not hot cross buns… cinnamon buns please (WTSIM…#4)

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recipe: Cinnamon Buns based on University of Alberta Tuck Shop Buns

WTSIM… Easter Basket!

Early this week, we were talking about Easter-like bread:

me: Which would you rather have?

  1. Hot Cross Buns
  2. Cinnamon Buns
  3. Luciacats (sweet saffron buns)

T: (surprise, surprise) All of them!

me: Umm, okay. Which shall I make first?

T: Luciacats!! I love Luciacats!! No…. Cinnamon buns! Then we can have Luciacats on Easter Day. Yes, cinnamon buns. You haven’t made cinnamon buns in ages. When will they be ready?

So down to the kitchen I went to make my alma mater’s “Tuck Shop” cinnamon buns. And this time I followed all the instructions. (Read about the last time.)

I had forgotten how thrilling it was to knead dough that is basically the consistency of loose cream of wheat. :lalala: And cutting the risen dough into orange sized pieces was a complete joke. But somehow I managed and got 12 slack, slack, slack knots of buttery, sugary, cinnamony dough onto two parchment covered cookie trays. I baked them and…

cinnamon Oh my!! What great cinnamon buns! They were a little flat but they were fabulous. (click on image for larger view and more photos)

And in virtually no time at all, there were no more cinnamon buns left.

me: Which should I make now?

  1. Hot Cross Buns
  2. Luciacats

T: Cinnamon Buns! We need more cinnamon buns!

me: (laughing) Okay. Cinnamon buns it is. Does that mean you don’t want Luciacats or Hot cross buns?

T: (surprised) Of course I want Luciacats!! Don’t you want Luciacats? We love Luciacats!! But make cinnamon buns today! When will they be ready?

And so, down to the kitchen I went to make another batch of cinnamon buns. And this time, I put all twelve slack, slack, slack knots of buttery, sugary, cinnamony dough onto one parchment covered cookie tray. And baked them and…

cinnamon Oh my!! What great cinnamon buns! And this time they were exactly like Tuck Shop buns! (click on image for larger view and more photos)

Here is the version of the cinnamon buns I made based on the recipes for “Tuck Shop Buns” in A Taste of the Arts published in 1982 by the Edmonton Arts Cookbook Society as a fundraiser and the slightly different version of the recipe I snipped out of my alumni magazine, New Trail. (recipe online: Tuck Shop Buns: The Recipe):

Cinnamon Buns
based on University of Alberta Tuck Shop Buns
yeast mixture

  • 2½ tsp active dry yeast
  • ½ c warm water
  • 1Tbsp sugar


  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 c milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 c boiling water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ c whole wheat flour
  • 5 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp salt

cinnamon butter

  • 1 c unsalted butter
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ½ c white sugar
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • Thompson raisins, about 4 per bun


  1. yeast mixture In a smallish bowl, mix yeast with sugar and warm water (do the baby’s bottle test on your wrist) and set aside on the counter in a warmish spot.
  2. dough Into the bottom of a large bowl, put milk powder, 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, 2 Tbsp sugar and boiling water. (If there is no milk powder, use 1 cup milk and 1 cup water.) Whisk until there are no lumps.
  3. Add all the flour and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is mostly smooth. Allow to cool until the mixture is lukewarm (do the baby’s bottle test on your wrist).
  4. Using a wooden spoon, stir in yeast mixture.
  5. Sprinkle a little bit of flour onto a large kneading board and pour the dough into the center.
  6. Watch the dough ooze towards the edge of the board as you wash and dry the mixing bowl.
  7. Use a dough scraper to knead the dough til it is smooth and elastic – about 10 minutes. Do not be tempted to add more flour! The dough is supposed to be slack, slack, slack. Use the scraper to help maneuvre the dough into the clean mixing bowl. Cover with plastic and place in a warm spot (oven with only the light turned on is ideal) to rise til the dough has doubled.
  8. cinnamon butter Melt butter and pour into in a flat bowl (a soup bowl works well) and allow to cool.
  9. Mix sugars and cinnamon in another flat bowl.
  10. Put some raisins into a small bowl (allow 4 or 5 raisins per bun)
  11. Cover the bottom of a sided cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  12. Carefully pour the risen dough onto a lightly floured board.
  13. Cut it into 12 equal sized pieces (ha. yes, don’t worry, it will all ooze back together as you work). Remember the size. Take one of the pieces and place it gently into the warmish butter to cover it completely. Lift it out and roll it gently in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Tie it into a simple knot, tuck the ends underneath and place on the parchment paper. Poke raisins in under the seams. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  14. Use a rubber scraper to evenly distribute any remain butter or cinnamon sugar mixture over the shaped buns. Cover them with plastic and place in a warm spot to rise til double (about 45 minutes).
  15. baking Preheat the oven to 425F.
  16. Place the buns on the top shelf of the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375F. Bake for about 25 minutes til golden. It’s a good idea to turn the tray around half way through the baking time – to allow for uneven oven heat.
  17. Allow to cool completely on rack on the counter.
  18. Before serving, reheat each bun upside down in the toaster oven to ensure that the cinnamon butter stays on the bun. Put extra butter on the table for the decadent.

Here are more recipes:

I’m afraid I’m actually far too late for WTSIM… Easter Basket! hosted by Johanna (The Passionate Cook) but if I’d been on time, this would have been my post…

Read the roundup:

edit 9 April 2007: If you would like to participate in this event, the next WTSIM… theme is bread. (How ironic! If I’d waited for the announcement for April’s theme, this post on cinnamon buns could have been one of the early entries! :lalala:) Entries for WTSIM… Bread are due 25 April 2007. For more details, please read Andrew’s (Spittoon Extra) announcement:

This entry was posted in baking, bread - yeasted & unyeasted, bread recipe, crossblogging, food & drink, posts with recipes, WTSIM... on by .

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