1 cup warm water
3 (1/4 oz.) pkg. active dry yeast or 3 cakes fresh yeast (5/8 ounce each)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup milk, scalded and cooled
3 large eggs
1 1/4 tsp. salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, unsifted
3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, unsifted
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
2 cups unsalted butter, melted
3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
6 tbsp. ground cinnamon (use Korintje Cinnamon, Grade "A", if possible)* See Note Below
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Cream Cheese Icing (optional)
(see recipe below)
Combine water, yeast and sugar in large mixing bowl and let stand 5 minutes.
Add butter to cooling milk to soften. When cool, add milk mixture to yeast mixture and stir well. Add eggs and salt and stir well with wire whisk.
Begin adding all-purpose flour, mixing well with wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick cake batter. Add raisins (optional). Add 2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour. Mix well again until dough is quite sticky and begins to leave sides of bowl.
Place 1/2 cup remaining whole wheat pastry flour onto board. Turn dough out and knead about 10 minutes until smooth and shiny, slowly adding more flour if needed. (Dough should be somewhat soft and resilient, almost sticky.)
Shape dough into ball and place in large greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with damp towel. Let rise in warm place about 45 minutes or until doubled in bulk.
Turn dough onto large floured board. Roll out to 24 x 20-inch rectangle. (Dough will be quite thin.)
For Filling and To Assemble:
Mix together melted butter, brown sugar and ground cinnamon. Spread entire rectangle of dough with mixture (it should be very glossy in order to produce syrup). Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll rectangle tightly from long side (filling will be slightly runny and dough will be soft). Make sure seam side is on bottom. Shape with hands to make roll uniform in size from end to end.
With very sharp knife, cut roll into 16 equal portions. Place side by side, cut sides up, in 2 well-greased 13 x 9 x 3-inch metal baking pans. (Glass pans will tend to caramelize syrup too quickly.) Cover with warm, damp towel and let rise in warm place 30 to 40 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) until nicely browned and filling is bubbly, about 35 minutes. Immediately invert onto serving platter or baking sheet, allowing syrup to drip from pan onto buns (this is the secret). If desired, spread cinna-buns with Cream Cheese Icing while still warm from the oven.
Makes: 16 large cinnamon buns.
Cream Cheese Icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon lemon flavoring
1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
With an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter (or margarine if uisng), vanilla, lemon flavoring, and powdered sugar. Beat well. Spread over WARM cinna-buns.
Note about Icing:
You may want to add a few tablespoons of milk to achieve a thinner consistency for drizzling icing over cinna-buns.
*Korintje Cinnamon can be purchased online at Penzey's Spices. Their web url is: http://www.penzeys.com or Korintje Cinnamon can be purchased at Whole Foods Stores.
Date: July 20, 2002