Stew and I were wanting cinnamon buns for so long! The weekends would go by and we just didn’t plan on making any. Finally, I was watching Food Network one day and The Barefoot Contessa was on. Ina made these little brioche dinner rolls that looked fluffy and delicious. So I thought, I can turn THOSE into cinnamon buns! Turns out the recipe is HUGE so I actually had to turn it into 2 separate breads. I made one cinnamon loaf and one batch of cinnamon buns. That was perfect because I actually sliced and froze the bread. The bread is great for toasting with a little coconut butter or jam on top! It’s the perfect afternoon snack! The buns actually didn’t last that long. Since it was only two of us, we couldn’t eat the whole batch. So in the future I would actually make those for a brunch where there were more than 2 people! We made a good dent though. They are definitely a lot of work but worth it. It was a labor of love, but there’s nothing like a warm homemade cinnamon bun for breakfast!
Brioche Cinnamon Buns and Loaf
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa’s Mini Brioche Rolls
- 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
- 1 package dried yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar (divided)
- 2 Tbsp cinnamon (divided)
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it’s at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 1/4 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
Place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes, adding additional flour (about 1 cup) as needed to make a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough in half.
For the Cinnamon Buns:
Working with one half, roll out to about 11×15 inch rectangle and about 1/4 inch thick. Spread 1 Tbsp softened butter over the surface of the rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon evenly across the surface. Sprinkle raisins on top. Starting with the long end, roll into a log, seam side down. Cut the ends off (add them to the other half of dough). Then cut into 8 even buns (starting at the halfway point). Place in a buttered round cake pan and cover with a damp towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
For the Cinnamon Loaf:
Working with the other half, roll out to about a 9×9 inch square. Spread 1 Tbsp softened butter over the surface of the square. Sprinkle 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon evenly across the surface. Starting with one end, roll into a log, seam side down. Tuck the ends under and place into a buttered loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough has risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake cinnamon buns and loaf for 35-40 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Let them stand for 10 minutes and turn the buns and loaf out onto a wire rack to cool.