To get me through the work week, I often have a ‘Fancy Friday’ which usually includes me paying £3.00 for a coffee instead of settling for instant sludge and getting a little sweet breakfast treat.
Now, I absolutely adore cinnamon buns, but proper cinnamon buns are scarce here. Oh, the horror!
It still breaks my heart, but I’ve learned to cope using croissants as a crutch – chocolate or almond. It’s usually some much needed warm flakey goodness that helps bring on that weekend feeling.
I know I’m going the long way about this recipe, but since the cinnamon bun has yet to receive the fandom it deserves I’ve taken to baking them when the craving sets in.
I’m an autumn/winter girl and right now I’m struggling to let go of cozy jumpers and hot hearty meals. And sadly, cinnamon is a strong reminder of my favorite time of year. I want to attack spring full on, so I decided to fuse my love of the bun (boom tish) with a little almond.
Almond is sweet, but a delicate flavor- pastel yellow, soft dough… this recipe is a perfect addition for all your breakfast or brunch needs.
Sweet Almond Buns
You can easily use this sweet dough as a base for various bun and roll recipes. It’s very flexible to flours and flavorings! I like my rolls a little breadier, but if you’re out of bread flour or prefer something a bit softer feel free to use all plain flour instead.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of dry active yeast (usually 1 packet or 7 grams)
- 1/2 cup your preferred choice of milk (I used skim)
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 4 tablespoons of butter, plus more for brushing dough
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond (I used almond for this recipe, obviously!)
- 2 1/2 cups plain flour
- 2 1/2 white bread flour
Optional: Depending on what you’re making you might want to add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove etc to the dough. I sprinkled in about 3/4 a teaspoon of cinnamon for added fun to the Sweet Almond Buns. I told you I’m having a hard time letting go.
- 9 ounces or 250 g of marzipan
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/3 crushed almond slices, plus more for topping
- 1 teaspoon of almond extract or if you have it a good slug of amaretto
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 x 1/3 cups water
- 1/3 sliced almonds
- Powdered sugar for sprinkling
Basic Sweet Dough:
- Combine milk and water; heat in a saucepan or microwave liquid until warm (about 100 to 110 degrees F), then pour yeast in and give one quick swirl. Let yeast sit for 5-10 minutes until mix is foamy.
- Add to the yeast mixture, melted butter, egg, and extract of your choice.
- In a separate large bowl mix together flours, salt, sugar and any spices if using them.
- Make sure yeast mixture is in a large mixing bowl then add flour mixture in one cup at a time. Mixing in-between each cup of flour until it is fully incorporated into the yeast mix. I used a stand mixer for this with a dough hook attachment, but if you do not have this available you can always work with your hands. It’s a mess, but good for stress relief!
- Using your dough hook or hands make sure dough is kneaded for 7-10 minutes. Your looking for it to be only slightly stick to the touch. Roll dough into a ball.
- Place dough ball in a lightly buttered or oiled large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set a tea towel on top of this and place dough somewhere warm/room temperature and dark. Let the dough prove until it doubles in size. This will usually take about 1.5 hours.
- Once dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for one minute. If making overnight buns, wrap in plastic wrap and store in fridge at this point. Before using the next day, make sure it gets to room temperature before next step.
- Use a rolling pin to get dough into a rectangle shape.
- Melt down about 2 tablespoons of butter and brush this onto the dough until all of it is covered. Make sure not to put too much, you’re just looking for a thin coat of butter. Now you’re ready for the filling!
- Using either a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer- mix together all ingredients, except almonds until relatively smooth. Mixture will be a little gritty due to the texture of marzipan. Mix for about 5-7 minutes. Then sprinkle almond slices in and using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula mix until almonds are fully incorporated.
- When dough is ready – pour mixture into the middle of dough rectangle then spread mix out until mix is even over dough. Leave a margin of about .5 to 1 inch border uncovered with almond paste.
- You are now ready to roll the dough! Start rolling dough tightly from the long length side until you have a fully rolled log. Then cut into slices, depending on how big/thick you want the buns to be. Mine were about 2- 3 inches, but I tend to make some small and some larger.
- Once cut, place buns on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set plastic wrap/tea towel on top of dough and leave for another 30 minutes to prove before baking. Preheat over to 350F or 176C.
Please note this process is a bit messy, at least it was for me. I had marzipan squishing out everywhere, but you need to make sure the roll is tight enough to keep it’s shape- just be careful you do not squish all the filling out, as I found there was a bit of leakage during baking anyway.
- Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan until all sugar is dissolved.
- Using a pastry brush, brush syrup on the tops and sides of double proved buns.
- Sprinkled sliced almonds on top of buns.
- Put buns in the oven to bake until golden brown. Depending on your oven this should take about 25-35 minutes. I let mine cook for 22 minutes then check every 3 minutes or so until they look nice and golden.
Once baked and cooled then sprinkle with powdered sugar for a more polished look. Or you can have them plain if you prefer.
Get the coffee on and enjoy!