Morning buns use the croissant dough as a base. Six morning buns can be made from each packet of croissant dough. The option in making the buns is in the filling; a plain cinnamon and sugar filling can be used, but I found having some brown sugar in the mix makes it better. The brown sugar seems to partially run out into the bottom of the muffin pan and caramelize making for a slightly sticky bottom roll.
Addendum 2/9/2018- I have always wondered if one could use the frozen puff pastry from the grocery store instead of making the croissant dough. The quick answer is NO. I decided to try, and discovered the buns never doubled in size while proofing. Then I searched the package and found that the frozen puff pastry does not contain any yeast. I had let the buns proof overnight hoping that they would show some bloom, but they didn’t for good reason- no yeast! They did puff slightly when cooking; I contribute that to the water in the butter turning to steam. So use a puff pastry that has yeast as an ingredient. -ecc
Morning Bun Filling
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
Stir the ingredients together in a bowl.
To assemble the morning buns, the ingredients are:
- 1 packet croissant dough
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 cup filling
- 2 Tablespoons cinnamon in a small bowl
To make 12 morning buns, use both packets of croissant dough and after finishing with one packet, immediately process the second packet. The two groups of morning buns will be able to be cooked together after their final rise.
Addendum 2/9/2018: We have often wanted a bigger, softer morning bun, and so I started experimenting to see what was limiting the size. It turns out to be the amount of dough in the bun. I found that by not dividing the croissant dough into two packets, but instead using all the dough in one big packet, I could get a softer, larger bun. The directions stay the same for the most part. Only make 6 buns from the larger packet. The dough will be thicker when rolled out to the 12 x 10 rectangle. The real trick is to get larger muffin pans; you will need to see your local shop to get giant muffin tins; mine have a 4 inch diameter.
- Spray a 6 muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Unwrap a packet of chilled dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Deflate it by gently tapping it several times with the rolling pin. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest 10 minutes to relax the gluten.
- Roll the dough into a rectangle that is approximately 12 inches wide by 10 inches high.
- Spread melted butter over the dough. Sprinkle filling over the melted butter.
- Roll the rectangle of dough up so that a 12 inch long cylinder results. Seal the edge of the cylinder so that it doesn’t unwind.
- Cut the cylinder into 2 inch sections.
- Dip each section in the cinnamon, rolling the section around to coat the sides and bottom of the dough. Place the coated dough into one of the muffin pan spaces.
- Repeat the coating of the dough for all 6 sections and fill the muffin pan.
- Let the dough have a final rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hours in which it should double in size. It will not be the final size as the heat in the oven will cause the buns to expand even more.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- Place some of the filling in a small bowl to be used to top the rolls after they are baked.
- Cook the buns for about 20 minutes. A toothpick stuck into the side of the bun just above the muffin pan should come out clean, and should feel the dough crusting as it enters the bun. The buns should be brown.
- Dump the buns out of the muffin pan and with tongs, put the top of each bun down into the dish of filling mixture to coat it and then set the bun upright on a cooling rack.
No matter how hard I try, there is always a rounded edge when I roll out a rectangle. As a result, the buns cut from the ends of the cylinder are usually not nicely shaped. To get around that problem, I roll the rectangle larger than the specified size of 12 x 10, and then cut it down to size with square corners; I discard the dough that is cut off. Usually if I get the widest part out to 14 inches, the 10 inch dimension does not need to be trimmed.
I have discovered that I get a better seal on the cylinder if I wipe the cylinder with wet fingers at the point the final edge will come against the body of the cylinder. Most recipes say to pinch the dough together, but by the time it is rolled up, the dough has lost some of its stickiness to the butter and sugar that has pushed out while rolling it.