Michelle from Hummingbird High has a knack for making food combinations that are literally everything-we-never-knew-we-always-wanted. Thus far, she has served us french toast made from banana bread and her delicious take on chicken and waffles. Today’s offering might just be her magnum opus, a combination that will blow your mind and make your taste buds explode: Maple Cinnamon Buns—covered in bacon. Lock your doors, turn off your phone, clear your schedule, and pre-heat your oven—these are your new Saturday plans.
For the Dough
(makes 6 HUGE rolls)
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, warmed to lukewarm
1 large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup vegetable oil
For the Filling
(makes enough for 6 HUGE rolls)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tablespoon maple syrup
⅓ “heaping” cup dark brown sugar
For the Maple Glaze
(makes around 1 cup, enough for generously frosting 6 rolls)
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon whole milk
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
3 slices of cooked bacon
1. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast, ½ teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Set aside.
2. In a large liquid measuring cup, whisk together 1 cup buttermilk (warmed to lukewarm — remember that yeast is a living thing, so it’s important not to kill it by warming the liquid too much; you want the temperature to be similar to that of a warm bath and no more), 1 large egg, and ¼ cup vegetable oil. Set aside.
3. Use a tall cup or a large measuring cup to make a well in center of the dry ingredients (from the 1st step) and add liquid ingredients (from the 2nd step), using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to stir until combined. As the dough starts to form, transfer to a lightly floured counter and knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. If the dough is sticking, you can add up to ½ cup of extra flour as you knead, but don’t over do it.
4. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight, until the dough has doubled in size.
5. Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer to a lightly floured counter and use a rolling pin to roll into a rectangle about 8 x 16 inches. Pro tip—the longer your rectangle, the more attractive your rolls will be! Try and make that 16 inches work.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Use a pastry brush to brush the rolled dough with the butter and maple syrup mixture. Sprinkle heavily with ⅓ cup brown sugar. For more attractive rolls, make sure you sprinkle the sugar and spices evenly and completely over the rolled out dough, including the edges.
7. Working widthwise, roll the dough into a log, pinching its edges to seal. Cut the roll into 6 pieces, each about 2 inches wide. Place cut sides down on a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until the edges of the roll are rounded and touching, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
8. Once the rolls have risen, preheat the oven to 350 (F). Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for around 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges of each bun are golden in color. If the tops of the rolls start to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil and continue baking until a skewer comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
9. While the rolls are cooling, make the maple glaze. Combine 3 ounces softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and 1 tablespoon whole milk in the bowl of a freestanding electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on a low speed until combined. Add 1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar all at once and beat until fluffy and of drizzling consistency. Use immediately to drizzle on top of each cinnamon roll while the rolls are still warm, using a rubber spatula or knife to spread out the glaze.
10. Use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut 3 slices of bacon into smaller pieces. Sprinkle the bacon bits over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy immediately, while both the cinnamon rolls and the bacon are still warm.