Cinnamon rolls

Dear Cinnamon rolls, you’re the best thing that has happened to me in 2020. People, really, Cinnamon rolls deserve more love. These are easy to make, taste great and I already have tonnes of ideas for variations you could make with the same dough.

Recipes using Cinnamon :

I’ll be honest, I’m not a big fan of cinnamon. When I think of cinnamon, I usually think of apple pie, where the filling usually has a big dash of this sweet spice in it. Many years ago this banana cinnamon swirl bread was also a favourite of mine and more recently this Apple Cake.

Obviously I’ve taken too long to make these cinnamon rolls but now there’s just no looking back. These are great for breakfast, tea time, also make a great filler for little snack boxes (my Zi took them 2 days in a row and didn’t complain) and yes I wouldn’t complain if I was given these for dessert.

Variations using this cinnamon rolls recipe :

These cinnamon rolls are flaky, soft and with just the right amount of cinnamon and sweetness. They taste great on their own, although you could take them to a whole new level if you served them with some cream cheese icing. Warm cinnamon rolls served with delicious velvety cream cheese frosting, it can’t get better than this.

If you aren’t big on cinnamon, you can try some variations. Although I’ve yet to make these, some variations I think what will definitely work are Nutella and chocolate chips, Apricot jam, cheese and pepperoni if you want to go savoury.

Tips & notes to make these Cinnamon Rolls :

  • Use good quality yeast, to begin with. It could make all the difference.
  • Yeast needs two things to activate: warm temperature and a little sugar. Warm up the milk to just the right temperature to get the yeast activated. If the milk is too hot or too cold, the yeast will not activate.
  • A good test to know if the yeast has activated in the liquid is to see if the mixture turns frothy. Begin with this first and let it sit for about 10 minutes. If the mixture turns bubbly and frothy, you’re on the right track.
  • For the filling, use butter that is very soft, so that it is easy to spread. However, do not use melted butter, this just won’t work. Been there, done that, regretted it big time.
  • Also, this dough is best made using the hook/dough attachment on your stand mixer or electric cake beater. Although not impossible to knead the dough by hand, it is definitely much much easier using a mixer.
  • To let the dough double up in size, cover with a cloth and let it rest in a warm place. I find it best to turn on the oven for a few minutes, turn it off and let the dough sit in a bowl in the residual heat.

Cinnamon Rolls :

(Please read notes above for all the tips to make these rolls)

For the dough

1/2 cup warm milk

1 tsp yeast

1 tbsp sugar

2 3/4 cups +1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup/113gms/1 stick butter, softened

For the filling

1/2 cup/1 stick/113 gms butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

3 tsp cinnamon powder

  • Pour the warm milk into a bowl, add the yeast and 1 tbsp sugar to it. Mix and leave aside till the mixture turns frothy and bubbly. Keep aside to let the yeast activate.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl in which you can make the dough using a hand mixer, measure 2 3/4 cups of the flour, the sugar and the salt.
  • Just whisk the flour mixture with a fork for a minute.
  • To this, add the frothy milk and yeast mixture. Using the hook attachment, incorporate the liquid into the mixture.
  • Add the eggs, one after the other.
  • In goes the butter, softened and in pieces. Continue to bring the dough together with the mixer turned on using the hook attachment.
  • Turn off the mixer. Touch the dough with your fingers, it shouldn’t stick to your fingers. It should also fall off the hook pretty easily without sticking.
  • If the dough is sticky, add the remaining 1/4 of flour till the dough turns smooth and non-sticky. (Skip this 1/4 cup of flour if your dough is not sticky. )
  • Once the dough is at this stage, continue to knead it using the electric mixer or stand mixer with the hook attachment for about 10 minutes.
  • Take a small piece of dough and stretch it using your fingers. It should be elastic, thin and not tear easily. This indicates that your dough is ready. (Check out my stories on Instagram under the BTS highlight for step by step photos)
  • Take the dough out of the bowl, shape it into a ball and place in a large greased bowl to rise and double up in size, a minimum of 90 minutes.
  • As the dough rises, you can get the filling ready.
  • To make the filling, mix all 3 ingredients of the filling in a bowl.

Making the Cinnamon Rolls:

  • Preheat the oven to a 180 C. Grease a large rectangular or round cake tin with butter and line with greaseproof paper.
  • Once the dough has risen you can make the rolls.
  • Taken the risen dough out of the bowl and place on a clean surface dusted with flour.
  • Using a rolling pin roll the dough into a large rectangle.
  • Using a spoon gently spread the filling all over the rolled out dough.
  • Starting with the short ends, roll the dough into one long sausage.
  • Using a sharp knife cut the roll at about every 2 inches.
  • Place the rolls in the prepared tin and leave to rise again for about 30 minutes.
  • Bake the rolls at 180C for about 40 minutes.
  • Serve the rolls warm with a little butter brushed on top with a spoon of cream cheese icing.

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