I think my children love me just a little bit more now that I have baked these. The buns are made with brioche dough and layered with cinnamon sugar and just a touch of zest, whats not to love? You can add more to the mix, like nuts, raisins, a dash of cardamom, or just leave them simple. The cream cheese icing is the crowning glory and makes these breakfast treats completely addictive. I ended up making two batches this weekend, because of the demand and how easy they are to throw together.
In this recipe I have only made 4 rather large buns, but feel free to double or triple the batch.
1 pound Brioche dough (page 300 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2 tablespoon butter, melted
Cream Cheese Icing:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon orange zest
Here is the secret to getting the right texture for the buns. You need to fold the dough over a few times and get that gluten all linked up and excited. This happens naturally with the master recipe, but all the butter in the brioche can stand in the way, so we need to give it a little help. Just 3 or 4 turns will do the trick, an extra 30 seconds of work will make all the difference.
Now that we have the gluten all excited and bunched up we need to give it a rest or it will be impossible to roll out. This may take 15-20 minutes. If your kitchen is warmer, it may go faster.
Once the dough is ready, roll it to 1/4-inch thick rectangle.
Brush the melted butter onto the entire surface.
In a small bowl mix together the sugars, cinnamon and zest. Spread the mixture over the butter topped dough. Use your hands to make sure you have an even coat of the sugar.
Roll the dough up, starting at the short end.
Set the buns on a parchment lined Sheet Pan or in a buttered baking dish. Give them about 1 1/2 to 2-inches between them. It is ok if they rise together in the oven.
Loosely cover the buns and let them rest between 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The long rest will insure that you have a fluffy bun.(You can set these up the night before and let them rest overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning take them out and let them sit on the counter for about 45 minutes to an hour.) You may get away with slightly shorter rise, but the buns will not be quite as soft.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes, just until the centers are set when poked with your finger.
They should be caramel colored. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.
Mix together the ingredients for the icing and spread over the warm buns. Enjoy!