Wednesday, 2 May 2012


Cinnamon buns

Lie in’s, special treats and indulgent breakfasts, that’s what I’m looking forward to this May Bank Holiday.

A chance to do things we don’t normally have time to do.

Despite the lure of the duvet and a long lazy breakfast I’m also drawn to the idea of the Isle of Wight Randonnee.

For those of you who know me, don’t choke in your coffee or glass of something stronger please, I’m serious!

The Randonnee, the 55/100km cycle ride round the Island, is this Sunday 6th May.

(Click below for official information)

I can visualize the scene. Pedalling across the island in the spring sunshine!

All that fresh air and glorious country side!

Hair gently blowing in the breeze.

A picnic in my wicker bike basket...

 However I’m not sure the reality of struggling up hills and distances of 55/100 km in driving wind will really live up to my romantic image of it. 

I mentioned it to a friend recently.

“Wow! When did you start training?” she asked

 “Training? Arhh...I hadn’t actually thought I needed to train.”
Her eyes widened and I sensed surprise.
 “I’m not planning on running the marathon. I just want to enjoy a leisurely cycle”
“Maybe that’s not quite the right thing..” She suggested kindly
She seemed to think I would be totally unprepared.
She might have a point!

The more I think about it, the more the cinnamon buns and a lie-in might just get the better of me. 

So in case you are faced with a similar dilemma, I offer you a cinnamon bun recipe to tempt you to relax and enjoy.

Be warned; don’t attempt to make these before you’re going out. 

The warmth and smells of the baking will banish any thoughts of lycra and leggings or in my case sunglasses and pink bike!

Flour and dough

Cinnamon and raisin buns

Looking for something different for breakfast one day I stumbled upon a recipe for Chelsea buns and adapted it as we love cinnamon.

Think more pain au raisin but in a softer bread rather than pastry.

It is made with milk and eggs rather than water like a bread dough so is softer and more subtle.

Eggs and Milk

If I can, I prepare this the day before, leave it to rise, then cook it fresh in the morning before breakfast..when I have time!  Otherwise I cook it the day before and just warm it through to serve for breakfast.

Don’t be put off by the ingredients list or the time it takes to prepare.

It has a few stages to do but none of them are complicated or strenuous. It is worth it and if you have a bread maker it is very simple. If you don’t you just need a warm kitchen.

Overall preparation time 2 ½ hours
Cooking time 20 minutes

For the dough:
225 ml / 8floz milk
1 egg
500g unbleached white bread flour
½ tsp salt
75g /3oz caster sugar
50g/2 oz butter
1 tsp quick yeast

For the filling:
25g/1oz melted butter
150g / 6oz raisins
25g/1 oz candid peel
50 g/2 oz soft brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon

To glaze:
2 oz caster sugar
4tbsp water
½ tsp cinnamon


1.     If you are using a bread machine put the milk and beaten egg in first and then add the dry ingredients and butter. Turn the machine to the dough setting...And now skip to stage 4!

2.     If doing it by hand put the dry ingredients into a big bowl and mix by hand. Measure the milk into a jug and beat in the egg. Make a well in the flour mixture then gradually pour the liquid in and combine either with a spoon or by hand, adding the softened butter as you go along as well.

3.     When the mixture is all combined take it out and knead it gently, on a floured surface, then return to the bowl, cover with cling film and place somewhere warm to rise. It needs to double in size so allow a good hour.

4.     Once risen, place the dough on a floured work surface and knead gently then roll out into a square about 30cm by 30cm.

5.     Brush this with melted butter then mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over, then do the same with the raisins and candid peel. Make sure you leave a 1cm border along one side.

Glazed and ready for raisins

6.     Here’s the fun bit..Start to roll the dough up like a swiss roll from the full end, so you leave the end with the border to last so you can seal it all together.

7.     Once it is rolled cut this into equal chunks..about 8- 12 depending how thick you want it

8.     Then lay them side by side in a well oiled square baking tin and cover with cling film. Leave to rise somewhere warm for about 30-45 minutes or it has risen to twice the size.

Cinnamon bun dough

9.     Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees then bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.

10.                        Let it cool in the tin whilst you make the glaze. For this you mix the water, sugar and cinnamon in a small saucepan and heat until the sugar has dissolved then boil rapidly for a couple of minutes without stirring until it looks more syrupy.

11.                        Finally remove this from the heat, stir, then brush- if you have one- or carefully pour this all over the buns giving it a shiny look. Then serve warm...

Bike ready and waiting

So will it be bike or buns or both this bank holiday?
 We shall see!!

Have a great weekend

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