I didn’t change much about the original recipe. I switched around the flour types, using white whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose and regular bread flour instead of whole wheat (because these were what I had on hand). The next time I make them, I will add about 1/3 cup of chopped toasted walnuts or pistachios to the pastry before rolling and slicing. The almond extract in the pastry dough and the orange zest mixed in with the spices give it a different sort of flavor than the traditional heavy cinnamon sugary bun.
¼ cup warm water
½ cup milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
A few drops almond extract, optional
1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
¾ cup bread flour
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small dice
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup golden brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of kosher salt
6 tablespoons melted butter
Combine sugars, zest, spices and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
Brush the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin with a thin film of melted butter. Set aside the rest of the butter. Coat the wells generously with granulated sugar, tapping out excess. Set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough to an 8×20-inch rectangle. Brush the remaining browned butter across the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border on the long sides. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly atop the butter. Press the sugar lightly into the dough. Starting from the long side closest to you, carefully roll the dough into a tight log. Once completely rolled, pinch the seam to seal. Turn the rolled dough onto its seam and cut into 12 equal portions. In her blog, Tara explains that she prefers to cut them slightly smaller and make 14 buns, rather than 12, to cut portion size. Turn each slice onto one of its flat sides, and press down lightly to level. Place slices in prepared pan. Set aside to rise in a warm, draft free spot* until just about doubled in size, around 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
Bake the buns until puffed and golden, around 20 minutes. Immediately turn the buns out onto another sheet pan. Carefully flip buns right side up, cool until just manageable to touch, around 5-10 minutes. One by one, roll the hot buns in a small bowl of granulated sugar, coating completely but shaking off excess.
*I’ve explained previously my method for allowing dough to rise: Turn oven on to lowest temperature (in my case, it’s 100 degrees farenheit). As soon as the oven heats to that temperature, turn it off and place your dough in to rise according to recipe.