I'm used to making the Pillsbury, easy kind, but I decided it was time I try to make them from scratch and I love them!
Way better to make them from scratch because then you know where all the ingredients are coming from and what exactly is in them.
2 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 package of instant yeast
1/2 cup of warm water
1/4 cup of milk
2 1/2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of butter, softened
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1/4 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of raisins (optional)
Icing Option 1: Plain Icing
1 1/2 tablespoons of melted butter
2 tablespoons of water
1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of icing sugar (plus more to thicken)
Icing Option 2: Cream Cheese Icing
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1/4 cup of softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons of milk
Dough: Preheat the oven to 150°F
Add the warm water to a small bowl, with 1 tablespoon of sugar, and the package of instant yeast.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.
Prepare the other ingredients for the dough while waiting for the yeast.
Add the flour, remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar, and salt into a medium size bowl, and mix. In a small bowl, add the butter and milk, and microwave until melted. Create a hole in the middle of the flour mixture, add the butter mixture, and stir into the flour a little. Make sure it is not too hot (or it will kill the yeast). Add the egg and mix into the butter mixture. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour bowl, and slowly stir the edges of the flour hole into the liquid in the middle. When it is in a more solid state, start to knead with your hands. The dough should be smooth and look like the below picture when you are finished kneading. Put the dough in an oven proof bowl, and cover with a damp tea towel. Place the bowl into the oven to let it rise for 30 minutes. Once you remove the dough from the oven, it should have risen to look puffy compared to before. Change the oven to preheat to 375°F Dust a surface with flour, and roll the dough out. You want it to look like a rectangle (which I obviously didn't achieve), this is just for more even rolling and the amount of layers in your cinnamon bun. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread the softened butter all over the dough, and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar layer on top. If you want to add raisins, sprinkle them evenly. Roll over the cinnamon and raisins lightly, to make sure they stick into the dough (or it starts to fall out as you roll the dough). Starting from one side, roll the dough all the way to the other side. Now you need to slice the dough into little cinnamon bun chunks. What I used to do this was dental floss because it gives a really clean cut, but you could also use a knife. Place the cinnamon buns onto a greased or lined baking tray. Make sure you pinch the tail of the cinnamon bun in, or it will undo while baking.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. I prefer really soft cinnamon buns, all depends on preference.
Prepare whichever icing you prefer. Next, prepare the icing, preferably while the cinnamon buns are baking. Plain Icing: Soften butter, add water and vanilla, and mix in the icing sugar. Pour over the cinnamon buns once they have been removed from the oven. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes before pouring the icing on them (because they are hot, the icing will just run right off).
Cream Cheese Icing: Soften the cream cheese, add the milk and mix in the icing sugar. You may need to use an electric mixer to get the right, fluffy consistency. This icing is a little thicker than the plain icing I used on mine. Again, pour/spread over the cinnamon buns once they have been removed from the oven. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes before spreading the icing on them.
This recipe is a little more time consuming than my others, and took about 2 to 2 1/2 hours, but totally worth it when they are ready!