As well as being the official smell of Christmas in my opinion (well maybe ranking only behind the smell of Christmas tree), cinnamon is such a lovely Winter flavour. It has a warmth and spiciness that banishes red noses and shivers. These buns are a delicious combination of soft hot-cross-bun-like dough wrapped around a cinnamon butter topped with a maple and pecan caramel.
From the Great British Bake Off Book
500g strong white flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 large free range egg
1 x 7g sachet yeast
For the filling
75g brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
100g butter, softened
75g light muscovado sugar
2 tbsp maple syrup
100g pecan pieces
1. Gently heat milk and butter until the butter just melts then remove from the heat and allow to cool. When cool add the egg and mix.
2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Using a dough hook work until a soft dough and then knead on low for 4-5 minutes.
3. Leave to double in size for about 1.5 hours.
4. When doubled, punch down and roll out to a rectangle 24 x 48cm.
5. Mix the butter, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a little bowl. Spread over the rectangle but leave 2cm border around the rectangle.
6. Roll up from the long side like a swiss roll and pinch the edge together with your fingers. Try to keep the rolls tight enough so the filling doesn't seep out. Cut the 'log' into about 12 even sized thick discs.
7. Beat the sugar, maple syrup and muscovado sugar together until soft and creamy, just a minute or two until it is the consistency of a paste. Spread onto a lined baking tin 20cm x 22cm approximately and press the pecan pieces into the paste. Place your dough swirls cut side up on top of the paste, evenly spread apart. Allow to rise against for about an hour.
8. Bake for 25 minutes until the dough is golden. Be careful when taking out of the oven, the pecan caramel may be hot. Allow to cool in the tin then invert and gently pull the swirls apart.