I remember in the 80s, when we moved to California for my husband's job, my daughters and I were so excited to learn that Swenson's had a Cinnamon Ice Cream. Do you remember Swenson's? These ice cream parlors sprung up at about the same time that Haagan Dazs did where unusual ice cream flavors enticed us in to buy their expensive product:-D Swenson's is only located in five states now--California, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, and Texas, so I haven't had my beloved ice cream for a long time, unless I make my own.
Cinnamon has a long history of use, dating back to being mentioned in the Hebrew bible where Moses is commanded to use both sweet cinnamon and cassia in the holy anointing oil. In Greek mythology is was highly prized as a gift fit for monarchs and even for a god. There is a fine inscription that records a gift of cinnamon and cassia to the temple of Apollo at Miletus. In 1518, Portuguese traders landed in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and began exporting this precious spice. The Dutch East India Company took over the trade and in 1796 the British eventually took it over from them with their occupation of the area. It's widely used as a spice for desserts--how could you make a apple pie without it--but in some cultures, it's used in savory dishes as well, such as lamb and chicken. And, if that's not enough information, I found that it has been proposed as a an insect repellent, although not fully tested.
Cinnamon Breakfast Buns
1 cup milk
4 T unsalted butter
In a 2-cup glass measure, microwave the butter and milk for 45 seconds to 1 minute to melt the butter. Add water to this mixture to equal 2 cups of liquid.
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg
2 T (or 2 pkg) SAF Gold Yeast
5-5 1/2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the sugar, salt and egg together. While the mixer is running, pour the milk/butter/water liquid into it. Continue to run mixture on low and sprinkle in the yeast.
Turn off the mixer and remove the paddle attachment; add the dough hook to the stand mixer. Allow the mixture to set for 5 to 7 minutes until it's "foamy."
Add 3 cups of the flour and the cinnamon and mix on speed #2. Gradually add the remaining 2 to 2 1/2 cups of flour until the dough is pulling away from the sides.
Transfer to a lightly flour bread board and knead to form a smooth ball.
Place in a large bowl (or dough bucket) that has been brushed with melted butter. Allow to rise until double, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
To check to see if it's risen enough, press your finger into the dough, an impression should remain of your finger.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. Vanilla powder (I found this product at Williams-Sonoma)
Mix together and set aside. Meanwhile, melt 4 T butter with 2 T maple syrup in a small saucepan. Remove from the stove when the butter is melted.
To assemble buns:
1. Roll dough to a 12" x 18" rectangle.
2. Brush with the melted butter/maple syrup mixture, then heavily sprinkle with over half of the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
3. Starting at the side, away from you, tightly roll up the dough towards you. Pinch the seam to seal.
4. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough in half, then each half into 6 pieces--this recipe makes a dozen.
5. Butter the wells of two jumbo muffin pans.
6. Keeping one hand as your "dirty hand," pick up one of the buns and brush additional butter/maple syrup around the sides and on top.
7. Take the bun over to the cinnamon/sugar bowl and sprinkle additional mixture around the sides and on top before setting it into a muffin well.
8. Cover the muffin pans with plastic wrap and allow to rise again...about 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F-degrees.
9. When buns have risen, brush some additional butter on top and sprinkle with more cinnamon/sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes.
10. When done, allow to set in the pan about 10 minutes, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
In addition to your home smelling heavenly, these buns were delicious and those memories of childhood came back with my mom making me toast and tea...sitting by my bedside and telling me it would make me feel better. Enjoy!