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Friday, April 1, 2011

Honey Buns (just like storebought, only better)

Honey Buns
You know those Honey Buns that you can find in vending machines? I'm about to admit that I've never really liked them. I know, I know. So many people are die-hards - they love them with their coffee, or when they feel a junk food urge. I've always found them to be too sweet and too "stiff" (I like my buns soft, apparently). But I like the idea of them.

Fast forward to finding a recipe for cinnamon rolls from Judith Fertig that featured a honeyed dough and an apple cider glaze. I didn't think twice about trying them (cinnamon roll connoisseur here, in case you didn't know).

They're big. Like, really big. And do you know what the funny thing is? They are almost a Honey Bun replica - only exactly how I would want a Honey Bun to be...soft and irresistible. So, step away from the vending machine (or the snack aisle), and step into the kitchen. You won't be disappointed.

Honey Buns

Honey Buns
Attention Honey Bun lovers! Now you can make your favorite sweet rolls at home - and they're even better than storebought.
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makes 16 GINORMOUS buns

6½ c. bread flour, plus more for work surface
2 Tbs. instant yeast
1½ Tbs. fine sea salt
1 c. amber-hued honey (a good, raw honey is fabulous here)
¼ c. vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temp.
warm water

2 oz. butter, room temp.
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 Tbs. ground cinnamon

2 c. confectioners' sugar
¼ c. apple cider

Place flour, yeast, and salt in a very large bowl.  Mix w/ wooden spoon.
In a 4 c. measuring cup mix the honey, oil, and eggs.  Add enough warm water to reach the 4 cup mark and stir it all together.  Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and stir to combine.  Beat for ~40 strokes, dough forms a lumpy, sticky mass.

Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise at room temperature for ~2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size and started to collapse.  Transfer to refrigerator overnight. 

Transfer half of the dough at a time from the bowl, placing on a work surface that has been lightly dusted with flour.  Dust the dough lightly with flour and flour your hands and/or a rolling pin.  This dough is a bit sticky, so flour as you need it to keep it from sticking to your work surfaces.  Gently work dough out into a rectangle that is ~12" x 8". Spread half the filling over the dough as evenly as you can, making sure to disperse evenly.  Start at the short end and roll into a cylinder.  Cut eight even rolls using a bench scraper.  Place on the prepared sheet pan.  Since the dough is not very firm, they won't seem to hold their shape very well...but that's okay.  Repeat with second half of dough and filling.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for ~1 hour.  Preheat oven to 350° F during the last 15 minutes of rising time.
Slide tray into oven and bake for ~25-30 minutes.  Buns will be browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of buns registers at least 190° F.  Set tray on a wire rack to cool.
Whisk together confectioners' sugar and apple cider.  Drizzle over buns while they are still warm.

-adapted from (Clover Honey Dough & Cider Glazed Cinn. Rolls) Heartland by Judith Fertig
Honey Buns

I am sharing this post with Yeastspotting!