There are few constants in life, few things you can really truly count on. In my life, the deliciousness of bacon and the disappointment that is store bought cinnamon rolls top the list (Ok, maybe not “top” but it comes pretty close).
Bacon is one of those things that bring joy and light to the far reaches of the earth and cinnamon rolls are amazing but more often than not you can expect the store bought version to be dry and unsatisfying. For some reason I always find myself trying to make them again, in hopes that things will be different…like that time you picked up the phone for your EX… it’s pretty much a waste of time.
But what if I told you that I cracked the code? I found a way to combine both the delight of bacon and resurrect those tired cinnamon rolls?
Sunrise Buns are a cross between a cinnamon roll, monkey bread, a croissant, and caramel heaven. They are super easy to make and don’t require the chill time or elbow grease of “from scratch” buns, but look and taste like they do.
For the dough:
3 cups (361 grams) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons granulated sugar
2¼ teaspoons instant (rapid-rise) yeast
¾ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch- thick slices and chilled
1 cup (227 grams) sour cream, chilled
¼ cup (57 grams) orange juice, chilled
3 tablespoons ice water
1 egg yolk
For the filling:
½ cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
½ cup (106 grams) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Prepare the Dough: Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large zipper-lock bag. Add the butter, seal and shake to evenly coat the butter. Press the air out of the bag and reseal. Roll over the bag several times with a rolling pin, shaking the bag after each roll, until the butter is pressed into large flakes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the sour cream, orange juice, water and egg yolk until combined.
2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth, cohesive ball. Roll the dough into a 20x12-inch rectangle. Starting at the short end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pat the cylinder flat into a 12x4-inch rectangle and transfer to a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 15 minutes.
3. Prepare the Filling: Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners. In a medium bowl, stir together the sugars, orange zest, cinnamon and vanilla.
4. Remove the dough from the freezer and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a 20x12-inch rectangle and sprinkle evenly with the filling, leaving ½-inch border around the edges. Lightly press the filling into the dough. Starting at the long end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder and pinch lightly to seal the seam. Trim ½-inch of dough from each end and discard. Cut the cylinder into 12 equal pieces and transfer cut-side-up to the prepared muffin tin. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Once the oven reaches temperature, turn it off. Remove the muffin tin from the refrigerator and discard the plastic wrap. Place the buns in the turned-off oven until puffed and doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the buns from the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for an additional 40 to 50 minutes until the buns are deep golden brown, 40 to 50 additional minutes. Allow the buns to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and remove the liners. The buns are best served warm, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Make Ahead: After placing the buns in the muffin tin lined with PaperChef parchment liners, place the tin in the freezer until the buns are firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer the buns (with the PaperChef liners) to a zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To finish, return the buns to a muffin tin and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24 hours, then proceed with step #5.
(Recipe Credit: Cook’s Illustrated Holiday Baking 2012)