Cinnamon Buns

So I have a great news. We are expecting our first bundle of joy. In two months’ time. Thank you so much for all the support during these idle months. I hope to pick up more energy to cook and blog in the coming months before the joy arrives.

I love the smell of cinnamon in baked goods. Cinnamon is in abundance in our area, they are sold by the bundles in the shape of gigantic sticks, up to about 40cm in length. We grate our cinnamon sticks manually then shift the powder with metal strainer before storing. I know, I am baffled at the fact that we do things the hard way. We make ground cinnamon as we use them. We rarely keep them for more than a week. Our baked goods are so good with the fresh cinnamon. The one thing that I keep on going back on making is cinnamon buns. I am a great fan of Cinnabon, but after they closed down the only shop they had here, I was feeling kinda lost. When I started making my own, I was found.

I am also a great, great fan of Peter Reinhart’s bread making book. It is the first bread baking book I have ever bought, more than 5 years ago. I love the book. The Bread Maker’s Apprentice is a great book for, well, bread maker’s apprentice. Everything is explained in detail and absolutely no guesswork. Of all the bread recipes in the book, this particular recipe is the one I love the most.

Combine butter, sugar and salt in a mixer bowl. Cream these ingredients on medium speed with an electric mixer, using paddle attachment, about 5 minutes.

Add eggs and lemon zest and continue mixing until smooth, about 1 minute.

When everything is beaten well and smooth, it would look like this.

Combine flour, yeast and milk. Switch to dough hook and increase mixing speed to high, mix for about 15 minutes.

At some point of the 15 minutes, the dough is always getting too sticky. I would stop for a bit to scrape the sides and sprinkle flour on top of dough and sides of the bowl. That always works to keep things going more smoothly.

At the end of 15 minutes, the dough is ready when it starts to crawl up the dough hook and most part of it would stick to the bottom of the bowl. The dough would be shiny.

Shape the dough into round shape. Lightly brush bowl with oil and place the dough back into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Leave to proof for 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

Beautiful and roundly fermented dough would be, well, round. Remove from bowl and transfer to floured kitchen counter or working surface.

Prepare cinnamon sugar for filling in a bowl by mixing both cinnamon and sugar. I find using coarse white sugar is better as they don’t melt as fast.

Roll the dough out to a big rectangle, about 45 x 20cm.

Sprinkle (or spread) cinnamon sugar over the dough.

Roll the dough up into a log.

Cut the roll into 2,5cm pieces, seam side down.

Arrange buns on oiled parchment paper on top of oiled pan, spacing them about 2cm apart.

Let proof at room temperature for 1,5 hours. The buns will grow into one another and double in size.

Bake buns in preheated oven at 175 degree celsius for 20 minutes, until golden brown. Pipe glaze on top of buns when still hot. Serve warm.


Peter Reinhart's Cinnamon Buns

The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
Makes 18 buns


91 g sugar
7 g salt
77 g butter
46 g egg
3 g lemon zest
448 g flour (high gluten or bread)
6 g yeast
252 g milk

For cinnamon sugar
13 g ground cinnamon
80 g sugar

For glaze
40 g milk
180 g powdered sugar (or confectioner's sugar)
1 tbsp lemon juice


Combine salt, sugar and butter in a mixing bowl. Cream with paddle attachment until smooth and pale on high speed.
Add egg and lemon zest. Beat until everything is mixed well, for another minute.
Add in flour, yeast and milk. Mix over low speed until all ingredients are combined together.
Switch to dough hook and beat over medium speed for 15 minutes, until the dough crawls up the hook.
The dough should be shiny and tacky, not sticky. If the dough is too sticky, add a spoonful of flour at a time and scrape the sides of the bowl during middle of beating process.
Form the dough into a shape of ball. Place them in a bowl, spraying both bowl and dough with some oil if desired.
Cover dough with plastic wrap.
Let ferment at room temperature for 1-1,5 hours, until dough doubles in size.
Dust working surface with flour. Transfer dough to the counter and roll the dough into a rectangle with 0.5 cm thickness.
Sprinkle cinnamon sugar generously on the dough. Roll the dough away from you to the end, not pressing it too hard. The roll should be quite loose.
Slice the roll into 2.5cm thickness buns.
Line pans with baking paper. Lightly greased paper with oil.
Place shaped buns on pan, spacing them about 2cm from each other.
Let proof at room temperature for 60-75 minutes. The buns should have grown into one another and almost double in size. Preheat oven to 175 degree celsius for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
Glaze the buns when still warm

The recipe is produced with Peter Reinhart’s permission. Please visit PizzaQuest for his latest project. 

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28 Responses to “Cinnamon Buns”

  1. 1

    Ivan Chan — May 7, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Welcome back, we miss you :)

  2. 2

    Mrs Ergül — May 7, 2012 @ 7:24 pm

    Again, congrats on the bun in the oven! 2 more months?! That’s very soon!

    You did such a good job with the dough. The only once I made cinnamon buns years back ended up in a messy affair.

    • Jun replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 12:32 am

      It couldn’t come early enough, really.

  3. 3

    Mel — May 7, 2012 @ 7:41 pm

    Good to see you back in post! Your cinnamon buns looks so perfectly baked! I have baked this two months ago only that I put in same mixed dried fruits. And also, Congrats to you!

    • Jun replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 12:33 am

      Mixed dried fruits is great substitute. It is in my to-do list

  4. 4

    Kankana — May 7, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

    Wow .. such a happy news :) Stay healthy and keep smiling!
    And the cinnamon bun looks perfect!

  5. 5

    Ren — May 7, 2012 @ 8:27 pm

    Congrats to you. Your cinnamon buns looks delicious.

  6. 6

    Bee — May 7, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

    Congratulations Jun, can’t wait to meet the little ones. Regards to everyone in Medan. xoxo.

    • Jun replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 12:33 am

      We are still talking about you. You are phenomenal!

  7. 7

    thoma — May 8, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    Aha, did we miss out on some nausea and cravings here!! The news is a bit of a shocker coming smack in the face without any prompt! CONGRATS!! Yes, cook all that you can before JOY arrives because these JOYS are trained by Nature to demand all the attention.

    Buns are classic! Flagged!

    • Jun replied: — May 8th, 2012 @ 12:32 am

      Haha the nausea and cravings are all gone. The slack lingers around

  8. 8

    Sharon @ Feats of Feasts — May 8, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    congrats! That is great news!! glad to see some posts from you.

  9. 9

    Ira Rodrigues — May 9, 2012 @ 12:13 am

    Congrats Jun! Hoping you have a smooth delivery. Love from Bali

  10. 10

    pickyin@LifeIsGreat — May 9, 2012 @ 1:26 am

    Congratulations dear, hope to see you next time you’re here! With the baby!!!

  11. 11

    Irene Sloan — May 9, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    Congrats Jun, it is not long now till the baby comes! I cook a lot recently, mostly using your recipes. Many thanks!!

  12. 12

    Trissa — May 13, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

    Hi Jun! It’s been awhile since I last visited your blog – sorry – been so busy but how I could I NOT have the time to say congratulations! How time flies huh? Wishing you all the best and your new baby!

    • Jun replied: — May 15th, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

      Thank you, Trissa! I know you are busy. You are doing so well with your day job. And not-so-day job. :)

  13. 13

    noobcook — May 15, 2012 @ 1:58 am

    fantastic news – congratulations!

  14. 14

    Tuty — May 17, 2012 @ 9:46 am

    Can’t wait to see your little one soon. Take it easy and enjoy the moments of motherhood.

  15. 15

    Terri — June 21, 2012 @ 3:53 am

    Hi! Congratulations, so happy for you! You must be almost ready to pop. Babies are truly gifts frm heaven (notice i said babies) but you will never sleep them same again after you become a mom! Btw, i nvr told youthis,but last year, during the RSP cmpetition, i was so bummed when you withdrew bc i love your blog, recipes (i can tell excellent recipes from good) n photos. We just went ohh n ahh at all your photos. My girl n i were so sure you’ll be the winner :D .

    • Jun replied: — July 14th, 2012 @ 10:03 am

      Terri, thank you for the lovely comment! I felt so bad for withdrawing last year. I was sick most of the days and couldn’t drag myself to the kitchen most days. LOL. I spent most hours in bed trying not to be sick, unsuccessfully if I might say. But I really had fun in the beginning. Thank you for the support!

  16. 16

    Scareg — January 20, 2013 @ 4:23 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe with the perfect looking rolls they definitely made me want to give it a go and I have to say they certainly are my best looking cinnamon rolls ever.
    Heres some pictures
    they came out a little flat as I didn’t put them next to each other in a pan.

    Also for future readers did you use plain flour or bread flour for this recipe?
    other posted versions of this recipe state Bread flour for the most part.
    oh and thanks for posting this version in grams non mass based recipes need to die.

    • Jun replied: — January 20th, 2013 @ 8:40 pm

      I use bread flour. Plain flour will also do well, the bread will just have a slightly different texture.
      I used to work in a big bakery chain and never in anyone’s wild dream we measure recipes using cups and such. Everything is measured to the gram and I just prefer to work that way even at home. Thank you so much for your comment.

  17. 17

    Jane — April 7, 2013 @ 6:49 am

    I made this over the weekend. It’s really nice. Thanks for sharing the recipe and the step-by-by pictures.

  18. 18

    Woodrow — April 20, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    I would like to thank for the energy you have put in writing this blog.

    I’m looking to see otherwebsite post from you in the future. plz also excuse my poor english as it’s not my first language.

  19. 19

    Er — April 21, 2013 @ 4:56 am

    Hi Jun..Do you use milk powder or liquid milk ? or are they the same?Thank you so much.for sharing :)

    • Jun replied: — July 12th, 2013 @ 2:33 am

      I used liquid milk. Not the same function as milk powder.

  20. 20

    Lizzy (Good Things) — December 7, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    Hi Jun… I saw these via Rosa and thought they looked so good, I want to bake them! Thanks for sharing such a good recipe! : )

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