Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Potato water, potahto water ...let's eat the cinnamon buns!

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Lorraine Turner wrote in some time ago asking for a recipe for cinnamon buns made with potato water. Several readers wrote in with the recipe from Free Press Solutions columnist Reena Nerbas. Thanks to Mary Schulz and Loretta Hibbert, and to Reena. Thanks also to Kim Ewart, whose tried-and-true recipe for cinnamon buns uses not only potato water but mashed potatoes. This handy recipe can be made the night before, left to rise in the fridge overnight, and baked fresh in the morning.

If there's one thing I've learned from Recipe Swap, it's that Winnipeggers have strong feelings about restaurants that are now gone. Joy Wright is hoping someone has a recipe for the garlicky house dressing at the Paladin Restaurant in St. Boniface, which was destroyed by fire in 2011. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to recipeswap@freepress.mb.ca, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.

Mashed potato cinnamon buns

250 ml (1 cup) mashed potatoes

250 ml (1 cup) reserved potato water

175 ml (3/4 cup or 171 g) butter

175 ml (3/4 cup) granulated sugar

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

250 ml (1 cup) hot water

30 ml (2 tbsp) active dry yeast

125 ml (1/2 cup) warm water (38-43C or 100-110F)

2 eggs

2 L (81/2 cups) all-purpose flour, or more if needed

250 ml (1 cup) softened butter, divided

500 ml (2 cups) brown sugar, divided

30 ml (2 tbsp) cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, combine mashed potatoes, potato water, butter, sugar, salt and hot water. Stir until butter melts; set aside and cool. In small bowl, combine yeast and 125 ml (1/2 cup) warm water. Let rest 5 minutes. Add eggs, 500 ml (2 cups) flour and yeast mixture to potato mixture. Beat until well mixed. Continue adding flour, 1 cup at a time, until soft dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 4-6 minutes), or knead with electric mixer using dough hook. Place in large greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free area about 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Punch dough down; divide in half. Roll one portion of dough on a lightly floured surface to a 30x46cm (12x18 in) rectangle. Spread with one-half of the soft butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up tightly lengthwise, sealing edges. Cut into 12 slices. Place in greased 22x33cm (9x13 in) pan. Repeat with remaining dough and repeating butter, sugar and cinnamon. (Putting the end pieces into the pan with the cut side up makes for a nicer looking bun.)

At this point you can let them rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes until nearly doubled and bake in a preheated 175 C (350 F) oven for 25-30 minutes, or until centre of bun temperature reaches 90 C (195 F). Cool buns on rack and then ice with your favourite butter icing. Or you can cover the buns in the pans with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge overnight to rise. In the morning, take the buns out of the fridge and let stand on counter for 30 minutes before baking.

Tester's notes: As Kim points out, this is a great way to have fresh cinnamon buns for breakfast without rising at the crack of dawn to make them. I made a small batch of standard mashed potatoes with butter and milk. The potatoes and potato water give flavour and tenderness to the dough, so these lovely cinnamon buns are good enough to serve plain. I've given standard amounts for the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon filling, but you can adjust up or down to taste You can also frost with an icing sugar glaze, a plain butter cream icing or -- if you really want to splash out -- a cream cheese icing.

Cinnamon buns (thanks to Reena Nerbas)

30 ml (2 tbsp) dry active yeast

250 ml (1 cup) warm water (38-43 C or 100-110 F)

5 ml (1 tsp) granulated sugar

150 ml (2/3 cup) granulated sugar

500 ml (2 cups) warm milk

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

4 eggs

500 ml (2 cups) potato water

150 ml (2/3 cup) butter

2.4-2.6 L (10-11 cups) all-purpose flour

For filling:

250 ml (1 cup) butter

500 ml (2 cups) brown sugar

30 ml (2 tbsp) cinnamon

For icing:

60 ml (1/4 cup) icing sugar

15 ml 1 tbsp) whipping cream or milk

2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla

In small bowl, combine yeast, warm water and 5 ml (1 tsp) sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Add 150 ml (2/3 cup) sugar, warm milk, salt, eggs, potato water and butter. Stir in flour. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until no longer sticky, adding a bit more additional flour if necessary. Place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm place until about double in size. Roll out and divide into four pieces. Spread with margarine or butter, sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll up at wide end and cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces. Place on greased pan and let rise until about double in size. Bake at 205C (400F) for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

For icing: Mix together 60 ml (1/4 cup) icing sugar and 15 ml (1 tbsp) whipping cream or milk and 2 ml (1/2 tsp) vanilla. Spread over buns.

Tester's notes: These cinnamon buns turned out really well for me. I used a lot of butter and brown sugar and also added raisins to the filling A little planning ahead makes things easier: Loretta Hibbert loves these buns so much that she freezes her potato water in 2-cup increments to have on hand in case she gets the urge to make them. The baking time will depend on the size of the buns and the size of the pan. I rolled out two portions into a 30x46 cm (12x18 in) rectangle and baked in a 22x33 cm (9x12 in) pan. I found my batch wasn't done at the 15-minute mark, so I turned down the temp to 175 C (350 F) and baked them for about 10 minutes more, watching carefully.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 13, 2013 C5

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