Of all the recipes I’ve blogged about on my own personal blog over the past couple of years, this one got the most feedback. I came up with the idea after a white water canoe trip down the challenging Bloodvein River in Northern Manitoba. Don’t I sound totally hard-core? “White water canoe trip”. “Northern Manitoba”.
But don’t give me too much credit. While you can give me full marks for this genius cinnamon bun recipe, the white water canoe trip was a bit of an accident. I had simply misread the itinerary and hadn’t noticed the words “white water” before the word “canoe”, probably because I never knew such a thing even existed. It wasn’t until just after our float plane — which was also ferrying our canoes upon its wings into the deepest depths of the Manitoban wilderness — had landed in the river and we were handed our helmets, that I thought, “Why would anyone need a helmet while out for a leisurely paddle on a canoe trip?” All I could figure was that they were a bunch of safety nuts up in Manitoba.
“Do I know how to stern a canoe?” I guffawed back at my guide. “Of course I know how to stern a canoe! I grew up in Ontario, after all. Canoeing is part of our proud Canadian heritage.” And then, “Um, rapids? Who the hell said anything about canoeing through class 3 rapids?!”
I almost died about fifty different ways, but had a hell of a fun time doing it. And more importantly, I got the idea for these cinnamon buns out of the ordeal, when I learned how to fashion bannock dough into pizza and cinnamon buns over an open fire in the middle of nowhere; one of many trip highlights.
When I got home, I set to work coming up with an even easier version, using pizza dough in my kitchen rather than bannock dough over a fire pit.
Here’s the simple recipe:
1 ball homemade or store-bought pizza dough (enough to make a 12” pizza)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Step 2: Take the pizza dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it’s a long rectangle, about 1/4” thick.
Step 3: Spread the dough with a generous layer of softened butter, lots of brown sugar, chopped pecans and cinnamon, making sure to leave a 1/2” of clean space around the dough’s perimeter.
Step 4: Roll lengthways into a long log and seal the edges. Set the log into a buttered baking pan, such as a pie pan, spread it with more butter and sprinkle on more brown sugar. Then slice the log into 2” rounds, turning them upright and fitting them snugly into the greased baking pan.
Step 5: Pop the pan into the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, and voila, amazing buttery hot cinnamon buns. Hooray!
For similar buns, try these Cinnamon Brioches.