Clementine & Cinnamon Buns

About 10 years ago I was crazy about cinnamon buns. I made them several times, kept saying I loved them even though the recipes I made turned out superdry. I think in the end I was just in love with the idea: soft pillowy dough with a sweet swirl of spiced sugar. But nowadays I have much more knowledge and experience in baking, so let’s revamp them. Not only am I changing the dough, but also adding in some clementines for a twist. Clementines are in season, but I don’t think I have ever done anything else with them than just eat them as they are, so let’s do this!

clementine & cinnamon bun
Clementine & Cinnamon Buns

You’ll need (for 8 buns)

  • 300gr of flour
  • 65 gr of sugar (20gr+ 45gr)
  • 7gr of yeast
  • pinch of salt
  • 120ml of whole milk
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 170gr of butter (room temperature) (45gr+ 35gr+ 100gr)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 clementines
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 30gr powdered sugar

Dishes you’ll make

  • Stand mixer bowl and dough hook
  • Saucepan
  • Baking dish (about 23cm diameter)
  • Pastry brush
  • Big, sharp kitchen knife
clementine & cinnamon bun
The clementine & cinnamon buns right before they go into the oven

How to make them

  1. Heat your milk and vanilla in the saucepan until luke warm.
  2. Add 300 grams of flour and 20 grams of sugar to a bowl of a standmixer. Pop in your salt on one side and yeast on the other, pour in the milk and knead with a doughhook for about 7 minutes. In the meantime add 45grams of butter to the saucepan you just used and melt. Set aside to cool a little.
  3. Slowly pour in the melted butter, carefully! The butter makes the dough slippery which can cause it to smack on the sides. Don’t worry and let it knead for another 10- 15 minutes or so. Don’t clean the saucepan just yet.
  4. Test the dough in two ways. Firstly touch it, can you touch it for a second or so and then remove your finger without it sticking? Perfect! If not, add a tablespoon of flour, knead until incorporated and test again. Then secondly (when it isn’t sticky anymore) grab a pingpong size ball and slowly try making a flatter middle by pulling it out (a bit like a pizza actually). It should look something like in the photo below, if not, knead some more and test again. When it’s good, cover and let it rise for about 40 minutes (or when the dough had doubled).
  5. Prep your filling by whisking 100 grams of soft butter with the zest of the two clementines. Then add in the juice of 1 clementine and slowly incorporate. This can take a minute or five, because the juice is mostly water, but it will get there. In a seperate bowl mix together 1 tsp of cinnamon and 45grams of sugar. Melt the leftover 35grams of butter in your already buttery saucepan.
  6. Butter the baking dish using part of the melted butter. Flour your kitchen surface lightly and punch down the dough. Roll out into a big square and spread on your clementine butter, then sprinkle over the cinnamon sugar. Roll up tightly and cut into 8 pieces. Arrange, swirl up, into the baking dish, cover and let them rise for another 30 minutes (or until doubled).
  7. Preheat your oven to 180°C, uncover your buns, brush on melted butter and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Give them a chance to cool down a little while you make the icing by mixing together the 30 grams of powdered sugar and juice of the leftover clementine, until it has the thickness of syrup. It might need a little more or less juice than 1 clementine. If you don’t have more, just add a tiny bit of water. Drizzle over the buns and enjoy while they are warm.
stretched dough
What the dough should look like when stretched (step 4)

Finally I have found the perfect recipe for soft and fluffy buns, which are not dry! I hope you’ll love them as much as I do, or better even, as much as my boyfriend does, he has already had multiple and it’s just been a few hours since I made them haha!

One for the road!

clementine & cinnamon bun

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