Cinnamon buns

Cinnamon buns


Cooking from memory
Mark Roper

June enjoys cooking her mother’s precious recipe for boolkes – a cinnamon and raisin bun with yeast, served warm to break the fast of Yom Kippur.


Quantity Ingredient
50g fresh yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups sugar, plus 1⁄ 4 teaspoon extra
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1⁄ 4 teaspoon extra
250g butter
1/4 cup margarine
150ml milk
150ml cream
6 1/2 cups plain flour
4 eggs
1 egg yolk
a little oil, for spraying


Quantity Ingredient
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup melted butter, for brushing
handful sultanas
2 eggs, beaten

Streusel topping

Quantity Ingredient
1 cup plain flour
100g butter
100g sugar


  1. Crumble the yeast into a small bowl. Add the water, ¼ teaspoon sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a warm place until very frothy.
  2. Melt the butter and margarine, but do not boil. Add the milk and cream, and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, sugar and salt together. Beat the eggs with the extra yolk until frothy. Add the flour mixture to the eggs, then add the yeast mixture. Beat with a dough hook for 10–12 minutes, or knead by hand. Place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with oil, and cover with plastic. Leave it in a warm place until the dough doubles in bulk, about 6 hours, depending on the weather.
  4. Throw the dough onto a floured board, divide into three and knead each piece. Add as little flour as possible, as it will only make the dough heavy. Knead as little as possible, as it spoils the texture. The dough must be just manageable. Ensure there is a little flour on the rolling pin and roll each piece of dough out until about 20 cm wide and 5 mm thick.
  5. Make the cinnamon sugar by combining the sugar and cinnamon. Brush the dough generously with melted butter, sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar and sultanas, and roll up lengthwise. Cut the log into 5 cm sections and place in the cups of large muffin tins, sliced side up. Mix the beaten eggs with a little water and brush the top of the dough.
  6. Mix the streusel ingredients and sprinkle generously on top. Leave to prove or increase in bulk for about 2 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes. Boolkes freeze well. Reheat, covered in foil.
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