This is one of my favorite sweet dough recipes because it takes such a short amount of time to make due to the rapid rise yeast, and it’s just a very soft and supple dough in general.
To begin you’ll need the following ingredients for the dough:
- 1 cup Whole Milk
- 1 Egg
- 3 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter (1/2 stick)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 package (or 2 1/4 teaspoons) Instant Yeast, also called SAF Yeast
For the sugar filling you’ll need:
- 1/3 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Cinnamon
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) Unsalted Butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Powder (optional)
For the icing you’ll need:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 tablespoon Milk (more as needed)
First things first, add your half stick of butter to your milk. Microwave for 60 seconds and then give things a good stir, pop back into the microwave for about 30 seconds. At this point, if you have a thermometer handy, great! You want to aim for 100 to 110 degrees F. If you’re just using your finger, that’s ok. You want the mixture to be warm to the touch but not hot.
Next, mix together your yeast, flour, salt, and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. It just needs a quick toss together. Add your egg, and milk and butter mixture. Mix on low (speed 2) until combined, and then continue to mix for 4-5 minutes. Dough will a bit sticky, but not extremely.
If mixing this by hand, stir together your ingredients and then knead on a very lightly floured surface for 8 to 10 minutes, or until smooth.
If using a stand mixer, put a lint free towel over your bowl for about ten minutes to let your dough relax. If making this by hand, add dough to a lightly oiled bowl and toss to coat the dough in oil. Cover with a lint free towel.
In a small bowl, mix together your sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla powder. If you do not have vanilla powder, don’t worry! I just think it’s a nice touch if you have it on hand.
Once your dough has rested for 8 to 10 minutes, roll it out into a rectangular shape approximately 16″x10″, and no, mine is not exactly rectangular since mother nature hates square corners. Your work surface should be lightly floured.
Remember that other half stick of butter we held onto? Time to smear it on the dough! An offset spatula is your friend during this endeavor. Try to keep the edges unbuttered, about 1/2 inch. This will help us when pinching the seam at the end.
Sprinkle your sugary-cinnmony goodness mix over your buttered dough as evenly as you can. Pat down.
Then roll it up. Try to get a nice tight roll, starting at the end farthest from you. Pinch the end and make a nice seam.
Butter or spray your dish(es). You can use two pie plates or one 9×13 baking dish. Today I opted for two disposable 8″ rounds. Trim the very ends of your dough off (1/4 to 1/2 inch of dough on either side). Next, using a bench scraper, a sharp knife, you will want to divide your dough into 12 to 16 pieces, depending on how big you’d like your buns to be. I went ahead and cut up 16 pieces. I typically cut the log into two pieces, cut those two pieces in half, and continue to divide in two until you reach your desired quantity.
Place into your desired dish(es) and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Preheat your oven to 350F. I like to set my buns on top of the oven while it’s preheating because it quickly becomes a nice, warm spot. Let rise for 20 to 30 minutes, or until nice and puffy.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes on a rack centered in your oven, until lightly golden.
Set on a wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes, or until no longer hot.
While your buns are cooling, it’s time to make your cream cheese icing. It’s important that your cream cheese and butter are softened, otherwise they will not mix well. If you’re in a pinch for time, cube them into small pieces and they will come to room temperature quicker.
Either using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or using a hand mixer, beat your cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Slowly add in your powdered sugar. If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of milk, or more as needed. You’ll want the mixture to be a thick texture, but spreadable. That being said, you are the boss of your icing! Do what you like best.
Once you ice your buns, all that’s left to do is enjoy!