One of my goals for 2016 was to perfect making cinnamon rolls. There were a couple reasons for this. One, I rarely worked with yeast during my restaurant days, and as a result possess an irrational fear of cooking with it—a real setback when honing pastry skills, as so many things involve yeast.
Two, cinnamon rolls are damn delicious and how awesome would it be if I could make them well and make my breakfasts even better?!
And so the trials began.
Being the dessert overachiever that I am, I couldn’t just go for any cinnamon roll recipe. I wanted to make something different, something that if I were to bring them to a brunch, everyone would know that I’ve got buns, hun. So I came up with these cardamom fig cinnamon buns.
And I wanted something bursting with flavor. While spring is barely beginning, summer fruit is far from ripe, and so I opted to use fig jam, which is robust and usable at any time of the year. I threw in some cardamom because it’s a warm spice perfect for breakfast pastries, and because I’m Indian, so I’ll never not like cardamom.
Surprisingly, working with yeast was pretty easy. While many recipes called for using a thermometer to get the liquid temperature juuuuuuust right, I relied on my intuition to gauge success, which worked pretty well.
The difficult part came in getting the oven temperature right to bake the buns. Almost everything you bake will be at 350 degrees, but for these buns, baking them at that temperature will cause them to rise too high and meld together, taking away from the intricate pretzel work, which is the entire reason for their formation. I found 375 degrees to be a happy, closely watched medium; if you leave them in too long, the bottoms get burned.
With these cardamom fig cinnamon buns, I think it’s safe to say I checked this resolution off the list. On to the next one!