Sticky honey cinnamon buns. Honey sticky cinnamon buns. Honey cinnamon sticky buns. Sticky cinnamon honey buns. Buns of sticky honey cinnamon goodness.
Yup, that last one. That’s the right name for this bake.
I knew I had to bake this week and my evenings were filling up fast, so I chose an evening when a friend was coming over for a Marvel movie double feature to make these cinnamon sticky honey buns. I figured I could deal with the rising times and assembly instructions while watching Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther.
Before she arrived, though, I had to get the dough ready to rise. Flour first:
Plus yeast and salt:
And then the room temperature eggs and lukewarm milk, neither of which I had ready. Classic.
I quickly heated up the milk:
And ran the egg under warm water:
And that’s about when my friend arrived.
I had to use “set honey,” according to Mary and Paul, but I have no idea what “set honey” is and a Google search showed me something that looked very similar to creamed honey, so that’s what I got.
This particular bread recipe has honey in the dough, so I have high hopes of tastiness.
I had to mix together the liquid ingredients and as soon as I added the possibly more-than-lukewarm milk to the possibly colder-than-room-temperature eggs, I was worried about cooked egg.
But I think it’s okay.
Then I had to make a well in the dry ingredients and add the liquid ingredients:
And then combine.
I was mixing the dough in the bowl and my friend asked me what I was doing, I expertly told her that normally you’re supposed to mix it on the countertop, but I was just trying to combine the ingredients this way, and that’s when I read the next step: Knead on a floured surface.
I like how immediately humbled I am sometimes.
As we were chatting, I felt the need to interrupt her and warn her that I was about to knead for 10 minutes. And, as per usual, about halfway through I wondered if I was done yet.
Nope. Another five minutes.
After a few “need to knead” jokes were made, I set it aside to rise.
Near the end of the rising time, I got a head start on the filling.
Softened butter (which was partially melted because the microwave doesn’t have a “softened butter” button), brown sugar (which was supposed to be muscavado, but I still don’t know what muscavado is other than a fun word to say), cream honey (which, as discussed, is supposed to be the mysterious “set” honey) and a dash of cinnamon.
I then had to beat it with a wooden spoon until it was “fluffy.” My friend had to ask if I was okay because I was whining about my lack of upper arm strength as I tried mixing together these ingredients. I then got her to check if she thought this was fluffy enough:
And then envied Thor of his upper arm strength, commenting that he could probably whip up this butter mixture no problem.
In order to save scrambling time later, I thought I should also prep the tin, which is less a tin and more a dish.
Buttered and ready for sticky honey buns cinnamon!
This dough looks doubled enough, right?
Time to roll it out in a rectangle. I, as usual, measured it out to make sure I was rolling to the right size, but it seemed too small. I decided to put my own judgments aside, though, and trust Mary and Paul.
Back to the filling, I had to add enough whipping cream “until sloppy.” What does that even mean? I’m also not supposed to be concerned if it looks like it’s about to curdle. Pardon me, Mar-Bear and Paulo, but I would be concerned.
Thankfully I didn’t have to be concerned with this. It was at this point that I uttered a loud “Ohhhhh!” because I reread an instruction that had previously baffled me.
I am supposed to spread one-third of the mixture out, but the way I had read and reread it before, it seemed as though I was to spread the mixture onto one-third of the dough. Hence the “Ohhhhh!” Maybe this is why you’re not supposed to combine baking and movie watching.
The point is, I caught my mistake before I made it, and commenced assembly:
One-third of the filling and one-half of the walnuts were used, and then I read ahead to make sure the rest of the walnuts came into play later on in the recipe unlike the infamous banana bread debacle. Fear not. They do in fact make an entrance in the third act.
Then it was time to roll it up on the long edge. And thankfully, since I have made cinnamon buns before, I knew what that meant.
Unfortunately, making sure to pinch the dough together became a little tricky when the rectangle wasn’t a perfectly cornered rectangle and the filling was starting to escape.
But that’s good enough.
It was time to put them in the rest of the filling in the dish/tin, evenly spaced and “barely touching.” At first I read “not touching” and was having some difficulty, but I reread just in time to catch my second mistake.
How inconsistent are these? I feel better about the variations with this one, though, because my friend pointed out that the recipe picture had wonky proportions too.
‘Twas time to let them rise again!
My poor friend was slightly disappointed when the second rising time was done, because she thought the buns sticky cinnamon honey were done done, but they were just done rising the second time.
I still had to put them in the oven for 25 minutes.
By that time, we were waiting oven-adjacent for these things to finish, peeking into the oven door window and watching them become golden buns of cinnamon honey sticky. Mary and Paul said to take them out when they’re golden and when the filling is bubbling up and around the buns. We watched and, since I used a glass dish, we got to see the bubbling. It was kind of like the best scientific experiment ever because it (a) smelled delicious and would soon (b) taste delicious.
How beautiful are these?
Now here’s where things get tricky. In order to have the filling/glaze on top, you have to put a baking sheet over the dish and flip it when it’s only cooled for a minute, which means the caramel is now boiling hot and the splatter risk is real.
To avoid even extra mess, I wrapped parchment paper around the baking sheet and taped it to the underside, put it on top of the container, put on my oven mitts and tried to do one swift movement to avoid a massive mess.
And, for the most part, it worked!
There was a little bit of caramel that ended up on a stove element, but I can clean that up later. I then added the rest of the walnuts and we tried to wait as long as possible, but we gave in and helped ourselves.
It wasn’t until after we had enjoyed these not-too-sweet sticky honey cinnamon buns that I realized I forgot to take a walnut-topped photo, hence why there are two missing from this shot:
Honestly, this is a top recipe from this book. I’m much better at breads than I am at sponges.
*the next day*
The container of baked goods arrived much to the excitement of my coworkers and, needless to say, disappeared pretty quickly. People loved these. And I am still really surprised by the fact that they weren’t too sweet. Maybe the creamed honey is less super sweet than processed sugar?
‘Tis a mystery.
A delicious mystery.