Good Morning!

It certainly will be when you wake to the smell of this week’s entry emerging from the oven.  A generous ribbon of cinnamon runs throughout Morning Buns, imparting a warm, soothing sweetness that embraces not just the tongue, but also the nose, aromatically, long before it.  All the more  meltingly delicious when the butter that makes these so flaky blends with the cinnamon to create a streusel of sorts.

The secret, as with many baked goods, is in using a fair amount of butter.  The colder the better, as the longer the butter stays cold before it melts, the lighter and airier the muffins will be. A brief stay in the freezer first will do the trick, and then a rolling pin works the butter into the flour just until the latter flakes, as pictured below:Flaked Butter Dough

Afterward, the remainder of the wet ingredients go in, the dough is briefly kneaded, then it goes back into the fridge to keep the butter chilled.  It may be a bit of trouble to produce,  but the buns are flaky and tender enough to introduce blissful amnesia along with the first bite.  Of course, if you’re not the one doing the baking, all the more extraordinary!

Better yet, orange juice and orange zest give Morning Buns a brightness that’s as beautifully evocative as is the cinnamon.   They’re magnificent when paired with freshly-squeezed blood orange juice, as pictured at the top-center of this week’s photo.  The juice’s mild berry-like sweetness accents the other flavors quite well.

These rolls’ full potential for perfection wasn’t anticipated when the recipe was taken from The Cook’s Country Cookbook, else they would have come to you much sooner, years perhaps, before they did.  Still, they’re here now, waiting to lure the household downstairs, bounding from bed enthusiastically, even amidst the gray winter cold.   Not just good morning.  Great morning!


Morning Buns

For the dough:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices, then put in the freezer for 15 minutes
  • 1 cup sour cream, chilled
  • 1/4 cup orange juice, chilled
  • 3 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 large egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Start with the dough.  Combine in a large zip-top bag the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.  Add the butter to the bag, seal, and shake until the flour coats the butter.  Force all the air from the bag, seal again, then roll over it with a rolling pin.  Shake the bag again to redistribute the butter, then roll over it once more with the pin.  Repeat this until the butter flakes, as pictured in the introduction, about five to seven rolls.

Pour the bag contents into a large mixing bowl and stir in the orange juice, water, egg yolk and sour cram until just combined.  Turn out onto a floured counter and knead until an smooth, cohesive ball forms.  Roll dough into a 12-inch X 20-inch rectangle.

Starting with the short edge, roll into a tight cylinder.  Pat cylinder flat into a 12-inch X 4-inch rectangle, transfer to a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, then put in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, populate a muffin tin with paper liners and douse with cooking spray.  Create the filling by mixing all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl.

Place the dough on a floured surface and roll into a 12-inch X 20-inch rectangle.  Sprinkle evenly with the filling, leaving  1/2-inch border uncovered.  Starting with the long end, roll the dough into a tight cylinder, pinching the seam lightly when you finish.  Trim and discard half an inch of the dough from either end.  Cut the remaining roll vertically into 12 pieces, each being about 1-and-1/2 inches wide.

Place each piece, cut side up, into one of the muffin liners.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and  refrigerate for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the middle rack from the oven, leaving one about a third of the way up and the other, 2/3 of the way.  Place a large baking dish on the lower rack.  Remove the plastic from the muffin tray and place it on the upper rack.  Pour three cups of boiling water into the baking dish and close the oven door.  After about half an hour, the rolls should be puffed and increased in size.  Remove the baking dish and discard the water, and also remove muffin tin.  Heat oven to 425°.

When the oven reaches temperature, place the muffin tin on the lower rack.  Bake until the buns begin to rise, about ten minutes.  Lower oven temperature to 325°, then bake until golden-brown, about 40 minutes.  Rotate tin about halfway through baking.

Let the muffin tin cool on a wire rack for five minutes, peel off the paper liners, and serve.


55 thoughts on “Good Morning!

    1. Thank you, Kate! Nope, I earn a living elsewhere; cooking is just a fun way to use up a little free time.

      Though it isn’t the “main” dish, the blood orange juice is a pleasant surprise, in that the almost-raspberry taste was unexpected. Have you ever tried blood oranges?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. yes a favourite with me … although blood grapefruit became a firm favourite when I lived in NZ … a neighbour had two massive fruit bearing trees and I could pick as I pleased so long as I shared with his sheep. Sadly some get greedy and try to swallow them whole [they are huge and juicy] and choked … not on my watch. By the owners hand …

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Magnificent, Kate!

        When I was a kid, and we lived in L.A., we had a lemon tree in our back yard.

        Your citrus adventures top that, though…and then some!

        Actually, I can understand the sheep’s thinking here. After all, when I see blood oranges, my pupils dilate and, before I know it, I’m trying to down them whole, skins and all! Obviously, then, a primal impulse.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I love dessert, and this… this is like dessert for breakfast. I do believe my first thought upon seeing “cinnamon” and “orange” along with that picture, was, and I think this is a direct quote: “Oh my god, it’s beautiful…”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Much obliged, Rachel! You’re right, it’s really a combination of two breakfast favorites, the Cinnamon Roll and the Orange Danish.

      Just a pity WordPress conveys only images and photos, as the aroma filling the kitchen when these emerged from the oven was divine. As hypnotic as you’d imagine, and nearly matching the taste itself, What an energetic antidote to the cold front that brought snow this weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Come on, those nerds on Star Trek got whole people to transmit. Are you telling me we can’t even do scents?

        Just what is it you people spend all day doing (except, you know, wearing white lab coats)?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, but then, the teleporter always seems to be causing such issues, warping people through time and the like… Maybe our third-sense scientists are just working out the kinks.

        Although, the real achievement still might be when they can transmit taste itself… But then again, they might as well just invent a teleporter.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Good point. All the episodes I’ve seen (admittedly not many) seem based on that very premise.

        Right now, with all the system’s bugs, you’d transmit an apple pie, and I’d get a mouthful of Oliver Twist’s orphanage gruel. Surf and turf would become Miss Havisham’s sixty-year-old wedding cake. Oh, the dire visions a Dickens reader conjures!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ah! I haven’t read Dickens yet, I’m afraid. I’m notoriously troublesome in that regard: what I ought to read, it seems to be my instinct to avoid. I haven’t even finished the Lord of the Rings… But I’ve read Jane Eyre and Villette 2-3 times each. 😅 Though, to be fair, currently I’m on an Agatha Christie kick instead.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Christie’s bewitched you too, Rachel? Of course, I took the low road, and approached her after falling in love with a TV series, namely, ITV’s “Poirot” canon. Still, curiosity brought readership, and now I’ve moved on to some of the “Miss Marple” volumes, gifts from years past!

        What brought you into Agatha’s circle?

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Nice! My sister got me “And Then There Were None” a year or two ago, and I was enthralled to the end. We recently got a couple of her other books too; namely: “Crooked House,” “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” and “Endless Night.” I’ve finished all of those.

        We have “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” too, but I’m still reading it. I rather want to punch Hastings sometimes… No appreciation, that one! Now, the narrator of Roger Ackroyd’s murder, he was at least slightly more reticent. Still no faith in Poirot’s abilities, but he got set straight. But Hastings! What an odd friendship. Though I suppose, friends are bound to fight eventually, and the ones that can make up in spite of it are the ones that will endure.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Pretty righteous samples, Rachel! As I recall, “Styles” was the first one, at least it’s the one wherein Hastings and Poirot met, although, a couple feature occasional flashbacks taking the reader even farther back into Poirot’s past.

        The friendship is entertaining, of course, but it also serves as a device Christie uses to “explain” Poirot to her readers. Knowing the Belgian’s genius may baffle most readers, Christie uses Hastings’ questions to make it more accessible.

        Oh, very well, Poirot will take time to explain things to Hastings. In fact, she even makes Hastings a bit…dull, thus allowing the reader to follow the detective’s thinking and still enjoy a chuckle a Hastings’ expense. “Man, that Hastings. He needs to have everything explained to him!” (Thank goodness.)

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Hah! Fair point. Two geniuses, after all, would be far too much for the poor reader’s pride… And with even Poirot himself lamenting Hastings’ lack of imagination, it does bring the reader in on a bit of an inside joke.

        But! I still reserve the right to want to throttle him. Fair? 😝

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Of course, Rachel. Hastings fulfilled the mission Christie gave him, getting Poirot to explain everything without making the reader feel stupid. This completed, the Captain disappears. Poof!

        Too bad, as I read a little of myself in him…

        Part of that aspiration, no doubt, is due to the TV adaptation, wherein the actor (Hugh Fraser), despite his faltering uptake, is a brilliantly natty dresser! (See? It’s not just women who notice things like this!)

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Heh… That’s probably why he maddens me so: Far too… human! Ah well, I suppose that can be forgiven — especially in the face of such snappy dressing ability. Though, I confess, here is one woman who may very well have gone eternally oblivious of that little fact. Now, if I ever get a chance to watch it, no doubt I’ll spend every episode making note of his clothing.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Ha, and I think you’ll enjoy it for more than just Hastings’ stylishness! After all, the TV series is what sparked my interest in the author, not vice-versa.

        By the way, while I’m on the subject (sort of), I enthusiastically recommend A&E’s “Nero Wolfe” series. The novels on which they’re based are great too, but if you seek a delectable appetizer, a hint of the pleasures that will unfold, check out an episode. Both the books and the movies have it all – snappy, witty dialogue, beautifully elegant locations that evoke 1950s New York and then, once again, the fashions! Above all, they’re great fun.

        Speaking personally, watching an episode, even for the twentieth time (which I’ve been known to do), is immensely satisfying and somehow makes me feel smarter.

        Just be sure to watch the newer A&E series, starring Timothy Hutton and the late Maury Chaykin. There was an older ABC series made in the 1970s, which is…regrettable. Go for the newer, vastly better version actually made in this century!

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Ooh… Sounds like fun! Unfortunately, my TV-watching is currently confined to pretty much just Netflix… But, I’ve made a note of it, and I’ll be darned if either of those show up there and manage to escape me!

        Liked by 1 person

      13. If it brings you even a quarter of the enjoyment it’s provided me, Rachel, the series will be a worthy recommendation. You might want to check it out on YouTube. Specifically, my favorite movie, “Champagne for One:”

        The audio’s slightly accelerated, to skirt copyright issues, but it should give you a good taste.

        If you like it – tag, you’re it! Now, it’s your turn to go out and make your own convert! And, believe me, you’ll want to.

        Liked by 1 person

      14. Well! It took me forever to watch it, because starting after midnight is a terrible idea, most of my evenings have been spent binge-watching with my sister, and almost the entire rest of the day is devoured in my own somewhat indulgent ritual, which I like to call “waking up.”

        But anyway; I finished it (and then started on another, until it was after midnight again…), and have come to a conclusion: I actually don’t mind it. Which with me, that pretty much translates to “I’m going to go quietly fangirl in a corner now.”

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Appreciate you giving it a chance, Rachel!

        Sounds as though your path begins meandering much as mine did. Slight interest producing an impression which blossomed upon reflection. Before I knew it, I had assembled the entire run of novels. Had to search high and low for a few, too. May your journey lead to the same contentment!

        Oh, love your comment about a “somewhat indulgent ritual, which I like to call ‘waking up.’ My God, this one can write, can’t she?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, this sunny citrus treat is absolutely *perfect* timing for this…

    For spreading joy through food, I am honored to get the opportunity to award you with the Sunshine Blogger Award. I hope that this nomination has brought some joy to your day! 😊 For more information about the award, please follow the link to my blog. You can help spread a little recognition to other bloggers who are putting some great content out into the universe.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Much appreciated, Summer – thanks much!

      Really, just meeting new people, and enjoying the great conversations they start, is “award” enough! Plus, just look at all the great sites I’ve found along the way. Yours tops that list.

      To think, as recently as late 2018 viewership was limited to a few acquaintances. Entire months went by with just four or five views, and certainly no “Likes” or comments. In barely a year…seriously? Wow!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Naturally, if anyone would know about good food inspiring conversations, it’d be you, Summer!

        Mitigating a strangely persistent fear I suddenly will run out of ideas, is the fascinating discussions which follow. Oh, how they effervesce! My champagne, really.

        Waiter, mimosas for the whole room!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m arriving at that realization too, Summer!

        So far, everyone has been so nice. Even when he/she disagrees, it’s with cordiality, and it’s always fun.

        Lord knows, the internet (in general) is rife with those bashing each other over politics, life choices and all other manner of disagreements. Half the time (at least from what I’ve observed), people seem to be crying or yelling as they’re firing off a blistering response. Lots of Caps Lock and exclamation points.

        Are we really civilization’s last outpost? We respect each other, and the food, and it returns the favor. An awesome journey we’re taking, and the refreshments aren’t half-bad either!


  3. Definitely this would be the best way to wake up K! And thanks for the explanation about the cold butter I always wonder why. This is why, even though I can cook a decent meal, I can’t bake! I always miss those details that are SO IMPORTANT!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Your comments mean so much, particularly when someone as talented as you offers them!

      Don’t underestimate your baking skills, Daniela. You just haven’t found yet the dish that will inspire your creativity, but it’s out there.

      Besides, your passion right now is reserved in the noblest of pursuits,, seeking the perfect written word. By the time I’ve read, “It was a dark and stormy night,” you already have completed seven books. Plus, you’re halfway through writing a novel of your own. Oh, and you blog all about it.

      Once you start creating in the kitchen too, that’s it; I’m throwing in the towel!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, JoAnn! Likely one of your fondest memories too, no doubt. Reserved comfortably within your heart. Warmth amidst Idaho’s snows.

      As for this imitation, it looked delicious, smelled wonderful too and tasted even better! Have we forgotten a sense? How about feel?

      Sure, it felt delicious too, at least it did for the .72 seconds it took to lift it to my mouth!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This looks awesome!!!!!!!!! I’d love to try one…. and that’s saying a lot for I don’t usually try such things, but this.. this I can 🙂
    Though I wouldn’t use those oranges since the name freaks me. Regular oranges would have to do. As well as either margarine or oil as a replacement to butter…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Eliza!

      Oh, the oranges-which-henceforth-shall-remain-unnamed were for the juice. For the rolls I selected plain ol’ navel oranges. Bursts of pure sunshine is what they are. No wonder Florida, which still is one of the country’s leading orange growers, is called, “The Sunshine State.” The motto’s on all their license plates, along with a big orange!

      As for the margarine, if ethics mandated the decision, I admire your principle. If instead it’s based on personal preference, it’s still your prerogative of course, but in that case, agree to disagree.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sorta ethics. Just need a full set of cookware and an oven for milky to be able to use butter. Which we don’t have. People who cook or eat a lot of milky do, even if not a full oven and just a small one.
        Sunshine state…. that is asking me to visit….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ah, I see. From here the future beckons, and the way onward glistens. Imagine the kitchen, and your dreams will furnish it, providing a vision you will satisfy piece be piece.

        As for sunny beach holidays, less than half a day from London to Miami. What do you say? There’s the small matter of airfare, but of what concern is that to a dreamer?


      3. Similarly, Floridians would love to see you, Eliza. After all, tourists give the state more of a buzz than do oranges.

        Just glanced at the weather app – Miami was mostly sunny and up to 26 (C) today. Strike your fancy?


      4. Oh definitely! I have a new swimming costume that has a bit of sleeves and shorts that I can wear on the beach… what a great way to try it out!
        Where do you live again? I’m terrible at geography in the UK… one day I’ll know the US

        Liked by 1 person

      5. In the Northeast, nearly as far from Florida’s swaying palms as are you. We’re to your south, but definitely are colder and snowier than are you, judging from all the photos you show.

        In fact, in tempting you with tales of flowered sunshine, I gave myself the fever.

        And there’s only one cure…more cowbell!

        Just occurred to me that you probably are unfamiliar with the reference. Go to YouTube and search for “SNL Cowbell” to see what I’m on about.


    1. Thank you, Vivian – agreed.

      Oh, and that aroma! Would you believe orange actually enhances both the scent and the flavor? Apple and cinnamon gets all the press, but there’s whole new combination that’s splendidly worthy!

      Liked by 1 person

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