Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Homemade Cinnamon Roll Buns

Those that know me via this blog would know how much me and my family love food. As a typical Malaysian, we talk about them all the time, sometimes, even in our sleep. However, Malaysian food sold at hawkers are not as healthy as they used to be. One has to be very careful when eating outside with the amount of processed food (bad oil?), enhancer ( E621 is monosodium glutamate) and other preservatives? Eating healthy and clean is easier than you think - simply because of the easily available real food ingredient that you can find easily. Today, we are sharing with you, how to make your own cinnamon buns that would (and did) rival those commercially "designer cinnamon buns" available in shopping complex. This sets of instructions is perhaps the toughest and likely the most elaborate we will post up (yes, We as in me and wifey, this belongs to her).  
The Dough
4 1/2 cups to 5 cups of flour (we uses the Organic flour)
1 packet yeast
1 cup milk (full cream)
1/3 cup (about 1/4 part of) butter
1/3 cup of (brown or) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 eggs (we usually only buy A sized eggs)
The Good Stuff
You can use those "cups" that has been measured from baking stores. This way, you do not need to guess if "my cup is bigger than yours" or what is a "cup". It is not expensive and easily available as a set.
Measure measure
Start the process by placing 2 1/2 cup of flour with the yeast in a mixing bowl or container. Then separately, in a small saucepan, heat up the milk, butter, sugar and salt in low heat until the butter almost melted. Remember to constantly stir the mixture and do not overheat this. 
yes, that is how 1/3 butter looked like.
When this is done, pour 1/3 of the mixture into the mixing bowl and crack one egg in. Start beating this mixture at low speed. Obviously, you will still get them to be powdery. 
The Good Ol'Eggs
Add in another third (the second 1/3) of the butter mixture into the bowl and crack another egg in, beat it at low speed. And finally, add in the remaining mixture and the final egg and beat it at high speed. Reason for this is actually to prevent the powdery mixture to fly everywhere should you start mixing at high speed and with full ingredient.
Pour 1/3 at a time, slowly.
Chef at work
Still powdery/cakey at second mix. Keep going.
Once all the mixture is in, you will get a consistent doughy but liquid-dy mixture of the "dough" ingredient. Continue to beat for 3-minutes (or a bit more) at high speed.
Turning out well
Just Beat it. Now play that MJ's Grammy Award song!
Remember that you still have the remaining flour unused. Now, pour them in slowly and start kneading it with your hands until you get a soft dough that is smooth and elastic. Don't worry about getting your hands and fingers dirty -  just make sure you washed your hands before doing this! Sorry no photo of this process as both our hands were dirty and can't operate the camera! Once you get a smooth soft dough (that do not stick to your fingers), you can now shape the dough into a ball. We knead the bread on a table surface (cleaned, wiped as well).
Knead it.
Punch it. Good anger management. Really.
Once the dough is shaped into a ball, drop it into the same bowl to let it rest (and raise) over a period of 60 to 90 minutes. Cover the dough with a wet towel.
You will see this grow in a while
The yeast, the kneading and the mixture of ingredient will cause the bread to raise. If you have a motion capture camera, this is a good chance to see it come alive. But alas, we have a point & shoot and end up only being able to capture the before and after process.
Leave it for 60-90minutes at a warm place, next to the window is good
Once the dough has doubled it's size, take it out and punch it down (did i hear someone say YES?)
It's alive. 
You punch down the down on a lightly floured surface and then cover with a clean (damp) towel to let it rest for about 10minutes.
I never dare to mess with this woman anyway
While the dough is resting, get yourself ready to make the fillings.
1/2 cup brown sugar (recommended instead of white, recipe call for 1 cup!)
1/4 cup all purpose flour (again, the organic stuff)
ground cinnamon - put as much as you want, one tablespoon is a good start, more if you like it to taste/smell heavier
1/2 block of butter - chopped into pieces
1/2 cup raisins - or any dried fruits you want to try. Imagination is your limit here.
1 tablespoon light cream - and you can do this with milk as well.
The filling
Put all (except the raisins or dried fruits) the filling ingredients into another bowl and with your hand or utensil, mix them all up until it become a crumbly paste. Resist the temptation to lick the paste from your fingers at all time.
Looked unappetising, i know. Now, imagine those sold over the counter ;-)
Assuming that the above filling process takes you 10 minutes, the dough has already been rested enough. Roll the dough into a square of rectangle with yourself determining what thickness you want the bun to be. We made them thinner to get a more loose bread and that worked out to give us an approximate 45 cm long by 20 cm long dough.
Notice the extra dough at the top? That's for the children for bun with no raisins.
Once the dough has been flattened to the desired thickness, spread the filling onto the dough generously. Then sprinkle generous amount of raisins onto the surface.
Spread the filling with hands
Top up with loads of raisins
Then you roll up the dough like a log and pinch off the ends to seal it. You then slice the log into equal size (we managed to get 15 pieces) and arranged them on a lightly greased (with butter) baking pan. Arrange them in such way that you will let them grow further. Because this bun is not done yet.
The Adult Version with Raisins
The Kids Version with some frosties on top
Now, you got two options:
1. Keep this in the fridge to be baked the next morning for an awesome breakfast; or
2. Bake this right away.
For option 1, cover the dough with a microwave wrap and put them into the fridge. Next morning, remove the pan and plastic wrap and let it sit for 30minutes (to room temperature) before baking. As we went for Option 2, we let the dough rise a further 60minutes. Do cover them with a damp towel or plastic wrap.
Minute Zero
Minute Sixty
Saw what happened in 60minutes? Fluffy Cinnamon Roll Buns! For that golden finish, brush the surface of the rolls with some milk and put it into the oven at 180degreeC to 190degreeC for about 25minutes to 30minutes (but monitor towards the end to prevent it from burning). You will know the buns are ready by poking one of them with a toothpick and it should come out clean; or you can tap the top of the bun and it should sound hollow. 
Warning: The Kitchen/home will smell like a bakery by now! Fend off any thieves that will come steal one or two buns away.
The kids' buns
For the kids' buns, bake them slightly shorter as the size is not as big. We took them out in about 20minutes. It was done perfectly. And here, behold, the homemade Cinnamon Roll Buns made in the Lim's Kitchen.
Oh My Goodness!
Now, what is left is to take the bun out, make a coffee and sit down to enjoy a bite.
One, is never enough
Or have two...after all, You know what goes into these and you know how healthy it is!
Tea, anyone?
Try this in your kitchen and you can enjoy some healthy bread at home. Do notice that we did not make any sugar glazing that are typical of those you can buy outside. We feel that the amount of sugar mixed into the dough and filling is already at it's optimal range (for us). 
The Calories Count
It is easy to count the amount of energy you will get from this mixture. The most basic knowledge is to know how much ingredient is placed into it. 
Dough - 5+1/3 cups : 700grams (730g x 4kcal = 2920kcal)
Milk - 1 cup : 240ml (120kcal)
Butter - 1/3 + 1/2 = 180grams (180g x 9kcal = 1620kcal)
Sugar - 1/3 +1/2 = 180grams (180g x 4kcal = 720kcal)
Eggs - 3 large = 65grams each (3 x 80kcal = 240kcal)
Raisins - 1/2 cup = 240kcal
Total calories : 5860kcal
This will look like a lot but if you did notice, 1/4 of the dough was kept aside for the kids' bun. Lets just count the kcal on the adult version.
: 5860kcal - 240kcal (raisins as i want the nett kcal without it) = 5620kcal
: (5620kcal/4) x 3 = 4215kcal (for 3/4 dough with raisins)+240kcal = 4455kcal
We made 12 buns with this 3/4 mixture and this meant, each bun is equal to 4455/12 = 371kcal each. :)
Yes, I am a calorie granny...
But look at it this way, that 371kcal is equivalent to you eating 4 slices of white bread with a teaspoon butter, or 2 slices of white bread (with butter) with a cup of milk. I am very sure that the Cinnamon Roll Bun made above would be more appetising. :)
Happy Baking!