This recipe is more than 100 years old, passed down from mother to daughter for as long as our family can remember. My great-aunt Lucy made us a batch of these sweet, gooey buns whenever she visited and always let my brother and I eat as many as we pleased.
Courtesy of Colleen Fisher Tully, Toronto
In bowl, mix together brown sugar, butter and cinnamon. Set aside.
In large bowl, stir together hot water, milk, ½ cup (125 mL) of the granulated sugar, butter and salt. Set aside to cool (butter will melt).
In medium bowl, combine lukewarm water and remaining sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in yeast; let rise until foamy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir.
Stir yeast mixture into butter mixture. Stir in 2 cups (500 mL) of the flour. Stir in 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour, 1 cup (250 mL) at a time, until dough is sticky and soft.
On floured work surface, knead dough for 10 to 15 minutes. Continue kneading, sprinkling in flour just until dough is elastic. Place dough in greased bowl; brush with melted butter and cover with tea towel. Let rise for 25 to 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down; divide in half, leaving half in bowl. On floured work surface, using rolling pin, roll half of the dough to about ½-inch (1 cm) thickness, forming rectangle.
Brush dough with brown sugar mixture. Roll up, jelly roll–style, ending seam side down. With sharp knife, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick slices. Place, cut side down, in greased 13- x 9-inch (3 L) baking dish. Cover with tea towel; let rise until doubled in size, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly. Carefully turn out over parchment paper (buns should come out as one piece with gooey cinnamon-sugar sauce resting on top).
Tip: The other half of the dough can be made into dinner rolls.