Friday, December 26, 2008

The five-minute cinnamon bun

I'm a genius. Well, maybe not a genius, but I'm officially not just a pretty face anymore. 
Because last weekend I figured out how to make homemade fresh-baked cinnamon buns in about five minutes flat (plus baking time.)
Here's how it happened: I had bought some fresh pizza dough from the supermarket and it was sitting all puffed and proud on the counter, ready to be used. 
But I had gone to dinner at Pizzeria Libretto on Saturday night, and while the evening was a delight, I wanted something different for Sunday's final feed. 
As the wind howled outside, the snow gathering ever more, and my stomach growling for breakfast, I suddenly thought back to summertime: To a whitewater canoe trip I took down Manitoba's Bloodvein River. It was a memorable week to be sure, but what I was thinking about as I stared down at my ball of pizza dough, were the cinnamon buns I had made along the river on a Manitoba morning that was very different from this one.
From what I remembered of my wilderness dough recipe, it was a kind of pizza dough; pizza dough and bread dough often being one in the same. 
So, why no make dinner's pizza into breakfast's cinnamon buns instead?
I set to work, first preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Then I rolled out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it was a long rectangle. I spread the dough with a thickish layer of softened butter, lots of brown sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon -- making sure to leave a half-inch of clean space on the dough's perimeter. Then I rolled it into a log and sealed the edges. 
I set the log into a buttered baking pan, spread it with more butter and sprinkled on more brown sugar. Finally, I sliced the log into two-inch rounds, turning them upright and fitting them snugly into the greased baking pan.
And I guess it was about a half-hour later that I labelled myself a genius.

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