Bacon Cinnamon Buns
What could be better than cinnamon buns?
How about cinnamon buns with bacon hidden inside!!
Talk about an amazing mix of flavours! The savoury saltiness of the bacon is a hidden surprise amongst the sweet and fluffy layers of these cinnamon buns!
What's the key to making the best cinnamon buns?
#1 - Cream
It's the cream that makes these cinnamon buns soft & dreamy! A little bit of cream is added to the cinnamon buns right before they head in the oven. This lends moisture and sweetness to the bottom of the pan ... compared to other recipes that end up with crusty bottoms.
#2 - Bacon Grease
Using bacon grease instead of butter or oil in dough recipes adds extra flavour AND seems to give a little bit of crispness to the exterior of the dough. It's hard to explain but the outside of bread & cinnamon buns made with bacon grease gives the added crispiness to the outside with the deliciousness of a soft inside. You gotta try it to see for yourself!
How do you make bacon pieces the easy way?
Grab a pair of kitchen scissors and cut up your bacon strips before you fry them! You can pile up all the bacon pieces in a smaller fry pan & cook it all at the same time! No more cooking bacon strips three or four at a time!
Why save your bacon grease?
Because it's awesome! It can be used for cooking, baking, and greasing your pans. It adds such good flavour to anything you use it in. Plus it's a great way to stretch your food dollars by saving something you'd be throwing out!
Use your bacon grease as a direct substitute for butter in your baking. Try it in cookies, bread, and pastries!
How to save your bacon grease & how to store it?
Once your bacon pieces are cooked, use a slotted spoon to scoop all the bacon pieces out of the bacon grease. Allow the bacon grease to cool slightly (so you don't burn yourself!). Then drain through a piece of cheese cloth or a metal small strainer into a mug or mason jar. This will remove all the little bacon pieces. Bacon grease & lard can be stored in the cupboard or fridge without going rank for quite awhile. Making sure the meat pieces are removed from the bacon grease will help it keep longer.
Store at room temperature in the cupboard for up to a month. Storage in the fridge extends the shelf life even longer to about 2 to 3 months.
Bacon Cinnamon Buns Recipe
- 1 cup warm water (lukewarm)
- 3 tablespoons traditional yeast
- 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
- 1/3 cup bacon grease, melted but not hot (keep under 100F so you don't kill the yeast)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups flour (may require additional 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup cream (half & half or full fat cream)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup bacon, cooked & crumbled
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups icing sugar
- 4-5 tablespoons cream or milk
This makes lots & lots of icing! Half the recipe for a lighter frosting.
Start by cooking bacon so you can use the bacon grease in the dough. Cook bacon by cutting bacon strips into small pieces with kitchen scissors. Pieces will shrink in size so cut them to approximately double the size of pieces you want. Cook in a cast iron fry pan, stirring often, until cooked to desired doneness. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon pieces to a plate lined with paper towels. Using a small metal strainer, strain the bacon grease into a large mug or wide mouth mason jar.
In a large bowl, mix water and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes. Add in eggs, bacon grease, and sugar. Stir to combine.
Add 4 cups of flour and stir until just combined (all flour wetted). Let sit for 5 minutes. Dough will be wettish. Move dough ball to a floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes, incorporating additional flour if required. Shape into a smooth ball.
Grease the inside of a large bowl with bacon grease. Transfer the dough ball to the greased bowl. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm spot to rise. Let rise for 45 to 60 minutes.
Meanwhile, grease a 9x13 heavyweight pan (glass or enameled pan) with bacon grease.
On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to approximately 15 by 24 inches (size does not need to be exact).
Spread melted butter over the dough to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Using your hands, sprinkle the brown sugar mixture over the dough as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the dough with the bacon pieces.
Roll the dough like a jelly roll by rolling from the long side. Roll as evenly and tightly as possible.
Once in a long roll, if they roll is uneven in size, you may pull the roll lengthwise to stretch the "bigger" sections until even in size. Using a dough scraper/cutter, trim off the uneven ends of the dough. Split the roll into 12 even pieces. Transfer each piece to the pan cinnamon side up.
Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Before cooking, pour the cream over the cinnamon rolls (between the rolls and on top). Bake at 375F for 20 to 22 minutes until lightly browned on top and cooked on the inside.
Let cool for 15 to 20 minutes while you make the icing.
In a medium bowl, mix the butter and vanilla. Add 2 cups of icing sugar and mix well. Add the 4 tablespoons of cream/milk and stir until incorporated. Add final 2 cups of icing sugar and mix. If needed, add additional 1 tablespoon of cream/milk.
If you prefer your icing to melt into the cinnamon buns, ice them while they are still warm. Or, if you prefer, cool the cinnamon rolls completely before icing.
Enjoy your cinnamon buns while a little warm!