Prep 2 hrs 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
Buns can be formed (but not allowed to rise and not baked) 1 day ahead and chilled, wrapped well in plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature about 1 1/2 hours, loosely covered with plastic wrap, before baking. From Gourmet.
- 1⁄2 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
- 2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast (5 teaspoons)
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup warm milk
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 1⁄3 cups granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh cranberries (9 ounces) or 2 cups thawed frozen cranberries (9 ounces)
- 1⁄2 cup unsalted butter, very soft
- 1⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 1 1⁄4 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- To make the dough: Stir together warm water, yeast, and a pinch of the sugar in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over.)
- Put 5 cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar in bowl of electric mixer and mix with dough hook at low speed until combined. Whisk together milk and eggs in a small bowl, then add to dry ingredients along with yeast, beating at low speed until flour is incorporated. Beat at medium speed until a very soft dough forms, about 2 minutes. Add butter and continue beating at medium speed until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 4 minutes (it will be quite sticky).
- Rinse a large bowl with hot water. Add dough to wet bowl and cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- To prepare filling: Bring water and 1 cup granulated sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries and simmer just until they begin to burst, about 2 minutes. Pour through a large sieve into a bowl and cool berries, reserving syrup for another use (such as a flavoring for seltzer).
- To form and bake buns: Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and dust with flour, then roll out into a 16-inch square.
- Brush off excess flour, then spread evenly with butter with a small metal offset spatula.
- Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and sprinkle evenly over dough. Dot dough evenly with drained cranberries, then sprinkle with nuts if using.
- Beginning with side nearest you, roll up dough, firmly but not tightly, into a log, then pinch seam to seal. Trim 1 inch off each end with a large knife and discard, then cut log crosswise into 12 slices.
- Arrange slices, cut sides up, in buttered cake pans (place 1 slice in center of each pan, then evenly space 5 more around it). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F while buns are rising.
- Bake buns in lower third of oven until puffed and golden, 30 to 35 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes.
- To make the glaze: Stir together confectioners sugar and milk with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over buns while still hot.
- Serve buns warm or at room temperature.