Blood Orange Cinnamon Buns with drizzle icing

Blood Orange Cinnamon Scrolls

Makes 24 buns

For the dough:

• 150g / 5.3oz butter, at room temperature

• 90g / 3.2oz caster sugar

• pinch of salt

• 450ml / 15.2 fl oz milk

• 13g / 0.45oz instant yeast

• 840g / 1lb 13.6oz plain flour

• zest of 1 blood orange

• juice of 1 blood orange (around 100ml / 3.4 fl oz)

For the filling:

• 150g / 5.3oz butter, at room temperature

• 80g / 2.8oz caster sugar

• 2 tbsp ground cinnamon

• zest of 2–3 blood oranges

• 1 tsp vanilla paste

• pinch of salt

• 1 free-range egg, beaten, to glaze

For the icing:

• 1 cup pure icing sugar

• 2–4 tbsp blood orange juice

1. To make the dough, place the butter, sugar and salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

2. Beat the butter and sugar until pale and smooth.

3. Gently heat the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until the milk reaches body temperature. The milk will feel just warm when you put your finger in it. Should only take a minute.

4. Add the instant yeast to the warm milk, and stir to combine.

5. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and switch to a kneading/bread hook.

6. Add a little of the flour, the orange zest and the warm milk, and knead until incorporated.

7. Add a little more flour and the orange juice, and continue kneading.

8. Gradually add the remaining flour and knead on low speed for around 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

9. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 45–60 minutes to prove, or until the dough has doubled in size.

10. While the dough is rising, make the filling by combining the soft butter, sugar, cinnamon, orange zest, vanilla paste and salt in a small bowl. Mix using the back of a tablespoon to smear the ingredients together until completely combined. Set aside.

11. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

12. Divide the dough into two pieces. Dust your benchtop, and roll out one piece of the dough into a large rectangle around 40 x 50 cm wide.

13. Dot half the cinnamon butter evenly over the dough and spread it thinly with a butter knife, as if you’re buttering a giant piece of toast.

14. Take one of the long sides of the rectangle and fold it into the centre.

15. Take the other long side and fold it all the way over so the edges line up. You now have three layers of dough, with cinnamon butter in between.

16. Cut the dough into 4 pieces width-ways, so that you end up with 4 almost-square rectangles. 

17. Cut each of these 4 rectangles into 3 pieces lengthways, so you have 3 long strips.

18. Cut each of these strips up the middle almost all the way, leaving them joined by a centimetre at the top.

19. Take each strip in your hands, and gently stretch the ‘legs’ to make them longer. The dough will be soft and pliable, so they should stretch quite easily.

20. Wrap each leg over and over the connected top of the dough, winding over all the dough to form a giant knot. Tuck the end of each strip underneath. Each one will be a little bit different, and remember, imperfect is perfect! 

21. Place the cinnamon bun onto a baking tray lined with paper, ends-side down.

22. Repeat all the steps with the remaining half of dough, which should make 24 buns in all.

23. Cover the trays with a clean tea towel and allow the buns to rise once more, for 20–30 minutes.

24. While the buns are rising for the second time, preheat the oven to 250°C / 480°F / Gas Mark 9/10.

25. In a small bowl, whisk the egg. This will become an egg wash to make your buns golden brown on top.

26. After 20–30 minutes, the buns will have filled out and grown slightly. Lightly brush them with the egg wash and then pop them into the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until golden on top.

27. Enjoy warm, as is, or drizzle with icing.

28. For the icing, in a bowl, stir together 1 cup of icing sugar and 2–4 tablespoons of blood orange juice, adding a little at a time until you reach a drizzling consistency, until completely smooth. Before drizzling, allow the buns to cool.

29. Use a teaspoon to drizzle the icing on the buns. Allow the icing to set for 5–10 minutes before serving.

This recipe is a whole lot quicker and easier if you use an electric stand mixer to do the mixing and kneading. But if you don’t have a stand mixer, or a bread hook, you can use a big bowl, a wooden spoon and some strong arms.  

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