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No knead cinnamon buns for Christmas morning

Easy to bake, no knead Cinnamon buns for a special breakfast with very little work!

Step One - this will take you 15-20 minutes

On 24 December, or sometime in the morning of the day before you want your buns, take a 250 gram block of butter out of the fridge and divide it into three pieces:
1 x 50 g
1 x 100 g
1 x 100g

Wrap up the two pieces of 100 g and leave them out on the counter to use later.

Other ingredients:

300 g white wheat or spelt flour
200 g milk
50 g white sugar
1.5 g instant yeast or 3 g dry yeast or 6 g fresh yeast
6 g salt
200 g brown sugar
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
Handful of pecans (optional) 

After you have wrapped the butter up, put the little 50 g piece in a saucepan and add the milk.  Heat gently, stirring all the time, until the butter has melted.  You can also do this in a bowl in the microwave.  Let this cool down until you can comfortably put your finger in it.  It should feel only a tiny bit warmer than your finger.

Measure the flour into a bowl and make a well in it.  Sprinkle in the sugar, the salt and the yeast.  Pour over the now cooled butter-milk mixture and then give the ingredients a good stir to mix everything up.  Cover the bowl with some cling film and put it in the fridge.  Leave it in there all day - for at least 8 hours, although longer is fine.

Just as soon as you have put the bowl in the fridge, beat one of the 100 g blocks of butter together with 100 grams of brown sugar and the cinnamon.  Cover this and leave it on the counter top.

At this point you can go about your day...

Step two - this will take you about 30 minutes

Take the remaining 100 g block of butter and put it in a saucepan.  Add the remaining 100 g brown sugar and heat gently on the stove, stirring all the time to dissolve the sugar.  You can also do this in a bowl in the microwave.  Once the sugar is melted, pour the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and set it aside to cool somewhat.

Remove the dough from the fridge and scrape it out on to the counter onto a lightly floured surface.  Lightly flour the top and then use a rolling pin or pat with your hands to get it into a square that is about 0.5 cm thick.  

Using a scraper or a spatula, spread the butter, sugar and cinnamon mixture that you beat together earlier in the day over the dough and then sprinkle on the nuts if you are using them.  If this mixture is a little stiff you can warm it up gently but make sure it is just barely warm.  Any hotter and it will kill the yeast so you just want to make sure you can spread it easily. 

Once you have spread it all over the flattened dough, roll the dough up into a tight sausage and then place it seam side down on the counter.  Slice the dough into 12 slices that should be about 2 cm wide.  If the dough it too soft to cut you can wrap it up and put it in the freezer for half and hour to firm it up. 

As you slice the pieces, roll each one lavishly in the warm butter and sugar mixture that you have just melted.  Place them side by side on a baking tray that is lined with non stick baking parchment.  Snuggle them together in a smallish pan with high sides (a square cake tin works well) so there is no space between them and they will rise upward, rather than outward. Pour the remaining butter and sugar mixture into the pan over the buns, sharing it evenly between them.

Cover them with clingfilm and leave them in the fridge over night.

Step three - this will take about one hour but during that whole time you can do other things.

The next day, remove the buns from the fridge and pre heat the oven to 200 degrees Celcius.  Make coffee and enjoy it in peace and quiet.  When the oven is ready, put the buns in and bake them for 35-45 minutes.  After 20 minutes, check them and cover them with a piece of parchment paper if they are getting too brown.  

When they are done, take them out of the oven, place a big plate over the top of the pan and turn them over or simply remove them from the pan, flipping them over as you do so to see if the underside is more attractive than the top side (it frequently is).

Enjoy the scent of cinnamon, butter, and fresh dough.  Feel great that you have baked this amazing creation, and remember that you are supposed to share.

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