Ah the immoral, loose, raunchy and risqué cinnamon bun. No man or woman can avoid the temptations of these buns. Their reputation proceeds them, and it’s a pastry that many a comedian has joked about (looking at your Louis, and Jim). There’s a special place in all of our hearts for these buns, but I think its time for a fresher take. The lemon bun is by no means reinventing the wheel, nor do I claim to be first to do it. Here we elevate the natural floral notes of the Meyer lemon by including an often over looked ingredient, dried lavender. It’s often too soapy, and you have to be careful to not be too heavy handed with it. These are great for afternoon tea, and are perfectly paired with black teas, or lemonade. And don’t worry, these buns are still provocative.
- 30 grams yeast
- 5 ounces warm milk, about 105-110 degrees
- 4 ounces all purpose flour
Gently whisk the warm milk, yeast and all purpose flour together. This is our preferment, and it jump starts the yeast. Let this rest in the bowl of a stand mixer for 20 minutes.
- 16 ounces all purpose flour
- 5 whole eggs
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp. ground lavender flowers
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 8 ounces room temperature butter cut into cubes
On top of the preferment, measure out the flour, eggs, sugar, salt, lemon zest, lavender and vanilla extract. Mix this with a dough hook on speed one for 5 minutes. Crank the mixer up to medium/ medium high, and add the butter in one pat at a time, much like you would in brioche. Mix until all the butter is incorporated, and then let it go for another minutes.
Grease a large bowl, whose volume is large enough to handle double the capacity of the dough we presently have. Pour the dough in, and wrap with plastic wrap. Stash it in the fridge overnight.
The next day, pull your dough out, and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes. This relaxes things and takes the chill off the dough. With soft butter, grease a 13’’ x 9’’ glass baking dish.
- 1 ½ cups white sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 3 1/2 ounces soft butter
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
Using your finger tips, rub the lemon zest into the white sugar. In another bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add in the sugar mixture, and beat for 2 minutes. Slowly drizzle in the lemon juice.
they see me rollin’ they hatin’
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough gently into a 16’’ by 12’’ rectangle. Smear the sticky filling over it, leaving 1’’ plain at the “top” of the dough. Roll the log up tightly, ending with the plain seam down. Divide the dough in half, then each half into halves. Take each fourth, and divide that into even thirds. This will give you 12 even sized buns. Place them in the butter greased pan and allow them to proof until doubled and touching, about an hour. This proofing time will greatly depend on the temperature of the room, so have patience.
When they’re properly proofed and ready to go, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake them for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Your house will smell just incredible. While they bake, consider the glaze.
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups confectioners sugar
- one lemon, reserved
Beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly incorporate the confectioners sugar and beat until combined. With the mixer running, drizzle in the lemon juice.
When the buns are out of the oven, let them cool for at least 20 minutes. If you put the glaze on now it will be a bit of a mess. Trust me the buns will still be warm, but the glaze will remain, cool, creamy and in tact. Once properly cooled, spread the glaze over the buns. Grab the lemon and a microplane. Give the lemon one turn on the microplane and then TAP the lemon on the tool. This will ideally, distribute the zest evenly over one section of the buns. Continue until the zest is all over the buns. Enjoy!