I made these with a friend yesterday afternoon, and they definitely got the seal of approval from two cinnamon bun lovers! This recipe is really quick and easy to make, and doesn't require a lot of rising time so you can have hot, fresh cinnamon buns out of your oven in a little over an hour. The dough is flaky on the outside and gooey in the middle, and there is no shortage of sticky cinnamon sugar. These are perfection!
3/4 cup 2% milk
4 Tbsp. butter or margarine, room temperature
3 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided use
1 package instant yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1 large egg
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine, softened - You could also use butter here, but I find that using margarine for cinnamon bun filling makes them more flaky and light because butter gets absorbed into the dough too easily while baking.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until it bubbles. Remove from heat and stir in the butter until it is melted. Set aside and allow to cool until lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer with the dough hook attachment on, mix together the 2 and 1/4 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt until combined. Stir in the water, egg, and milk mixture and continue to mix until incorporated. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, into the mixture, stirring well after each addition. When the dough just starts to come together, turn it onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and not sticky at all, about 5-10 minutes.
Cover the dough with a hot, damp cloth and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and softened margarine until combined and smooth.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it is a 12x9" rectangle. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough. Roll up the dough into a log and pinch the seam together to seal it. With a serrated knife, cut the dough into 10 or 12 even rolls. Lightly grease a rectangular cake pan or two round cake pans with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Place the rolls cut side up into the prepared pans. If you are using two round pans then divide the rolls evenly among the pans. We made the mistake of trying to put all 10 rolls into one 9" round pan and it was a little too crowded after they had baked. Cover and let the cinnamon buns rise in a warm area until they have doubled in size, about 30 minutes. To create a warm spot for the dough I place the covered cake pans on large skillets that I've warmed on low heat on the stovetop for a few minutes - not enough to get super hot, but just enough so that they are warm to the touch.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Once the rolls have finished rising, bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Serve warm.
*Recipe adapted from Cookie Madness