Monday, October 24, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Class 101

Many years ago, as a teen-ager, I looked up a cinnamon bun recipe in the old Mennonite Treasury and went about to make them. They turned out like good hockey pucks . . . but I loved cinnamon buns too much to give up so soon. The next time I tried, they turned out pretty good and I've been making good ones now for over thirty years.
So, with this recipe I thought I'd throw in a little yeast class. The things I have learned about yeast baking are not from a book, just from experience. There are basically two kinds of yeast out there now:
1) traditional yeast (active dry yeast)
2) and instant yeast (quick rise).
Traditional yeast works best when pre-mixed with a Tbsp of sugar and dissolved in warm water, allowing it to sit for 10 minutes before adding to the dough. What I have found is that traditional yeast dough can be punched down several times and it won't lose its "rising power" too quick. However, it is less forgiving when it comes to heat - you can actually kill it if it's mixed with very hot liquids. (That is what happened the first time I made cinnamon buns.)
Instant yeast can be added to the flour or directly into the wet dough as it's being mixed. It is not as fussy with hot temperature. It can be mixed in the traditional way with sugar and warm water - but does not have to be.
I hope this helps with some of the fear and confusion about yeast baking. I use instant yeast now, because it's quicker and easier to use.
another tip: Yeast doughs need a draft-free space to rise. Covering the dough with a clean tea towel and a large plastic bag helps to keep the temperature in the bowl just right for rising.The towel keeps the plastic from sticking to the dough.
Now . . . for the cinnamon buns . . .
I adjusted this recipe to be made in a Kitchen Aid. (It will yield 24 - 30 buns) If you have one, try it in there, using the whisk to beat the eggs and sugar, then the liquids and some flour, then switch to the hook attachment, kneading for about 5 minutes when all the flour is mixed in.
If you have to do this by hand... in a large bowl, use an electric beater to beat the eggs and sugar. Stir in the wet ingredients and then the flour. With the final few cups of flour you will have to use your hands. It helps to put oil on your hands to work all the flour in well, kneading until it's smooth and elastic feeling.

Ingredients:
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup milk, scalded
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water
  • 2 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 5 1/2 cups unbleached flour
Filling:
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon


Method:

  1. Heat or scald milk and salt, adding butter and stirring to melt. Add cold water to cool slightly. The liquids should be hot but not so hot that you can't hold your pinky in there. Set aside.
  2. In mixing bowl, beat eggs and sugar well.
  3. Slowly add very warm liquids to egg mixture, stirring all the time.
  4. Add 2 cups flour mixed with yeast, mix well with liquids, then continue adding one cup at a time, beating with hook attachment or stirring each in well using a wooden spoon.
  5. Knead for several minutes, until smooth and elastic-like.
  6. Cover with clean tea towel and plastic. Let rise for 60 - 90 minutes. (until double in size)
  7. Loosen along sides to deflate the dough and divide in half.
  8. On floured surface, shape into rectangular shape with hands. Roll each half out to about 12 X 18 inches. Spread with melted butter and sugar/cinnamon mixture.
  9. Roll up jelly roll style, cut into thick slices and place on well greased or parchment paper lined pans.
  10. Cover loosely with plastic and rise for 60 minutes. Bake at 350F for 20 - 25 minutes.

Icing / Frosting:

Mix the left over melted butter, or melt 2 Tbsp, and mix with about 2 cups confectioner's sugar and enough milk to desired spreading consistency. If you ice them when cooled off, the frosting can be quite thin, if you ice them while warm, the icing should be thicker.

Freeze the buns in the pan, inside a plastic bag. To serve, cover pan with aluminum foil and re-heat at 350F until warmed through. They will be as though they were just baked.

72 comments:

  1. yummy. Hubbie and I love cinnamon buns. I recently bought a Kitchenaid mixer and this is going to be the first yeast recipe I try out with it. Thanks for the lesson on yeasts too.
    I do have a question though...clean towel and then ? the plastic? I would have done just the towel or plastic wrap.

    Ursula

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  2. Oh yummy thank you for sharing, I am going to make them tomorrow

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  3. I needed this 101 lesson! Cinnamon buns are one of my favorites and I'm terrible with all yeast recipes! Maybe I will give it a shot for Sunday breakfast!

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  4. I want you to know that your cinnamon bun recipe is the only one that I make now. They are absolutely fantastic, turn out beautifully and I can count on them to make a good appearance and taste when I make them for people:)

    Thank you for the delicious recipe.

    Jenna

    p.s. I use a Bosch mixer to make them and it works great too.

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  5. Anneliese, this is a great "class" on making cinnamon buns. I'm still trying to perfect my technique on these tasty treats. Your tips will be helpful. Thanks!

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  6. do you have shipping charges on your orders? I take two dozen please. :)
    gosh these look super good, and maybe with the step by step instructions mine should finally turn out

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  7. I, too, determined to bake cinnamon buns until I (and my family) was happy with the results. After a few years and a few fails, I am onto something good, much to my delight!

    When asking a cinnamon bun pro what her secret was for nice soft cinnamon buns, she told me that baking them in tin foil baking pans was the secret. I ALWAYS do this now - they are always soft, never dried out, and have just the right amount of "gooey" to them. Don't know if it is truly the tin foil pans or just my imagination, but I'm not fooling around with a good thing! Thanks for the recipe and I enjoyed reflecting on our mutual desires for great cinnamon buns!

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  8. yum,they look delicious!! can you tell me what size pan you use and how many in each pan?? i am going to make them tomorrow!! thankyou cindy

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  9. Good lesson. I would only add one comment. In the classes I give on Yeast Baking, the students are instructed never to introduce yeast into a hot mixture. Novice bakers might get confused with exceptions so keep it simple.
    Love your site. I have been a Mennonite girl baking for over 50 years.
    Keep up the good work.

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  10. I can't seem to print the full recipe. The page with the bun ingredients does not appear.

    Ruth

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  11. I use a tip my daughter in law taught me. Instead of flouring the counter top when rolling out the dough, I lightly butter it and find it easier than using flour. Parchment is wonderful for cinnamon buns!

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  12. Wonderful instructions. I am looking forward to making this today. Just a heads up, the PDF print friendly version does not include the ingredients. Might want to check that.
    Thanks

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  13. Cindy... size of pan does not matter. You can use any pans and place the buns about an inch apart. Even spacing does not really matter much. If you want pull apart buns, space them almost touching ... or if you want individual buns place them further apart. In a 9X13 pan I'd place a dozen medium sized buns... but I fill up round pans too ... one in the middle and circle around it.
    Deep pans are nice, but you can also use jelly roll type pans. Just go for it.

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  14. hi anneliese, this looks good, and the instructions, ,good to know, looks like my mom's cinnamon buns. guess!!!!I will have to try to make these,

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  15. I cannot wait to try this! I have used a mix from prepared pantry successfully but need something like your tried and true recipe to make a batch.

    When the weather turns cool, my thoughts turn to baking.

    THX for the continued inspiration from your blog. Linda J in AL, USA

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  16. Just a note about the print problems. The problems that occasionally arise from the print button are beyond our control. I can only suggest you copy and paste the recipe into a document and print it that way. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    PS. .there is a Cinnamon Bun tutorial in the cookbook. Dont' forget the royalties are feeding hungry kids. Thanks so much.

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  17. Hi, I look at your blog everyday and have made many of the recipes. I have a cinnamon bun recipe that I use, but I will be trying this one out. The pics look scrumptious!! Just a note, I printed it out and it worked fine. I deleted the pics first, so maybe that made a difference.
    From Friendly Manitoba

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  18. Thank you for the continued inspiration. I am an untrained home ec teacher (trained in education, definitely not in home ec). I am wondering if there is a way to make buns that would rise in the fridge. We only have 45 minute blocks, once/day. Would a cinnamon bun be impossible?
    Thank you for the advice.

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  19. Thank you for the lesson! I feel certain that I can make terrific cinnamon buns with this tutorial. Thank you so much!

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  20. Thank you for letting me know that it will fit in my kitchen aid. I have on more than one occasion ended up having to knead the dough by hand, because the receipe it to big for my kitchen aid bowl.

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  21. just a hint if you want some gooey cinnamon buns, melt 1/2 cup butter in saucepan. Add 2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 2 tsp corn syrup. Bring to rolling boil. Pour in baking pan. Then you can put the cut cinnamon buns in that. Let them rise in that. They are so good.

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    1. Do you do this in addition to the regular cinnamon bun filling? It sounds amazing!

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    2. Yes, you would do this in addition.

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    3. I made these last week and they were amazing! I have another batch rising today for Christmas morning.

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  22. I'm going to try out your cinnamon buns recipe. They look perfectly delicious! I enjoyed all the comments too.

    Jody

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  23. What about using a breadmaker to make the dough. Has anyone tried that?

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  24. Oh, what beautiful buns! LOL They look just like those my beloved mom-in-law used to make. Your post brings me right back to her kitchen where the teapot was always at the ready, and the smell of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven would regularly waft through the entire house, just calling our names. And, then, when she'd pile on those pearly peaks of fabulous frosting - well, I miss our chats over a cuppa most of all. She was a constant in my life all the while I knew her - kindred spirits. Thank you for inspiring such sweet, loving memories. God bless.

    Linda at Beautiful Ideas

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  25. To the anonymous home ec teacher. There was this comment on facebook from someone that I thought might be helpful to you ..
    i freeze my cinnamon buns when they are unbaked. Then I pull-out as many as I want, put them on a pan, and let them thaw over night in the fridge. I then put them in a 100 degree oven for an hour to rise in the morning. Then bake as normal. Works perfect.

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  26. Also, to the home ec teacher; I make these caramel cinnamon rolls often and they are refrigerated up to 24 hours before baking. I've made them with or without the caramel glaze and both ways are delicious. http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Caramel-Cinnamon-Rolls-2

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  27. Thank you, Kay ... for that yummy variation!

    And about the breadmaker.. I have not tried it, but if you know the general amounts of what you can put in there... you may have to divide the recipe in half ... try kneading it in there... and then take it out to rise. You may find your way to do this.

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  28. I often make cinnamon bun dough in my breadmaker. It'll depend on the size. Mine is a 1 1/2lb. loaf size, and my recipe uses 4 1/2c. flour, 1 1/2 liquid plus 2 eggs. This c/roll recipe is a little bigger, so for my b/maker, I think it's too big.
    Thank you gals, for the great recipes. I use them often.

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  29. i made these rolls yesterday and they were delicious!! the dough was perfect and so easy to work with! i got 4 pans out of the recipe, enough to share with my kids... i love your blog, even if i don't make everything. thankyou, cindy

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  30. Cindy... thank you! I was waiting to hear from someone who had actually tried making them. Otherwise this is all for naught, really. So, thank you.

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  31. No ingredients on the printer frendy page.This looks real good and EZ.thanks.

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  32. Anneliese - these look SO yummy. I also have an amazing cinnabun twist recipe that the ladies make where I work at Conrad Grebel College. Would love to share this one with you - you'd love it! Do you have an email address I could send it to? You can reply to my email address if you like. Thanks again for your recipe and lesson!

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  33. Rosella ... I'd love your recipe ... my email is foreverythingaseason@gmail.com

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  34. I made them and wow they are yummy, thank you again.
    You can see my post about them here:

    http://onceuponaquilt.blogspot.com

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  35. Well, after 26 years of trying cinnamon buns and not being happy with them, I have almost given up. Like a true German and Mennonite to boot I usually don't "exactly" measure as I should and have tried numerous one's out of the good old Mennonite Cookbook. Decided today I was going to measure and stick with the recipe and low and behold, they turned out fabulous. No more hockey pucks for me! What a wonderful treat for a Saturday morning.

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  36. i made these yesterday and boy were they good! This is now my go to recipe. I won't tell you how many I've eaten so far. Thank for sharing the recipe and the hints.

    Ursu;a

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  37. My son made them yesterday and they were the best cinnamon buns I have ever had. The only switch we made to the recipe was a truly mennonite one and put whipping cream and brown sugar in the bottom of the pan before we put the buns in to rise.

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  38. I'm very excited to find your website! I visited the Muddy Pond Mennonite community in Tennessee last weekend and had the best cinnamon rolls I've ever tasted. It's too far from home to visit every weekend, so I went in search of a recipe. I'm not an experienced baker but hope to be one day. I started these last night - the first rise was beautiful. I got the rolls onto pans and let them sit for an hour and decided to put them in the fridge to bake this morning. They rose some, but not what I expected, during that hour. They are good, but denser than I expected and didn't grow much during baking; not like your photos. Any ideas on what I can do differently? Thanks! I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

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  39. Sylvia, I would suggest that you do not put them in the fridge once they have risen. The change in temperature can make them fall. I personally do not refrigerate unbaked yeast doughs, but there are recipes on the blog for this. If you go to the side bar and check out the baking with yeast, there will be a list of refrigerator dough recipes. As for this recipe here... I would bake as soon as they rise and, if you want to enjoy then warm the next day, just cover with foil and re-heat for 5-10 minutes. You can re-heat frozen baked buns like this too.. heat a little longer.
    I hope this helps.

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  40. This was such a great recipe! I made them for my mother for her birthday and my family loved them. :) Thank you so much for sharing. :)

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  41. |As a Chef at a restaurant, I must say they were pretty good...loved the comments on the yeast and mixing, very good...
    I heard theirs a recipe out there on potato donuts???

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  42. Dear Annaliesse,
    Thankyou so much for the reassuring instructions and lovely, accompanying photographs for these cinnamon buns. I made them this afternoon and my family loved them, especially my husband (they are his absolute favourite thing!)
    I love this site and have found so much inspiration!
    Thanks,
    Becky

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  43. I've made this recipe twice now and it is wonderful. I had never used yeast before as it seemed precarious so I was rather pleased with myself when they came out perfectly.
    Thanks for the very detailed but not over complicated recipe!

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  44. i am in heaven. over the years i have tried (and failed) to make delicious cinnamon buns.

    these are absolutely perfect in every way and i am so pleased to have found your website!

    thank you a million times over.

    (and for those asking about bread machines, i halved the recipe and used my bread machine. simply took out the dough at the resting stage and let it rise in a bowl.

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    1. I dont' really want to send anyone to heaven too soon, but I'm smiling!

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  45. Can you make these the night before, put them in the fridge, then bake them in the morning?

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    1. Unfortuantely, as good as this plan sounds, yeast doughs are a bit finicky when it comes to temperature changes... sudden temperature change can make them stop rising or even "fall" and turn out dense. For your plan to be sure to succeed I'd suggest you look for a refrigerator yeast dough.
      What I have found is that is works well to bake them the day before ... frost once cooled ... leave in pan and cover with aluminum foil. The next morning you just re-heat in the covered pan for 10-15 minutes at 350F. The sugars melt and the buns taste like they are just baked.

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  46. I only have fresh yeast. The conversion says 51.03gms of fresh yeaqst when converted. Does that sound alright?

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  47. Never having used fresh yeast, it sounds right from what I have looked up. About two to two and a half packed tablespoons of fresh yeast or 45 to 51 gms. You obviously know how to use fresh yeast. I assume that you'd dissolve it in warm water.... so you may need to add a bit more flour to make the dough the right consistncy. (or reduce that amount of liquid in the milk or water in the recipe.) Flour is also one of those things... different from country to country. I have found especially so between US and Canada. My daughter lived in the US for ten years and I found that adding gluten helped. (I'm adding this info, not knowing where you live, of course.)

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  48. Hi I can't wait to make this receipe, I just made some with a recipe that I had and they are awful, I like my cinnomon buns with raisins.

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    1. You can add raisins to the filling. Just scatter them over the brown sugar/ cinnamon mix spread over the rolled out dough... then roll up.

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  49. for those of you that are having aproblem printing this recipe copy and paste, yuo will get the whole recipe, just not the pictures, I have done this

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  50. I just finished making this recipe and the cinnamon buns turned out great!!!! I doubled the recipe and ended up with 60 buns. I usually have a real issue with any kind of bread dough but this dough recipe was easy to make and it was even nicer to work with!!! The texture was soft and it had a nice elasticity to it. I will definitely make this recipe again!!! Can this dough recipe be used to make bread and buns?
    Thank you for sharing your recipes, I am looking forward to trying many more :)....

    Nicole McKinnon
    Fort. McMurray, AB Canada

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    1. I'm glad to hear they turned out so well for you! About using this recipe for buns or bread, I think it would be a little on the sweet side. I would use less eggs (maybe two) ...less sugar (2 Tbsp)... and double the salt, up to 2 tsp. You could also add 1 cup of water to the scalded milk, instead of 1/2 cup. This may impact the amount of flour a little. You can use a mix of flours if you like. I hope this help and that it turns out just as well for you. For loaves of bread you can use less fat. (I'd suggest 1/4 cup oil) For a similar recipe check here .... http://www.mennonitegirlscancook.ca/2013/01/sandwich-buns.html

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    2. Thanks Anneliese, I will try it : )

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  51. This past weekend I made this recipe and it was WONDERFUL! The dough was so sweet and soft. It made up wonderful sweet rolls that just melt in your mouth! After baking the treats I made up 4 packs of rolls and put them in the freezer and fridge for future treat. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

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  52. My word, this is so delicious! My hubby is the baker and this is hands down his favourite recipe! He uses this dough for his home made pork/meat buns as well. Six tummies in our household would like to THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

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  53. Just made my first batch of these and they turned out AMAZING! Thanks for the easy recipe and great pictures. I made one pan with the gooey filling another reader suggested and will definitely do that again - no icing needed on those ones. Yum!

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  54. Have these buns in the oven. They have become a Christmas morning tradition! The tutorial was helpful, thanks!

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  55. Just a cool hint. For freezing, once you cut your cinnamon buns, instead of putting them in the pan and letting them rise, wrap each bun individually in plastic wrap and put on a cookie sheet and directly into the freezer. Once it is frozen take them off the cookie sheet and put into a ziplock bag and back into the freezer. To bake, remove plastic wrap, place on greased pan, cover and let rest (it will thaw and rise) about an hour. Then bake as directed. This way you can have cinnamon buns on hand for anytime. Great recipe!!

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  56. These were fabulous! A bit time consuming but well worth it! I think I'll probably make them ahead in the future and reheat or cook as needed. I was worried that there was too much of the sugar-cinnamon mix so I didn't use all of it. I should have. It would have been fine. I'll make them properly in the future. :-)

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  57. I work for Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) in a small town in Eastern Congo. Needless to say, not a lot in terms of yummy baked goods around here. Myself and some colleagues tried this recipe out yesterday in our makeshift kitchen and, even with our usual setbacks (20 minutes picking ants out of the flour, lengthy negotiations in the market to find non-rotten eggs, old glass bottle as a rolling pin)... they were incredible!!! Perfect, fluffy, delicious - like nothing any of us have eaten in months. Our Congolese cooks also loved them "tres tres bon!" and we will be teaching them how to make them this week. Thanks for recipe for this tasty treat- and know that the recipe will live on here in the Congo for years to come!

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    1. You have no idea how this comment encouraged me today as I remembered how I made them in my daughter's kitchen in Indonesia, also checking each egg and looking out for worms in the flour. In the end everything was good. They are one of my grandchildren's favorite treats still. I am so thankful for the joy of sharing and knowing this cinnamon bun goodness has gone as far as the Congo! =) and may continue. May God bless you there!

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  58. Can I ask a silly question? I buy those individual packets of yeast, your recipe said 2 tablespoons? I just wanted to confirm, I think those packets are roughly 2 teaspoons, was wondering How accurate you have to be with the yeast measurement

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    1. Not silly. I'm not sure how much is in there. If it's two teaspoons, in a pkg, then 2 packages should be fine.
      It does not have to be exact. The main thing is that it's not outdated and use according to pkg instructions.

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