Evening Standard

Cinnamon bun recipes from four London bakeries

Banana bread is dead and the faintly Freudian days of nurturing a sourdough “mother” are so over. 

Lockdown 2.0 is all about buns in the oven. Not people imprudently rushing into new commitments – that too is rather lockdown one – but in the sense of cinnamon. The sweet Scandi snacks seem to be everywhere, with Waitrose reporting last week that searches on their site for these sticky treats had risen 60 per cent since the month before

Essentially little more than dough rolled and spiced, there’s something intrinsically comforting about a good cinnamon bun – they’re gentle but warming, gooey enough to feel happily guilty about, and they pair perfectly with mulled wine (though admittedly, the Swedes traditionally match their pastries with coffee). 

Below, four of London’s best bakeries share their recipes; each differs surprisingly from the other – have fun finding your favourite. 

Fabrique Bakery

Fabrique

Makes 12 buns  

Ingredients  

For the dough

  • 200ml milk
  • 20g fresh yeast
  • 70g sugar
  • 70g butter
  • 6g cardamom
  • 440g plain flour

For the filling

  • 200g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • Cinnamon, to taste

Method  

  • Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a mixer on a low setting, or kneed by hand for about 15 minutes. 
  • Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and leave to cool in the fridge for 90 minutes. 
  • Roll out the dough with a rolling pin, around 4.5mm thickness. 
  • Mix the sugar and butter for the filling and spread this over the flat dough. Sprinkle cinnamon on top of the butter/sugar filling. 
  • Fold the dough in the middle and cut it into strips, around 100g for each strip, and tie a knot. 
  • Put the cinnamon knots/buns on baking parchment on a baking tray and leave to rise for about one hour. 
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 230C/Gas Mark 8 for about 12 minutes, but lower the temperature to 190C/Gas Mark 5 towards the end.

fabrique.co.uk

Primrose Bakery

Makes 12 buns

Pixabay/LUM3N

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 275ml lukewarm water 
  • 5g active dried yeast 
  • 4 tbsp granulated sugar 
  • 600g strong white bread flour, sifted, plus more for rolling 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • 175g milk, warmed very slightly in a pan to ‘hand hot’ 
  • 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature

For the filling

  • 125g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 250g dark brown sugar 
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon 
  • ½ tsp ground ginger 
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg 
  • Pinch of cloves

For the glaze

  • 2 tbsp apricot jam mixed with 3 tbsp water  

Method 

  • Measure the water into a jug, then stir in the yeast and one tablespoon of the sugar, then set aside. 
  • Heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4, and line a baking tray with baking paper. 
  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and the remaining three tablespoons of sugar, using your hands or a spoon. Add the 75g butter and mix well, and next add the milk and yeast mixture and stir to form a sticky dough. 
  • Turn the dough out onto a large, well-floured surface and, with well-floured hands, knead for about five minutes until smooth and elastic – the dough should spring back when touched. Allow the dough to rest. 
  • After 10 minutes, roll the dough out to a rectangle measuring 63 x 38cm. Spread the 125g butter evenly over the rectangle, leaving a 2.5cm gap along the bottom (long) edge. 
  • In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and all the spices and spread over the butter. Starting from the top of the rectangle, roll up the dough towards the bottom edge, enclosing the filling.  Brush the bottom edge with a little water to secure the dough you have just rolled and then cut the roll into 5cm lengths.
  • Place on the baking tray and leave to rise for about 40 mins in a warm area. 
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush the apricot jam glaze over the hot buns. 
  • The buns are best served straight away, but any uneaten ones can be wrapped in clingfilm, refrigerated overnight and reheated the next day.

primrose-bakery.co.uk

Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien

You will need a food mixer with a hook attachment for this recipe – which is vegan-friendly. 

Makes 12 buns

Ingredients 

For the dough

  • 277g soya milk 
  • 102g caster sugar 
  • 26g fresh yeast 
  • 82g melted coconut oil 
  • 512g plain white flour 
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 136g melted coconut oil 
  • 136g light brown sugar 
  • 27g ground cinnamon

For the sugar syrup

  • 100ml water 
  • 100g caster sugar

Method

  • Start with the dough. In the bowl of a standard mixer, add the soya milk, sugar and yeast, then use a fork to whisk together the yeast and milk until the yeast dissolves in the mix. Leave aside for 5-10 minutes at room temperature. 
  • Add the flour and melted coconut oil, and knead with the dough hook at low speed for five minutes to bring the ingredients together into a dough. Add the salt and increase the speed to medium for a further 6–10 minutes, until the dough looks silky and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. 
  • Take the bowl out of the mixer and cover it with a clean tea towel or cling film, and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size. 
  • Next, make the filling by mixing the coconut oil with the light brown sugar and ground cinnamon, until well combined. 
  • Now boil the water with the caster sugar, and let it cool down. This will be the sugar syrup. 
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, take it out onto a floured surface and knock the air out by bashing it with your fist. 
  • Roll the dough with a rolling pin to a rectangle of about 30cm x 20cm and 2-3cm thick. Using a pallet knife evenly spread on the cinnamon filling. Roll up the dough lengthways, gently pressing the filling-free edge into the dough to seal it. 
  • Line a baking tray with a baking paper, cut the roll into 12 pieces about 5cm thick. Carefully transfer them to the prepared baking tray, gently press them down so they are about 4cm high, cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour. 
  • Heat your oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Bake the proved buns for 15 minutes, then turn the tray round and bake for a further 10 minutes, until golden brown. Remove the buns out of the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Lightly brush with the sugar syrup.

lepainquotidien.com

Gail’s

Gail’s Bakery

You will need a food mixer with a hook attachment for this recipe.

Makes 12 buns

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 35g fresh yeast 
  • 170ml cold water 
  • 300g plain flour 
  • 640g strong white bread flour 
  • 95g butter, at room temperature 
  • 70g caster sugar 
  • 20g fine sea salt 
  • 300ml milk

For laminating the dough

  • 400g butter, chilled

For the filling

  • 170g light muscovado sugar 
  • 85g caster sugar 
  • 2 heaped tbsp ground cinnamon 
  • 100g butter, melted

For the topping

  • 120g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  • To make the dough, mix the yeast, water and 150g of the plain flour in the bowl of a stand mixer to create a thick paste. Sift over the remaining 150g plain flour in a thick layer, and leave to sit for 15–20 minutes, until you can see the flour beginning to crack.
  • Add the strong flour, butter, sugar, salt and milk, and knead on a slow speed using the dough hook for five minutes, until you have a soft but not completely smooth dough. Then tip the dough out of the bowl onto a clean surface and knead by hand for a few more minutes, forming it into a ball.
  • Lightly flour a rolling pin and press the dough out into a rectangle measuring 20cm x 30cm x 5cm. Transfer it onto a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, wrap it well in cling film, and freeze for 30 minutes.
  • While the dough chills, take the butter for laminating the dough out of the fridge and leave it to warm up for 15 minutes. Put it into a sandwich bag or between two pieces of plastic film and press it down to create a rectangle of butter, about 15cm x 20cm and 1.5cm thick. Chill until the dough is ready.
  • Roll the chilled dough into a long rectangle, 15cm x 60cm. Lay it out, short edges at the side and long edges at the top and bottom. Press the chilled butter over the right side of the rectangle, then fold the left half on top of it, as if closing a book. Press the dough out with the rolling pin, working away from you, front to back only, not side to side – the direction you roll in is absolutely crucial. Create a rectangle that’s 1cm thick, and 1 metre long. One long side should be the folded edge, sealed up, the other should be open.
  • Mentally dividing this rectangle into thirds. Fold the bottom third up, then the top third down over that, rather like folding a letter. Transfer the folded dough back to the baking sheet, wrap in cling film and freeze for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the freezer, unwrap, and sit the dough in front of you exactly as it was before, like a folded letter, then give it a quarter turn so that the long edges are at the sides and the short edges at the top and bottom. Roll it out again in a rectangle 1 cm thick, and 1 metre long. Mentally draw a line half way up the dough, then fold the bottom edge up to meet the centre line, and do the same with the top edge. Finally, fold the entire top half of the dough back down over itself. Return to the baking sheet, wrap, and freeze for 30 minutes more.
  • Butter 12 large muffin cup tray, greasing the flat surface between the cups as well as the cups themselves.
  • Next, make the filling: mix together the muscovado sugar, caster sugar and cinnamon until combined and set aside.
  • Roll the chilled croissant dough out to a 30cm x 80cm rectangle, 1–2cm thick. Lay it out so that the short edges are at the sides. Use a pastry brush to brush the dough with melted butter, leaving a 4cm-wide border along the top long edges. Sprinkle the filling all over the melted butter, and pat it down so that it begins to dissolve into it.
  • Starting from the long edge closest to you, roll the dough up tightly, like a Swiss roll. Turn it so that it’s sitting on its seam. With a sharp, non-serrated knife, slice the log of dough into 12 equal buns. Take each bun and tug the loose end of the rolled dough out to stretch it very slightly, then tuck it under one of the cut ends of the bun to seal it up – this creates a base for them to sit on. Sit them in the buttered muffin cup tray.
  • Leave for 2 hours to prove; a completely cold oven is the best place. Put them on the centre shelf, along with a small bowl of hot water on the floor of the oven, and shut the door– until risen and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven along with the bowl of water, then heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.
  • Place the buns in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 180°C/gas mark 4. Bake for 25– 30 minutes, until completely puffed and mushroomed over the edges of the muffin cups. They should be a dark, golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and leave them for five minutes, then lift them and sit them slightly askew in their tins to cool further, so that the base of each bun isn’t touching the base of the muffin cup. This allows them to cool without sticking to the cups as the sugar solidifies.
  • Making the topping by mixing the sugar and cinnamon in a large, shallow dish, and when the buns are completely cooled, roll them gently in the topping to coat them even more. Eat as soon as possible.

gailsbread.co.uk

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