Air Buns

Light, airy dinner roll dough also makes great cinnamon buns and Newfoundland toutons.  

My husband seldom requests a meal or food item.  He's a great person to feed.  He'll eat whatever I prepare, even if he doesn't like the meal. But last night he looked at me and said, "How about making some cinnamon buns.  I'd like to have some."  So what else could I do but make cinnamon buns today.

The recipe I used is "Air Buns" which is all over the internet in almost the same proportions as this  recipe.  I think my friend Marilyn gave me the recipe but I'm not sure as I've had it so long.  Whoever introduced me to this recipe is forever in my debt as it is one of the best, simple roll recipes around.  Sometimes I throw in an egg just because.... but today I made it almost like the recipe.  I just about always use the oil and lemon juice alternatives as I think the oil is a healthier choice and I always have bottled lemon juice on hand.  I always use instant rapid rise yeast instead of the active dry yeast and mix the whole lot together and skipping the proofing of the yeast.  Using the instant yeast cuts down the rising period by about half so that's always a plus for me.  I mixed these in my stand mixer for about 10 minutes after the dough formed a ball and left the sides of the bowl clean. 

Today I made two and a half dozen cinnamon rolls, two dozen dinner rolls and a few toutons (a Newfoundland favourite--fried bread dough) for hubby who grew up eating these "pancakes" with molasses.  (Don's mother made bread every day when her family of seven children were young and at home, so there was never any lack of bread dough to fry up for a filling meal.)

Mom never made toutons because dad didn't like fresh, doughy bread.  The first time I ever saw them was at Aunt Bell's house.  She was frying a pan full and I asked her what they were.  She was astounded and sat me down and gave me a few with molasses.   Thanks Aunt Bell.  

Printable recipe at end of post.
Air Buns
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup melted shortening, butter or oil
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar or lemon juice
  • 3 ½ cups lukewarm water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 9-10 cups flour
How to make it:
Mix the yeast with the ½ cup warm water and 1 teaspoon sugar.  Let rise 10 minutes. 

In a small bowl mix the melted shortening (butter or oil), lemon juice (or vinegar), warm water and risen yeast mixture together.  

In a large bowl mix the remaining ½ cup sugar, salt and about 8 cups of the flour. Make a well in the flour and pour in the liquid ingredients. Stir together adding more flour as needed to make a soft but not sticky dough.  Knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Put in greased bowl and let rise 2 hours.  Knead or punch down.  Let rise an additional 1 hour.  

Form into balls about ¾ inch thick.  Put about 3 inches apart on greased pan or use greased muffin tins.  Let rise until very light.  Preheat oven to 350 a few minutes before buns are ready to be baked. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown .

Makes 4-5 dozen dinner rolls.

I always add the water first and then the flour.

Dough mixed and ready for rising.

Doubled and ready to punch down and give a second rising.  Then it's time to make lots of yummy treats from this dough.

Toutons frying in a mixture of vegetable oil and butter.

Fried to perfection!

What a tasty treat for breakfast or supper--toutons and molasses.

Now, it's time for the Cinnamon Rolls.  Spread the dough with butter and a generous amount of brown sugar.

Sprinkle on the cinnamon.

Roll up the dough and cut into rolls.  Place on a parchment lined baking pan for easy clean-up.  I love parchment paper.

Hot from the oven waiting for the icing.

Warm and gooey just waiting for someone to eat them.

As you can see, I made one pan of cinnamon rolls with raisins.

Next, I made the dinner rolls.  They look quite small before they rise and bake.  But just look at the next picture.

Fresh from the oven with a coat of butter rubbed over the hot rolls.  See how big they become.

So light and airy.  I ate the first one hot from the oven. 

Air Buns
Theses freeze really well.  To reheat the thawed rolls, place them back in the muffin pans and pop in a 350 degree oven for about 5 or 6 minutes.  They will be as good as the day you baked them.

Three pictures of Air Buns. One with butter, one fried into Newfoundland Toutons and one made as a Cinnamon Bun.
Air Buns are delicious plain with butter, fried as Newfoundland Toutons with molasses or made into cinnamon rolls.

To print click on arrow upper right side.⇩          


  1. Yummy! I shouldn't read these posts before going to bed. Hahaha! Now I'm hungry. :)

    1. Ha, ha. I'm hungry too. I have the rolls here calling out to me. I'm trying to ignore them.

  2. We're coming soon! And I'll eat the ones without raisins please, with an extra skim of icing!

    1. The raisinless rolls are in the freezer. I was thinking about you when I made them. :)

  3. Can this recipe be cut in half?

    1. Yes. Divide all the ingredients in half and you'll be good to go.

  4. I was looking for a good bun recipe...knew you would have one Lois! Made these today, they are yummy! I also made cinnamon pull apart bread and cinnamon rolls with it!

    1. Glad you had such great success! Everything you made sounds delicious!


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