A cinnamon bun recipe seems to be a good way to start talking about being pregnant because of the whole bun-in-the-oven analogy, so when I saw that Smitten Kitchen did it I just hopped on board and stole her recipe.  It didn’t hurt matters that being pregnant makes cinnamon buns/rolls look oh.so.good.  Yes, I’m 5 months pregnant and a little late on writing about it, but there is just something so weird about announcing something like pregnancy to people.  I have found that they usually say one of two things : “Did you mean to get pregnant?” or “Wow, you don’t look too big yet!”  And those are both weird reactions for me to re-react to.  Umm, yes we were trying to get pregnant… but if we weren’t that would be a pretty weird question to try and answer!  And thanks, I look forward to getting huge (no thanks to these cinnamon rolls…). 

If I were to give one piece of advice to someone planning on making these for breakfast it would be to either wake up at 4am or plan on having more of a brunch.  There is a lot of kneading and rising and punching and rising.  It literally takes hours.  They are worth it in the end, but you definitely won’t knock a batch of these out in the time it takes to watch a Saturday morning cartoon.

I let my dough rise in the oven (turned off).  It is pretty warm, not drafty, and out of the way. 

The layer of cinnamon sugar filling is pretty thick.  It can be daunting because you feel like it will be way too much.  Alas, it ends up being perfect.  I guess that people think ahead when they are writing up these recipes after all!

Has anyone else noticed that I seem to be in the middle of a phase in which I make lots of foods that swirl?  First the pinwheels, and now this!  I wonder if this means that the baby will have curly hair.

Eat your heat out, Pillsbury!  You may be quick and easy, but these puppies are worth every ounce of energy!

Cinnamon Swirl Buns with Cream Cheese Glaze (from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Bon Appetit, March 2008):

Dough
1 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 1/2 cups (or more) unbleached all purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 teaspoons rapid-rise or instant yeast (from 1 envelope yeast)
1 teaspoon salt
Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Filling
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Pinch of salt

Glaze
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For dough: Combine milk and butter in glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts and mixture is just warmed to 120°F to 130°F, about 30 to 45 seconds. Pour into bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add 1 cup flour, sugar, egg, yeast, and salt. Beat on low speed 3 minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Add additional 2 1/2 cups flour. Beat on low until flour is absorbed and dough is sticky, scraping down sides of bowl. If dough is very sticky, add more flour by tablespoonfuls until dough begins to form a ball and pulls away from sides of the bowl. Turn the dough out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if sticky, about 8 minutes. (I just used a KitchenAid’s dough hook for this process since it was already in the mixer.) Form into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

For filling: Mix brown sugar, cinnamon and pinch of salt in medium bowl.

Press down the dough. Transfer it to a floured work surface. Roll out to 15×11-inch rectangle. Spread butter over dough, leaving 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle cinnamon mixture evenly over butter. Starting at the longer side, roll dough into log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up. With seam side down, trim ends straight if they are uneven.

Spray two 9-inch square glass baking dishes (an 8-inch metal pan worked just fine, too) with nonstick spray. Divide rolls between baking dishes, arranging cut side up (there will be almost no space between rolls). Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, then kitchen towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 40 to 45 minutes, though it may take longer. Don’t skimp on the double-rising time.

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Bake rolls until tops are golden, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and invert immediately onto rack. Cool 10 minutes. Turn rolls right side up.

For glaze: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Spread glaze on rolls. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note: These buns were best the day they were baked. The second day, they were on the tough side. If you anticipate wanting them over a few days, glaze them to order, heating the buns beforehand to soften them up.

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