Oh so fluffy, sticky and sweet, these orange-scented cinnamon buns have been jazzed up to make a pretty Christmas bread wreath.
Before I started bringing sourdough everywhere, cinnamon buns used to be my go-to gift when visiting friends or having friends over for a coffee. There aren’t many things better than biting into a soft, freshly baked cinnamon bun with the sweet sticky glaze coating your fingers.
I wanted to make something these holidays that was festive and fun but also simple as the holidays are busy enough as it is! A sticky cinnamon bun, infused with fresh orange was the perfect recipe. It’s turned into a rustic wreath using scissors! No intricate folding or weaving needed.
These can, of course, be made into regular cinnamon bun shapes, or if you like, twist and weave away!
I am a ‘rustic’ decorator myself, that’s code for a little messy and not a perfectionist in the slightest. Using a simple cut to make a wreath is right up my alley!
The dough is simple but flavourful. It’s enriched with butter and egg and fresh orange juice and zest give it a wonderful citrus flavour. I start the dough off in my stand mixer and finish it by hand but it is definitely easy enough to make completely by hand, there’s not much kneading involved.
The dough is left to rise before being rolled out into a large rectangle. Then it’s brushed with butter and sprinkled with (well, heaped with brown sugar and cinnamon.)
Then it’s rolled into a large sausage. At this point, you can cut it into 10-12 slices and make regular shaped cinnamon buns, or fashion yourself a wreath.
Form a circle with the dough and tuck one end under the other to make a smoother seam when joining both sides.
Then with clean scissors, cut the dough into 10-12 slices, though don’t cut all the way through to the middle, at a 45-degree angle. Fan the slices out a bit so they’re not touching each other.
They’re then left to rise for 30 minutes more and baked until golden, then left to cool for 20 minutes before smothering in a zesty orange glaze.
The glaze really shouldn’t be optional, it makes the flavour of the orange stand out so much more!
Then dig in by ripping off a piece at a time. It’s a rustic serving of a rustic bread!
- 3 cups (450g) high grade flour (plus 1/4 cup extra for dusting)
- 3 Tblsp white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 sachet instant yeast
- Zest of an orange
- Juice of an orange (60ml)
- 3/4 cup milk (190 ml)
- 1 egg
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup soft brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- Juice of 1/2 an orange (30ml)
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 cup icing sugar
- In a bowl or a stand mixer, combine the 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, yeast and orange zest.
- In a saucepan heat the milk and 50g of butter until the butter melts. Don't let it boil but it should be hot to touch.
- Turn your stand mixer on to a medium setting and slowly drizzle the milk and butter mixture into the flour. If mixing by hand, stir with a fork while drizzling in the milk.
- Add in the egg and orange juice and mix for 5 minutes until it forms a shaggy dough ball.
- Tip onto a floured bench and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.
- Grease a bowl and place in the dough.
- Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to double in size in a warm space, for about 45-60 minutes.
- Roll the dough on a floured bench into a rectangle 60 x 30 cm.
- Brush the dough with the 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Mix together the cinnamon and the brown sugar then generously sprinkle on top of the dough.
- Roll it up into a long sausage and place on a sheet of baking paper.
- Form the sausage into a circle and seal the ends together.
- Snip into 10 or 12 'leaves' at a 45-degree angle, and fan them out so they're not touching.
- Leave to rise for 30 minutes and heat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Bake the wreath for 25 minutes until golden brown. If it's browning too fast, cover with a sheet of foil.
- Leave to cool for 20 minutes before glazing.
- Mix all the ingredients of the glaze in a bowl and drizzle over the wreath.
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