I raise my eyebrows, and he laughs. "Calm down, miracle boy, I'm still a vampire––you still smell like bacon and homemade cinnamon buns."
"How can I smell like bacon and homemade cinnamon buns?"
"You smell like something I'd gladly eat."
–Chapter 71, Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Stay tuned for the Carry On menu (food list), plus the sour cherry scones recipe using dried cherries (that I've been procrastinating posting for forever!) and the shepherd's pie recipe that I made for our Carry On Fiction Kitchen Podcast episode (Carrie made pumpkin mocha breve which is in both Carry On and Fangirl!). In the mean time you can find my recipes for bacon butties and sour cherry scones using canned sour cherries. And I'll be making more foods from this book in the near future; I just can't stay away!
Note: You can also make bacon cinnamon buns using canned cinnamon rolls. Cook the bacon as directed below, & then unroll the uncooked cinnamon buns, lay the bacon on the dough, & then roll them up again. Bake as directed on the canister. You can do this, but they won't taste as great and they are not homemade. Baz specifically says "homemade", y'all! His Simon does not come out of a can (it really is telling about Simon and how Baz feels about him that Baz specifically said "homemade"). But if you're strapped for time, this quicker way can definitely come in handy ;).
Simon is a Homemade Bacon Cinnamon Bun
2 Tbsp. Active Dry Yeast
1/4 Cup Hot Water (but not scalding!)
1 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Butter, sliced
1/4 Cup Sugar + a pinch more for the yeast
1 tsp. Salt
1 Egg, room temperature
3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 pkg. Center Cut Thick Bacon, uncooked
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 Tbsp. Butter, room temperature/soft
1 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. Milk, warm
1/2 tsp. Clear Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
1. Pour the yeast into a bowl & add the hot/very warm water & pinch of sugar. Sit aside while you warm up the milk (the yeast needs about 10 minutes to foam up).
2. Pour the milk in a pot over medium heat & add in the 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup sugar, & 1 tsp. salt. Stir until the butter is melted. Remove from heat & let sit for a few minutes until the yeast's 10 minutes are up.
3. Quickly whisk the egg into the milk mixture & then whisk in the yeast mixture, until fully combined. Pour into a large mixing bowl fitted with a dough hook & little by little add in the flour, mixing on low to medium speed, until a dough is formed. Flour your finger & scrape the dough from the sides of the bowl so that the dough is basically a ball shape. Cover the bowl with a towel slightly dampened with hot water & let the dough rise for an hour, or until it's double (I think mine was triple!) in size.
4. When the dough is almost finished rising, heat your oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking tray (with sides) with foil, folding the excess over the edges of the tray. Place 1-2 wire cooling racks on top (however many will fit). Lay the uncooked strips of bacon on the rack over the tray. Slide onto the middle oven rack & bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked but still pliable & not crispy. Remove from the oven, pat with paper towels to remove much of the grease, & then set aside until needed.
5. Flour your hand & punch down the dough. Flour a large, flat work surface & scrape the dough out of the bowl and onto the surface. Gently (meaning don't press down hard with the rolling pin!) roll the dough out to a rectangle about 14" x 8" & 3/8" thickness.
6. In a small bowel, stir together the brown sugar & cinnamon until completely mixed. Brush the melted butter onto the dough, covering the top of the dough completely, & then sprinkle & gently spread the brown sugar cinnamon mixture all over it. Next, lay on the strips of bacon parallel to the long sides, in 2 columns (I ended up with 6 rows = 12 pieces of bacon total). Flour your fingers again & gently roll the dough beginning at one of the short ends. You'll need to lift it a little as you roll so as not to push the bacon forward (so sort of an up, over, & down roll). Rolling from the edges first, tucking them in a little, & then rolling the center. Once it's all rolled up, pull the end over any bacon poking out & pinch the seem closed. Re-flour your surface if needed.
7. Choose which baking dishes & pans you'd like to use. These rolls are big so only a few can fit in a cake or pie pan together (they will expand during the second rising, so squishing a bunch in together isn't a good idea). Also, if you want some that are completely round & big, you'll need to bake them in their own separate dishes. Spray your chosen dishes & pans with non-stick spray & have at the ready. Take a pice of plain dental floss about 18" long & slide/shimmy it under the roll about an inch in & then cross & pull on the ends of the string to slice the dough. If the string is caught on tiny bit of bacon, simply hold the bacon in place with your thumb & forefinger while you pull the string away & it will detach, no problem. Lift the segment into one of your prepared dishes, cut side up, & then continue to slice the dough until it's all cut & in dishes. Cover the baking dishes with plastic wrap & let rise for another hour.
8. Heat your oven to 350ºF. If you're using individual baking dishes for some of the rolls, place them on a large baking tray to make it easier to slide them into & out of the oven. Bake the rolls for about 20 minutes, or until they are light golden brown*. Remove from oven & let cool for a few minutes & them scoop them out of their dishes (they should come out easily) & place on a cooling rack.
9. *While the rolls are baking, place the butter in a mixing bowl & mix until creamy. Add in the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, vanilla, & pinch of salt, & mix until smooth & pourable. Once the rolls are done & they're not too hot to handle, drizzle the glaze over them in a zig-zag or spiral & serve! Best fresh & warm, just like Simon (ºロº).