There are few things quite as wonderful as the smell of sweet dough baking in the oven for breakfast, particularly when half an hour later you can take out a tin of hot, steaming buns. Soft dough coiled around sticky, sugary filling; these are irresistible and will make you want to pull the fragrant dough apart straight from the tin. Add toasted pecans, tangy orange zest and sticky orange curd into the equation, and you have a real reason to get up in the morning.
These are a lovely alternative to traditional cinnamon buns, which are usually filled with butter, cinnamon and sugar. Smothering enriched dough with a good shop-bought or homemade orange curd gives you instant delicious stickiness in the filling, while caramel-scented toasted pecans and orange zest make everything taste a little bit like Christmas. You don’t have to use orange curd if you can’t find it (though you could try making your own), lemon, passionfruit, lime, ginger or raspberry curd would all be gorgeous in these buns (swap the orange zest for lemon if using lemon curd), so you can experiment according to what you have. You could vary the nuts too; pistachios, almonds and hazelnuts would all be delicious. I actually think I prefer them to the cinnamon variety. The sharp citrus fruitiness of the curd brightens up the flavour and cuts through the sweet dough, plus it makes everything irresistibly sticky and moreish.
These are easier to make than they look. Just a bit of mixing and kneading to make the dough, leaving it to rise, then spreading it out and covering with the filling, before rolling into a sausage and slicing into swirls. These sit snugly together in a tin, rising once more to touch against each other, and then you bake the whole thing into a mass of doughy deliciousness. What’s more, you can even make these the night before and give them their second rise in the fridge, meaning sweet buns for breakfast are only an hour or so away when you wake up. I like to drizzle these with a quick orange icing for extra flavour and sweetness, but you can devour them unadulterated from the tin.
here's what you'll need...
- 1 sachet fast action dried yeast
- 60ml lukewarm water
- A pinch of sugar
- 120ml milk
- 85g butter, cut into cubes
- 50g golden caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 400-500g plain or spelt flour
- 200g orange or lemon curd (or experiment with other flavours!)
- Zest of 1 orange
- 100g pecan nuts, toasted in a dry pan
For the icing (optional):
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Fresh orange juice
- Icing sugar