Thursday, December 06, 2007

Kevin: Seasonal Breads — Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Coffee and newspaper in hand, I stepped out onto my patio and into that strangely orange-gold light that suffuses a clear fall morning. Each season seems to have it's own special brand of light: the harsh, white clarity of a frozen winter morning; the sweet, yellow dance of spring; the somehow round color of summer; and, so, to the particular hue of fall.

Traffic is light at 8:00 on a Sunday morning and most people sleep late, so the sounds of bird calls and songs are clear and add a pleasant punctuation to the Telemann sonatas playing faintly on the radio inside. The newspaper rustles reassuringly.

The odor of fresh coffee mixes with dusty scents of the season's change and the fainter smell of paper and newsprint. And then I pick up the first hints of yeast and cinnamon. A promise growing more insistent as the minutes tick by until, mouth watering, the timer calls me back into the kitchen.

I return to the patio with fresh coffee and a cinnamon bun.

I'd made the buns the night before, letting the dough rise, then forming the buns and letting them rise partially again, before placing the pan in the refrigerator. When I got up Sunday morning I pulled the pan out of the fridge and let it warm for an hour before baking the rolls.

Just imagine how good fresh cinnamon rolls would be on Christmas morning.

Click to enlarge

Cinnamon Rolls
Makes 8 rolls.

Ingredient US Volume Metric Volume US Weight Metric Weight
all-purpose flour 4 1/2 c 1060 ml 23 oz 630 g
quick yeast 2 1/4 tsp 12 ml 1/4 oz 7 g
milk 1 c 235 ml 8 oz 225 g
unsalted butter 1/3 cup 80 ml 2 3/4 oz 80 g
granulated sugar 1/3 cup 80 ml 2 3/4 oz 80 g
salt 1/2 tsp 2.5 ml -- --
eggs 3 large
light brown sugar 3/4 c 175 ml 5 5/8 oz 160 g
all-purpose flour 1/4 c 60 ml 1 1/4 oz 3 g
ground cinnamon 1 tbsp 15 ml -- --
unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces 1/2 c 117 ml 4 oz 113 g
half & half 1 tbsp 15 ml -- --
powdered sugar 1/2 cup 117 ml 2 oz 58 g
half & half 1 tbsp 15 ml -- --

Heat milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan to about 120F (50C), stirring steadily.

Combine half the flour (2 1/4 cups 530 ml 11.5 oz 315 g) and all of the yeast in a bowl. Gradually stir in the milk mixture then beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Make sure all these ingredients are thoroughly mixed.

Mix and then knead in remaining flour. You’re shooting for a soft, smooth, and elastic dough but it shouldn't be sticky, you may need to add some additional flour.

Shape into a ball and place seam-side down in a greased bowl. Spritz the top of the ball with cooking spray and cover bowl with plastic. Let rise until doubled in bulk — 1 - 1 1/2 hours.

Deflate the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface, cover with a clean towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Mix together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon in a bowl and cut in the butter with a pastry knife

Roll the dough out into a 12 inch (30 cm) square. Sprinkle the filling evenly over the rolled out dough and roll the dough into a log, pinching the edges to seal. Slice the log into eight equal-sized pieces and arrange in a greased 13 x 9 x 2 inch (33 x 23 x 5 cm) baking pan.

Cover dough loosely with clear plastic wrap, leaving room for rolls to rise.

At this point you can refrigerate the dough for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours. If overnight, allow the rolls to sit out for 20 minutes, then refrigerate. The next morning remove the rolls from the refrigerator, take off the plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

If you are making the cinnamon rolls immediately, don’t chill dough. Instead, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let dough rise in a warm place till nearly double, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 375F (190C) and brush rolls with half & half. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until golden brown.

In a medium-sized bowl stir together the powdered sugar and half & half. The glaze should be thin enough to drizzle over the rolls.


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Anonymous ZaZa said...

I've always preferred the sticky bun kind of topping, with the nuts. I've never figured out how to do that, though. I thought it might just be like a Pineapple Upside Down cake, where you put the sugar and butter in the pan and, in this case, the nuts, then the rolls, before baking.

But the one time I tried it, instead of a nice sticky caramel coating, I got burned sugar and nuts. Maybe my oven was too hot, or my pan too thin??? Any ideas? (Far be it from me to look in a cookbook. ;+)

12/06/2007 6:55 PM  
Anonymous ZaZa said...

Oh, sorry. I also meant to ask if this is pretty much a brioche dough.

12/06/2007 6:56 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I suspect a heavier pan would help, I know when I invested in heavy-duty pans it helped my baking.

No, it's not really a brioche dough, brioche is much stickier.

12/07/2007 9:11 AM  
Anonymous ZaZa said...

Yes. I remember the elderly practitioners of the Pineapple Up... in my growing up years always made theirs in a cast iron frying pan. Do you think that would be okay for baking these?
Thanks for the response, BTW.

12/07/2007 3:49 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...


12/07/2007 3:59 PM  
Blogger . . . said...

they sound delicious. i wish wish wish i had some right now.

12/09/2007 11:59 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

I am drooling on the keyboard!

12/09/2007 6:37 PM  
Blogger Greenie Gardens said...

Those look so delicious! I've been looking for a good recipe and this looks like the one. Thanks for sharing with us.

12/10/2007 9:37 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

This does sound like the perfect Xmas breakfast. I'm imagining snow slowly sifting down outside and cinnamon smells wafting from the oven with some scratchy ancient Christmas carols playing on the radio.
Btw, I'm making pizza tonight for a tree trimming party--using Susan's recipe.

12/15/2007 9:03 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

A perfect Christmas breakfast treat.

12/15/2007 10:15 AM  
Blogger Dani said...

mmmm, guess what we're having for Christmas Eve brunch!

12/16/2007 2:17 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

That cinnamon roll picture says a thousand words...maybe more. Yum.


12/19/2007 7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made these for Christmas morning -- actually my first attempt at cinnamon rolls. They were spectacular. However, I can't imagine dividing that dough into only 8 rolls. I ended up with 13 and they were plenty huge. We also thought that they were terrific enough to not require the glaze on top.

12/25/2007 9:22 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Making them big saves going back for seconds.{g} I'm glad you liked them.

12/25/2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger lucette said...

I made them for Christmas breakfast as planned and they were heavenly, with the added benefit that while we were opening presents, the whole house was perfumed with cinnamon.
I might make them smaller next time, as Anon did--they were giant!
Thanks for another great recipe.

12/25/2007 12:09 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm so glad I could contribute to your Christmas.

12/25/2007 12:35 PM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Made a batch for Christmas morning. I used two 10x10 Pyrex baking dishes with six buns in each. Smeared them with leftover cream cheese icing I had from a carrot cake project a few days ago.

This has to be the bestest cinnamon roll recipe I've run across. Thanks.


12/25/2007 10:56 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Thanks for the feedback, and I'm glad they were a success.

12/26/2007 8:43 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

Last night for dinner I made up a batch of the cinnamon roll dough to use as dinner rolls.

The bottom line is they were scarfed up faster than the meal itself.

Plopped chunks into a muffin tin. Let them raise in oven with light on for an hour and a half. Baked for about 12 mins at 375.


12/27/2007 12:24 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Now that's bread baking -- when you take one recipe and repurpose it. Well done!

12/27/2007 12:30 PM  
Blogger Madzli said...

my friend and I saw this recipe and after literally drooling all over the place because of that delectable looing foto decided on a saturday night dough making, sunday morning brunch gobbling fiasco so we quickly printed off two copies of the recipe (one each. I woke up the next morning and saw the recipe sitting idly on my clean clear ready to be used bench and couldn't help myself so whipped up a batch. Luckily I had a good excuse as i had a tea party with another mum and two kids to get to later that afternoon (just the perfect amount of time away to allow the rise and proof!) ..... well, i got there and they were wooofed down by all of us (incidentally I made 16 out of your recipe and squished them all into a largeish pyrex dish and then cooked on the pre-warmed stone). .... all the kids and grownups loved them (and it was lucky we saved some aside for the dads or they would have missed out completely.) It was great summer fun in the shade of a tree with chilled water, lemon and mint. delicious. thankyou.

1/17/2008 6:43 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm glad you liked it. I need to revisit that recipe, I think the dairy component is a tad too strong. A tweak or two more, though, and it could go from "excellent" to "killer."

1/17/2008 7:07 PM  
Blogger Madzli said...

Hi again.

I've made it twice more (yes, yes, I know..... that is since three times since thursday!!) The second time I would say was pretty killer. I used 4 small eggs instead of 3 large .... the extra egg really pushed it into fluffy light deliciousness. The third time I was all out of eggs (not surprising) and really really needed to make it anyway (it was 10pm and i had a friend coming for brunch the next morning specifically to try out cinnamon rolls). ..... it was still nice but no where near killer and i think it's saving grace was that it got a couple of decent rises (i didn't form it into rolls till about 2am after watching a movie) and then bunged in fridge overnight and got out at 9am then proofed for a further 2.5 hours as my friend ended up running late and cooked at about 11.30. ..... anyway. they were still drooling over them and the whole batch disappeared rather quickly. I also decided to spread them all out a bit further and cooked them in two pyrex dishes which meant they kept their round shapes a little nicer.
anyway, thanks. they are lovely.
might need to take a break from them for a week or so or i'll turn a little tubby.

1/20/2008 4:44 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Three batches since Thursday? You do like them.{g}

1/20/2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

OMG I have to leave right now, this site is heaven and hell for a bread-aholic and dieter!

I will be back on a slimmer day!

3/04/2008 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have just discovered this site!! I love it! As an Australian living in Italy I nedd to ask...what is half & half?

4/14/2008 3:15 PM  
Blogger kitchenmage said...

Anon, half-and-half is equal parts cream and whole milk. I never have any on hand so I usually just mix cream and milk, using a bit more cream than milk because I have 2% milk on hand. In this case, since there is so little of it, you could just use cream, or 2 tsp cream+1tsp milk=1 tbsp half-and-half.

4/14/2008 3:53 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

alright, these were some of the best things I've ever made! EVER!!! Better than Cinnabon's! I'd totally make them again! I did have to add much more flour (maybe another cup?) than the recipe called for. Aside from that, recipe was perfect!

4/17/2008 10:06 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm glad you liked them.

4/17/2008 11:18 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

I made these rolls again for my neighbor who did some plumbing for me, and HE loves them too! Bartering with cinnamon rolls is great! Anybody have any good recipes for making bagels? I tried once, but they didn't turn out quite right.

4/19/2008 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Melissa M. said...

WOW I just made these and they are absolutly AWSOME!!The best cinnamon roll I have ever eaten!! I have made homemade cinnimon rolls once before, but now this is the only recipe I will ever use. I love the way the half and half on top makes them nice and golden brown.I did however add vanilla to the dough and I also doubles the cinnimon and sugar for the filling. I just may have to bake these and give them away as Christmas gifts:) Thank you :)

12/13/2009 8:49 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

/glad you like them, I haven't made a batch since that post, I should make some for Christmas morning.

12/13/2009 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Jen said...

Hi folks,

Apologies if I'm missing something here...

I always work in metric and the ingredients for the filling look a bit funny to me...

light brown sugar 3/4 c 175 ml 5 5/8 oz 160 g
all-purpose flour 1/4 c 60 ml 1 1/4 oz 3 g

The recipe seems to call for approx 1/3 the amount of flour as sugar... so the metric measurements (160g versus 3g) don't seem correct!

Great site - just wanted to let you know about the possible typo.

1/26/2010 9:03 AM  

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