Orange Cinnamon Morning Buns

Morning Buns

REMINDER: This recipe requires dough made AHEAD of time!

Check out the video below from Chef Ben, he'll walk you through the make ahead instructions - easy peasy!  For this class, please note that the dough is to be prepared before class and we will be preparing to bake throughout the duration of the class.  Then, after class, your rolls will need to proof for about 45 minutes, then be baked off, then . . . enjoy!  And remember, when prepping your dough, don't overwork it!  Just knead it enough to barely bring it together.  It shouldn't be too smooth, err on the side of a slightly wetter dough.   We're not going for sticky, but we don’t want it dry.  If it feels dry as your mixing it together don’t be afraid to add a touch more water.  You got this!   

Makes: 1 dozen

Ingredients for Dough:

  • 2 large eggs + enough warm water to make 2 cups (454g) of liquid
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar, divided
  • 5½ to 6 cups (659g to 723g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2¼ teaspoons INSTANT yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup (56g) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk, optional
  • 1 scant tablespoon (16g) salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional; for sweet pastry)


Ingredients for Butter:

  •  30 tablespoons (425g) unsalted butter, cool to the touch
  •  3/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup (60g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


Ingredients for Filling:

  •  1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar plus more for coating the pan
  •  1 tablespoon cinnamon
  •  1 teaspoon grated orange rind (zest)
  •  4 tablespoons (57g) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (53g) brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup (170g) fruit preserves, of your choice, optional
  • 1 tablespoon honey 



  1. To make the dough, put the eggs and water in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar, 3 cups (362g) of the flour, and the yeast. Mix until well blended; set aside to let the sponge work, for about 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. To finish the dough, add the melted butter to the sponge. Whisk together the remaining sugar, 2½ cups (298g) of the flour, the dry milk, and salt and add to the sponge. Mix until the dough forms. Knead for 5 minutes; touch the dough lightly with your finger. If it’s still sticky, add the remaining flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is the desired consistency. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, pat it into a 9˝ square, then wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.



  1. For the butter, cut into 1˝ chunks and combine with the salt and flour at low speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment just until smooth, with no lumps. Be careful not to beat too much; you don’t want to incorporate any air.
  2. Spread the butter on a piece of parchment paper and shape into an 13” x 9˝ rectangle.  Cover with parchment on top and freeze for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and gently roll it to a 20” x 10" rectangle.
  4. Unwrap the butter and place it so it covers 2/3rds of the dough rectangle, leaving one third of dough uncovered.  Fold the uncovered portion of dough over ½ the butter, then take the final third with butter on it and fold over the previous fold.  This is your incorporation AND first turn.
  5. Tap the dough all over with a rolling pin, encouraging it into a rectangular shape. Once it’s pliable, roll it to a 20˝ x 10˝ rectangle, ensuring the ends where you can see the three layers become the shorter side of the rectangle.  While rolling, picking it up and dusting lightly with flour as needed.  
  6. When you’ve reached the proper size, use a dry brush to sweep off any excess flour and fold the dough in fourths, like a book.  Take ¼ of the dough in on each side (the short side of the rectangle being the side folding in), and then close the dough in the middle like closing a book - making four new layers.   Take care to keep the edges straight and line them up directly over each other. If the dough slides around, adjust back into place. This is your second turn.  Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for 20 minutes to allow the gluten in the dough to relax.
  7. Remove dough from the fridge and unwrap.  Rotate the dough out so it looks like a book about to be opened.  Roll the dough out once more to 20˝ x 10˝ and fold it in fours, as a book as before. This is the third and final turn.  (If baking later, wrap the dough well and refrigerate up to overnight before using. You can also freeze the dough at this point.)
  8.  Roll the finished dough out into a large rectangle, ¼” thick and approximately 18” x 8”, with the longer edge of the rectangle facing you.  
  9. Generously butter the wells of a 12-cup muffin pan.
  10. To make the filling, combine the sugars, cinnamon, and orange zest, stirring well with a fork to distribute the zest.
  11.  Brush the rectangle with melted butter. Sprinkle the dough generously with the sugar mixture and go over it lightly with a rolling pin to press it into the butter. Roll the dough up from the long edge into a tight cylinder. Cut into 1 1/2" slices. Place the slices, cut side up, in the wells of the prepared pan.
  12.  Let the buns rise for 30 to 45 minutes in a room no warmer than 75°F (any warmer and the butter may begin to leak out). The buns should increase to one and a half times their original size, and be noticeably softer to the touch. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  13.  If desired, just before baking, butter the back of a spoon and press down on the center of the buns. Place 2 teaspoons of the preserves mixed with the honey in the indentation.  
  14. Place the pan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the buns are deep golden brown.
  15. Place a cooling rack over a piece of parchment. Remove the buns from the oven and immediately (and carefully) transfer them out of the pan onto the rack. If desired, roll the warm buns in granulated sugar and sprinkle the tops once more. Let cool slightly and eat warm or at room temperature.
  16. Store, lightly covered, at room temperature for up to two days; freeze for longer storage. 

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