 cm, spread cinnamon butter evenly across dough with a spatula, then sprinkle evenly with raisins/sultanas. Starting from short side, roll dough up (just tightly enough to keep its rolled shape and hold onto the raisins) and finish with seam underneath, then cut in eight slices approx. 5 cm thick.
  6. Grease with remaining 2 tsp butter either a deep sided 23 x 33 cm rectangular cake tin or a deep sided, 26 cm diameter cast iron frying pan (cast iron bakes the buns beautifully because of its even heat distribution). Place rolls in tin/pan with cut side up, press raisins into the cinnamon butter so they’re not sitting on top loosely, then cover and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in size approx. 1-2 hours; towards the end of this time, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4/Aga roasting oven.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes (Aga: 20-25 minutes on rack set on floor of roasting oven) or until golden; meanwhile make honey caramel glaze.

 

Honey Caramel Glaze

  1. Heat all ingredients ­­10 min/Varoma/speed 3 so the glaze is ready when the buns are baked. On removing buns from oven, turn pan upside down onto a serving plate to release cinnamon buns. Pour glaze evenly over hot buns then enjoy them fresh and fragrant while still warm!

Janie’s Tips

  1. To make 12 smaller cinnamon buns, in step 5 roll up from long side of rectangle then cut into 12 pieces.
  2. Cinnamon buns can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days although they’re best when freshly baked.
  3. Cinnamon buns can be frozen on day of baking once they are glazed and completely cooled. Can be frozen up to 2 months.
  4. Your sourdough starter needs to be ‘active’ when used in a baking recipe, which means it bubbles up to approximately double its size within about 5-10 hours after being fed (see 6th tip) – these bubbles are carbon dioxide created by the starter’s wild yeasts while feeding on the flour. When the starter is active, the bubbles are what makes the dough rise.
  5. Greg and I put elastic bands around the jar to mark the level of the starter mix at feeding time – then you can easily see how far up the jar your starter rises.
  6. To feed your sourdough starter, mix 50 g starter with 100 g flour and 100 g water in a clean one litre glass jar, stir well to mix thoroughly, cover with a cloth or loose lid and leave to activate and bubble. You may need to feed your starter several times over the course of a few days to get it ‘active’. To learn more about sourdough, Greg and I find this website very useful and Maurizio has a method for creating a sourdough starter if you don’t know anyone with some to share.
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