Don’t ask me why – for I know not – I found myself overwhelmed by a desire to make cinnamon buns on this glorious summers’ day. And don’t ask me why, having googled Nigella’s recipe, I chose to ignore all the posts complaining about the stickiness of the dough and the general lack of success with this recipe.
Don’t ask me why I was surprised when I found myself overheating in the kitchen, oven blazing and sun beating in the window while I wrestled with a big sticky gooey mess which was supposed to be the dough, but somehow I was shocked. I suppose I’m not used to being failed by Nigella, and I also seem to be a bit of a crazy lady today. After an hour and a half of faffing and kneading and adding more flour and scraping sticky mess off my hands and adding yet more flour and proving and rolling and baking, I finally ended up with some pretty delicious cinnamon buns. Still not sure it was worth the hassle though!
And to add insult to injury the pesky things resolutely refused to be photographed in focus, so you’re getting this photo of the photo of Nigella’s version in the book (got that?). At least they taste good.
Norwegian Cinnamon Buns (from How to be a Domestic Goddess)
1. Combine the 600g flour, 100g sugar, 1 1/2 tsp salt and 21g easy blend yeast (yes really, 3 sachets) in a large bowl. Melt 100g butter and whisk it into 400ml milk and 2 eggs, then stir it into the flour mixture. Mix to combine and then knead the dough either by hand or using the dough hook of a food mixer until it’s smooth and springy. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave it to rise for about 25 minutes.
2. Take one-third of the dough and roll it or stretch it to fit the base of a 33 x 24cm roasting tin, lined with baking parchment; this will form the bottom of each bun when it has cooked. Roll out the rest of the dough on a lightly floured surface, aiming to get a rectangle of roughly 50 x 25cm.
3. Mix 150g soft unsalted butter, 150g sugar and 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl and then spread the rectangle with the buttery cinnamon texture. Try to get even coverage on the whole of the dough. Roll it up from the longest side until you have a giant sausage. Cut the roll into 2 cm slices which should make about 20 rounds. Sit the rounds in lines on top of the dough in the tin, swirly cut-side up. Don’t worry if they don’t fit snugly together as they will swell and become puffy when they prove. Brush them with 1 beaten egg and let them rise again for about 15 minutes to let them get duly puffy.
4. Put in a 230 C oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, by which time the buns will have risen and will be golden brown in colour. Don’t worry it they catch in places. Remove them from the tin and leave to cool slightly on a rack – it’s easy just to pick up the whole sheet of parchment and transfer them like that – before letting people tear them off, to eat warm.
Now, notes. You will need much more flour than suggested. You will also need a cooler oven than suggested. Take heed of these warnings, and learn from my mistakes. Alternatively, you could make these instead, which where much less hassle and equally delicious!