I’m not sure what a Christmas morning typically looks like for you, but often for me the frenzy of gift opening is swiftly followed by grumbly stomachs and expectant faces that have long foregone hinting ‘what’s for breakfast?’.
This year especially we’ll be spending Christmas at friends’ house. I do not want any performance anxiety at any point, nor do I want to venture in someone else kitchen and start banging pots. So I made breakfast in advance by baking a huge batch of coffee cinnamon buns, inspired by Swedish rolls, and freezing about half (approx 12 rolls), ready and waiting for a heat through on Christmas morning.
You too can be this organised. Not that I’m judging in any way – this is all about whatever works for you, whether making it on the spot, or ahead of time, just as long as you enjoy the process.
For the dough, you’ll need:
15g active dry yeast
500ml whole milk, luke warm
150g melted and cooled butter
110g granulated sugar
150g melted and cooled butter
half teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 medium egg
between 800 – 900g strong bread flour
For the filling, you’ll need:
150g very soft butter
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon coffee spice (I used some from Spice Mountain); you can use cocoa as an alternative
1 egg for egg wash
Chopped nuts, brown sugar or pearl sugar for decoration
Heat the milk up either on hob or in microwave until it’s slightly warm.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, measure yeast, then add milk and sugar and stir to dissolve.
Allow to stand for up to 5 minutes, then add butter, salt, cinnamon, egg and 350g flour.
Mix with your stand mixer using the dough hook or by hand, gradually adding another 350g flour. You’ll need the rest of the flour for kneading.
Work the dough until it just about stops sticking.
Leave to rise until doubled.
Add about 100g of the remaining flour and knead into the dough until you can start shaping it. Add more flour only as needed.
Divide in half; roll first piece into a rectangle. Apologies that I didn’t measure it – it was large!
Spread butter as evenly as possible.
In a bowl, combine cinnamon and coffee spice / cocoa with sugar.
Dust mixture over butter.
For easiest shapes, roll into as tight a log as you can manage, using the long side of the rectangle. Then simply cut log in 2 – 3cm portions, place them cut side down into a well-greased tin allowing about 1 cm in between. Allow to rise for another 30 mins.
For twisty, strandy buns, fold the dough into a rectangle, then slice into strips. Cut each strip into halves, leaving an end still attached. Twist each half around itself, then knot together and tuck ends underneath. There’s a great step by step sequence of photos on Barbara’s website here. Place on a well-greased baking sheet and allow to rise for 30 mins.
Heat oven at 220C.
Brush buns with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar or chopped nuts and bake for approx 10 mins, turning halfway through for even baking.
If you want to freeze half of the batch, you have three options: freeze the dough before baking, then bring to room temperature and bake when you’re ready; par-bake for 5 mins, then wrap up in cling film and freeze; or bake completely, allow to cool slightly, then wrap up and freeze.
You’ll have baked goodies for days and a ready-made breakfast for Christmas or another special occasion. And your house will smell all cinnamon-y. Win – win. Am I good or am I good?