It’s a mess, but the pieces are mostly here and now it’s just a matter of building a palace of Ikea furniture and Home Depot closet organizers (who knew a few metal rods could cost over $500?) and then getting all this stuff out of boxes and off the floor.
But I have my priorities. The cooking instruments have been moved into their new places, and I’m ready to bake. I put a lot of thought into what the first thing I make in the new kitchen should be. It feels important, like this will lay the foundation for all the cooking in my new home.
I wanted something comforting, something second nature to me that isn’t hours and hours of intricate folding and plating (chiboust, I’m looking at you). I want something that is going to make my house smell like home, and not like a recently finished construction site. I definitely don’t want some dry, sugar-free, gluten-free, Challenge-friendly, hold-the-happiness muffins.
Eventually I settled on cinnamon buns, and I know we just did these, but, cinnamon buns.
Adapted from Alton Brown
three quarters cup milk
six tablespoons butter
one packet (8 grams) instant yeast
one teaspoon salt
quarter cup sugar
four egg yolks
one whole egg
four cups bread flour
canola oil to grease bowl
one cup brown sugar
one tablespoon cinnamon
quarter cup butter, divided
half cup skor bits (optional)
half cup raisins (optional)
In a microwaveable bowl, heat the milk and butter until the butter is melted and the whole thing is about the temperature of a baby’s bottle. Pour it into a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast on top, and let it sit for about ten minutes to activate.
In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the salt, sugar, and eggs and whip well. Once the yeast is foamy, pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture. Stirring every half a cup, add the flour. When the flour is all in and starting to come together, take it out of the bowl and knead it for about ten minutes. Roll it into a ball. Lightly oil the bowl and place the ball of dough back inside. Cover the top with saran wrap and place it somewhere warm-ish to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Just before the dough is done, melt half the filling butter. In a small, separate bowl, mix cinnamon, brown sugar and skor bits / raisins (if using).
Roll out the dough to a large rectangle, and spread half the melted butter on top. Evenly sprinkle the cinnamon mixture on the butter, and then roll up the dough and pinch the edge to seal the rolls. Slice into buns – I made 14 that were about an inch and a half high. Place in a 9×13 square pan and re-cover with saran wrap and set aside to rise while the oven preheats.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt the last half of filling butter and pour/spoon/brush over the buns just before you put them in the oven. Bake until they’re puffy and golden brown on top – this only took 20 minutes in my speedy new oven! Keep an eye on yours.
Ideally, serve right away.