I am certain there are precise recipes for cinnamon buns. However, if you bear in mind that the basic ingredients are bread dough, room temperature butter, brown sugar, cinnamon or cardamom and pecans (which are the only optional ingredient) you cannot go wrong. If you want them less sweet, use less sugar (less than what, I hear you asking…), less spicy, use less spice . Don’t skimp on the butter though, heaven forbid your buns are dry. Although if they are, just spread them with butter when you are eating them and try again.
You will have to experiment to make the bun of your choice (the only danger here is obesity) although here is some guidance.
Make your favourite white bread recipe, remembering white flour will make a fluffier bun, and let it do its first rise. When it is done, do two things before you pull it out of the bowl:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C
2. Melt at least 150 grams of butter in a saucepan with at least 3-4 big tablespoons of brown sugar and let this cool slightly
Now, pull the dough out of the bowl. Flour the board and roll it with a rolling pin until you have a rectangle that is about 1/2 cm thick, 25-30 cm wide and as long as it gets. This is easier if the dough is cold so it is an idea to make the dough the night before, let it rise in the fridge and make the buns in the morning of the day you want to eat them.
Spread the entire rectangle of dough with butter. Lavishly spread it on. To the very edges and beyond. Sprinkle on the chopped pecans if you are using them and then sprinkle the cinnamon or cardamom on top of them and then the sugar. Please do it in this order. If you do it in the other order the spices don’t allow the dough to stick to itself when you roll it up. Spray the surface lightly with a plant sprayer (this melts the sugar a bit so that when you roll it up it does not just fall apart). This is totally optional, just makes it a bit easier.
Now roll up the buns along the width of the dough. Pour half of the remaining melted butter and sugar combination into a deep baking tray. It should absolutely cover the bottom well and thickly. Brush the rolled up dough with some of the remaining melted butter and then cut the buns and snuggle them into the melted butter and sugar. They should touch but not be crowded because they will rise. Pour the rest of the melted butter and sugar on top of all the buns. There should be loads. These buns basically braise in the melted butter and sugar. You really cannot over do it.
Cover them with a tea towel and let them rise for 30 minutes. Bake the buns for 30 minutes. Take the buns out and decant them immediately by placing a platter or a plate (with sides because there is melted butter in the pan) on top of the baking tray and inverting the buns into the platter (be careful not to drip the hot butter on anything other than the buns), scraping all the melty lovliness out on top of them. If you don’t do this straight away the butter and sugar will over cook and become hard and burned.
Don’t burn yourself by trying to eat them before they have somewhat cooled. You have been warned.