Cinnamon buns in less than an hour?
Yes, completely do-able! Not only do-able, but made from scratch, too — no pre-made dough required!
Most recipes for cinnamon buns take about two hours from assembling the ingredients to eating that first fresh-from-the-oven warm bun. This is because cinnamon buns are usually made from a yeast bread recipe, which requires time to rise before baking. The secret with this recipe? A biscuit dough, which gets its soft texture from the addition of cottage cheese (or in my case, ricotta) to the dough. This recipe is from the Oct/Nov issue of Fine Cooking magazine, but lightly modified.
Quick and Easy Cinnamon Buns
3/4 cup cottage cheese (I used light ricotta instead)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 Tbsp cold milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat oven to 400F. Grease sides of a 9 or 10 inch springform pan with cooking spray. If you don’t have a springform pan, don’t worry – a large, round cake pan or pie plate worked fine for me.
Make dough: In food processor, combine cottage/ricotta cheese, buttermilk, sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients listed under dough and process in short pulse bursts until the dough just barely clumps together. Then remove the dough from the food processor and place onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth, then roll out with a rolling pin to approximately a 12″X15″ rectangle.
Make filling: Brush the dough with melted butter, leaving a 1/2 inch un-buttered border around the edges of the dough. Combine sugar, cinnamon, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the buttered area, then sprinkle nuts and raisins over top.
To roll up: starting at the long edge, roll the dough into a long ‘log’, the same as you’d do if making a jelly-roll. Pinch to seal the seam, but leave the ends open. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces with a sharp knife, and place into your greased pan. It is fine if the buns touch, but don’t worry if there are spaces between them; they will rise and spread as they bake.
Bake for 20-28 minutes until golden brown and firm to touch. Mine took exactly 20 minutes, but my oven often runs a bit hot; your mileage may vary. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then run a spatula around the outside edge of the buns to release them, and remove the outside of the springform pan. Transfer the buns to a serving plate.
To glaze: Mix well all ingredients listed under glaze. You should get a smooth, thick, but pourable glaze. If you find it is too thick, add a little more milk (1/2 Tbsp at a time). If you find it is too thin, add a touch more confectioners’ sugar. Pour over the buns and then serve as soon as they are cool enough to eat, if you can actually wait that long.