Pie, cookies, ice cream… we love all sweets the same. Well, okay… pie always wins. But the cinnamon bun is a real winner in our book, because it’s one of the most versatile treats around. Once you have the basic process down, you can put almost anything in a cinnamon bun…
Like, say, bacon, peanut butter, and banana… because as much as we love sweets, we can’t think of a single one that’s not improved by the addition of a little bacon.
Cinnamon buns with bacon, peanut butter, and banana
Adapted from Deborah Racicot
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 envelopes active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus a pinch granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
4 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5-10 slices bacon, chopped and cooked (we used 5 slices, thick cut)
Microwave 1 cup whole milk in a small microwave-safe bowl on high, using 30-second bursts, until milk is warm but not hot. Stir in yeast with a pinch of granulated sugar, and let the milk stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Beat 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt, using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended. Add 2 cups flour, slowly, and beat at a low speed until incorporated. Beat in warm milk mixture, scraping in any yeast that has settled in the bottom of the bowl.
Switch to a dough hook. Gradually add remaining 2 1/4 cups flour and beat at medium speed until a soft, sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes. Oil the sides of a large bowl and scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough stand in a warm place until it is doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Once risen, remove dough from bowl and roll into a large rectangle, approximately 1/4″ thick.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, blend 1/2 cup very soft or melted butter with peanut butter, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt.
Evenly spread dough with peanut butter mix, then spread bacon evenly over the top. Last, slice bananas and spread evenly.
Working from a long side, tightly roll up the dough.
Butter a 10-inch springform pan. Cut the rolls 2 inches thick using dental floss (it’s the best way!). Arrange the cinnamon rolls, cut side up, in concentric circles in the pan (you might need multiple pans) starting from the edge and working into the center. Leave a little room for your dough to rise.
Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, until puffy.
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small sauce pan, heat remaining 1/4 cup milk with 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup dark brown sugar. Bring to a boil for two minutes, then remove from heat.
Remove plastic wrap from rolls and bake for about 40 minutes, until golden and risen and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 180°. Let stand for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the ring from the rolls. Remove the ring. Slide the rolls onto a plate, drizzle with the glaze and serve.
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Photo Credit: Laicie and Mark Heeley of Dough Uprising