Hi, guys! This is Shelley, from C Mom Cook. I know I’m usually behind the scenes these days, but this month I’m super excited to be challenging all of you to make one of my favorite treats. Cinnamon rolls. I mean, who doesn’t remember those sinfully delicious mall cinnamon buns, slathered in ooey-gooey icing?
Over time, I have made many different varieties of cinnamon buns, and let me tell you, they are the perfect medium for experimentation. The fun this month will be in seeing how many different “cinnamon rolls” we can come up with. I, personally, have made more varieties than I can count, with yeasted doughs, biscuit doughs and flavored doughs, and have used fillings ranging from traditional cinnamon sugar to s’mores to just about every fruit I ever have in the kitchen. When it comes to sweet, rolled buns – the sky is the limit! I’ve even seen savory varieties that looked amazing!
So don’t let the title “cinnamon roll” fool you. There are so many flavor possibilities at every single stage of these tasty treats – the dough, the filling and even the icing. I can’t wait to see where this takes us!
Recipe Source: Various, indicated with each recipe.
Blog-checking lines: This month the Daring Bakers kept our creativity rolling with cinnamon bun inspired treats. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required!
June 27, 2014
DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE FILE HERE.
According to Wikipedia, although cinnamon rolls are largely a North American treat, they have their origins in Sweden. These rolls generally consist of a layer of sweet, yeast-risen dough onto which a cinnamon sugar mixture is sprinkled. The dough is then rolled into a log with is cut into slices, which are baked as individual buns. In North America, the buns are generally topped with some kind of glaze or cream cheese frosting. Versions of this treat exist all over the world, and with this challenge, I’m hoping to bring even more variety and creativity into the mix!
Cinnamon Buns vs. Sticky Buns:
The main difference between cinnamon buns and sticky buns is the sticky, caramel-y topping on the sticky bun. Both typically start with a yeasted dough and a cinnamon sugar filling. The difference comes when it is time to prepare the rolls for baking. Cinnamon buns are placed directly onto the baking sheet (parchment paper), proofed and baked. To make sticky buns, a caramel (sometimes with raisins and nuts) sauce is prepared and poured into the pan prior to placing the shaped and cut buns in. Once they are baked, the pan is then inverted, allowing the ooey-gooey caramel topping to drip down, coating all of the buns.
Perhaps you’d like to play with the sticky bun idea this month!
Cutting the shaped buns:
Whatever dough and filling you choose, the process of rolling the buns is the same – the dough is rolled out using a rolling pin, covered in the desired filling, rolled up into a log, then cut into individual buns. Cutting the buns can be a messy process if not done correctly – filling can squish out and you can wind up with flattened or mis-shapen pieces. The two most common, successful methods of doing so are as follows:
- A sharp, serrated knife: Use a sawing motion, carefully but firmly slice through the log.
- Unwaxed dental floss: Cut a length of floss (you can use thread, too) to about 18-24 inches (33x 61 cm) long. Holding on to both ends, slide the middle section of the floss (thread) under the log to the location where you want to make your cut. Wrap the floss around the log like you are going to tie a knot around it, then pull the ends tightly to cut through the log. Sounds weird, I know, but it works well!
This month is all about being creative. I know we’re using the term “cinnamon roll,” but don’t let the title limit your thinking. I can’t wait to see all of the amazing varieties you come up with!
Create your own dough and filling and make your own spiral-rolled buns. I recommend trying one of the yeast-risen recipes, as cinnamon rolls are traditionally yeasted treats, but I have included one non-yeasted recipe as a back-up, quick option.
You can choose any recipe and any flavor combination that you want. Seriously, let your imagination go wild here. I’ve even seen savory buns. Breakfast, snack or any meal you choose – make a bun that suits your mood!
Varies based on the recipe. Some have longer fermentation and rise times – please read through each recipe to have an idea of the timing for each.
Varies by recipe, but the following cross over several of the recipes:
Mixing bowls (large, medium and small)
Stand mixer (not mandatory, but definitely helps) (with paddle and dough hook attachments)
Baking sheets (sheet pans or 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) baking dishes – varies by recipe)
(from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart)
Makes 8-12 large or 12-16 smaller buns
6½ tablespoons (100 ml) (3 oz) (90 gm) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
5½ tablespoons (85 ml) (2¾ oz) (80 gm) shortening, unsalted butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract OR 1 teaspoon (5 ml) grated lemon zest
3½ cups (840 ml) (16 oz) (450 gm) unbleached bread (or all-purpose/plain) flour
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (¼ oz) (6 gm) instant yeast (active dry worked as well)
1 1/8 – 1 ¼ cups (270-300 ml) whole milk or buttermilk, at room temperature
½ cup (120 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) cinnamon sugar (6½ tablespoons (100ml) (3 oz) (90 gm) granulated sugar plus 1½ tablespoons (20 ml) (1/3 oz) (10 gm) ground cinnamon)
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together sugar, salt and shortening (though it is not difficult to do by hand, using a strong spoon).
- Add the egg and lemon extract to the creamed sugar and shortening and mix together until smooth.
- Add the flour, yeast and milk to the mixer and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form a ball.
- At this point, switch to the dough hook attachment and knead for 10 minutes (if kneading by hand, you will probably need to do so for closer to 12 – 15 minutes). The dough will be silky and supple, but not overly sticky. You may need to add a touch of flour if your dough is too sticky – that is okay.
- Lightly oil a bowl, turn the kneaded dough out into it, turning to coat, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Allow the dough to rest (ferment) until it has doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.
- Once the dough has rested and risen, you are ready to shape the cinnamon buns. Prepare your a sheet pan by lining it with parchment paper.
- Spray your work surface lightly with cooking spray and turn the dough out onto the work surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough, into a rectangle about 2/3 an inch (15 mm) thick, 14 inches (350 mm)wide and 12 inches (300 mm) long (for large buns) (or 18 inches (450 mm) wide by 9 inches (230 mm) long for smaller ones). You may need to sprinkle the dough and/or work surface with a bit of flour to keep the dough from sticking. This is okay.
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar filling over the surface of the dough.
- Starting with a long end, roll the dough, creating a spiral, into a log shape, making sure to end with the seam side down.
- Cut the dough into pieces approximately 1¾ inches (45 mm) thick (for large buns) (1¼ inch (30 mm) for smaller buns).
- Place buns approximately ½ inch (15 mm) apart on the prepared pan. They shouldn’t be touching at this time.
- Allow the shaped buns to proof at room temperature for 75 – 90 minutes until they have nearly doubled in size. They will now be touching each other. If you are not planning on baking the buns the same day as you are preparing them, you can place them into the refrigerator after they are shaped (before this rise) for up to 2 days. If you do so, you will need to allow them to return to room temperature prior to baking, which means removing them from the refrigerator about 3 or 4 hours before baking.
- Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 degrees at the end of this proofing time.
- Bake the buns for 20 – 30 minutes, until golden brown
- Allow the buns to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then drizzle with glaze (recipe below). Remove the buns from the pan to a cooling rack and allow them to cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.
White fondant glaze for cinnamon buns:
(also from The Bread Bakers’ Apprentice)
Sift 4 cups (500 gm) (17½ oz) of confectioners’ (icing) sugar into a large bowl. Add 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of lemon or orange extract and between 6 tablespoons to ½ cup (90 to 120 ml) warm milk, whisking well until all of the sugar is dissolved. (Add the smaller amount of milk first, whisking briskly, then add slowly until you have the consistency you want for drizzling over the buns.)
You can replace the lemon extract/zest with the extract/flavoring of your choice. I usually use vanilla extract.
This dough is silky, smooth and so lovely to work with, and the resulting buns are light and so incredibly easy to eat. I have made these several times, with traditional cinnamon-sugar filling and also with a fruit compote for a fresh, summery treat. Delicious!
Roasted Banana Cinnamon Buns with Maple Glaze
(from C Mom Cook, through various sources)
Makes 12 buns
For the Dough:
1 cup (240 ml) milk
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2½ oz) (70 gm) white sugar
1/3 cup (80 ml) (2¾ oz) (75 gm) butter
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (1/3 oz) (9 gm) active dry yeast
4 cups (1000 ml) (17½ oz) (500 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
1/2 teaspoon (3 gm) salt
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the milk, sugar and butter. Heat until slightly warm to the touch then remove from heat and stir in the yeast. I found that I had to let the milk mixture cool a bit before adding the yeast, as the milk got pretty hot in order to dissolve the sugar. Once the yeast has been added, let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Mix in the eggs, oil and the yeast mixture. Mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Grease a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn once to coat. Cover and let stand in a warm place until double in size, about 1 hour
For the Roasted Bananas:
3 bananas, cut into 1/2- 1 inch (15-30 mm) chunks
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz) (25 gm) brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons (25 ml) (¾ oz)(20 gm) butter, cut into small pieces
- Preheat oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6.
- Spread the banana chunks into a 1 1/2-2 quart (1½ -2 litre) baking dish. Sprinkle with the brown sugar and dot the top with the butter pieces.
- Roast the bananas at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, stirring after about 20 minutes.
- When the bananas have cooled a bit, mash them with a fork.
For the Filling:
(based on Picky Palate)
1/2 cup (120 ml) (3½ oz) (100 gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
1-1/2 tablespoons (25 ml) (1 oz) (25 gm) cinnamon sugar
All of the mashed roasted bananas
- Mix together all filling ingredients until well combined.
To prepare the buns:
4 tablespoons (½ stick) (60 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) butter, room temperature (almost melty is great)
- Once the dough has risen, gently deflate it.
- Roll the dough into a big rectangle.
- Spread the butter over the dough.
- Spread the banana/brown sugar mixture over the butter. It will most likely mix right in with the butter, and that is totally okay.
- Starting with one long end, roll the dough into a log.
- Cut the log into 12 pieces, and place each piece, cut side up, into a 9x 13 inch (23×33 cm) pan.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator overnight. (Or, let it rest for about 30 minutes and proceed to the baking directions.)
- In the morning, take the tray out of the refrigerator and allow it to come up to temperature for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to moderately hot 375°F/190°C/gas mark 5.
- Bake the cinnamon buns for 25-30 minutes.
For the glaze:
(based on Joy the Baker)
1 cup (240 ml) (4½ oz) (125 gm) confectioners’ (icing) sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon (15 ml) maple syrup
2-6 tablespoons (30-90 ml) milk (I needed more than I expected!)
- Measure the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in the maple syrup and enough milk (adding it a little at a time) to make a good, easily pourable consistency.
- Drizzle glaze over finished cinnamon buns.
This is my standard, go-to sweet dough recipe that I have used for everything from cinnamon bread to sweet rolls to monkey bread. It comes together relatively quickly and very easily. I have made all kinds of cinnamon buns and sticky buns with these, with this banana filling, traditional cinnamon-sugar filling and a delicious chai-spice/brown sugar filling. They always come out absolutely delicious!
Pumpkin Brown Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze
From C Mom Cook, based on original recipe from Willow Bird Baking
Servings: Makes 24 buns
For the rolls:
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) (¼ oz) (7 gm) active dry yeast
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water (100-110°F/38-43°C)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) white vinegar
1 -1/4 cups milk minus 1 tablespoon (285 ml), room temperature
3/4 cup (180 ml) (8 oz) (225 gm) pumpkin puree
2/3 cup (180 ml) (5-1/3 oz) (150 gm) cold shortening (I use butter)
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (1½ oz) (40 gm) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) baking soda
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) baking powder
5 cups (1.25 litre) (23 oz) (650 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
- Mix the warm water and yeast in a medium bowl and let the yeast foam, about 10 minutes.
- Put 1 tablespoon white vinegar in a 2-cup measuring cup and then add milk up to the 1-1/4 cup (285 ml) line. Set this aside.
- In a separate large bowl (or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook), whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and cut the shortening into the mixture with two knives or a pastry cutter until the shortening looks like small peas.
- Stir yeast mixture, pumpkin puree and milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, kneading just a few turns.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl lightly sprayed with cooking spray, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and store in refrigerator overnight.
For the filling:
3 large apples (or more, if they are smaller), chopped into small pieces
1 cup (2 sticks) (240 ml) (8 oz) (225 gm) butter, browned
3/4 cup (180 ml) (5-1/3 oz) (150 gm) light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) ground cinnamon
- In a medium saucepan, brown your butter, then allow it to cool a bit.
- Toss apples, light brown sugar and cinnamon into the same pot and cook over medium-medium high heat until the apples are well coated, the liquid is syurpy and the apples have begun to tenderize.
- Set this aside to cool.
To prepare the buns:
- Lightly spray two 9x 13 inch (23×33 cm) baking pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Turn the chilled dough out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle about 1/8-inch (3 mm) thick (I carefully cut the dough in half and worked with half at a time to make it more manageable; if you do this, just spread on half of the filling ingredients for each half you roll).
- Top the rolled-out dough with the filling (again, half the dough, half the filling if you divide the dough, which I recommend…) and spread the filling to about a half-inch (13 mm) of the edges.
- Starting with a long side, gently roll the dough up into a spiral and cut it into rolls, placing them close together in your prepared baking dishes (12 buns per pan).
- Cover the rolls with a clean dish cloth or some plastic wrap and let them rise in a warm spot until they’ve nearly doubled, about 1 1/2 – 2 hours.
- About half an hour before baking, preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6
- Bake the buns for about 15-20 minutes or until browned on top (if you take them out at just lightly golden brown, they may still be doughy in the center).
For the glaze:
2 cups (500 ml) (9 oz) (250 gm) confectioners’ (icing) sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons (30 ml) maple syrup
4-12 tablespoons (60-180 ml) milk (I needed more than I expected!)
- Whisk together the glaze ingredients (adding additional milk to get it to your desired drizzling consistency) and drizzle the glaze over the warm rolls.
Best served immediately.
I made these buns as part of a baking challenge hosted by Willow Bird Baking. If you are looking for some amazing inspiration for some truly daring, unique and creative rolls, check out all of the awesomeness here.
Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
(from The Gingered Whisk, via Forbidden Rice Blog)
Makes 12 buns
1 cup (250 ml) (8 oz) (225 gm) sourdough starter (100% hydration)
3/4 cup (180 ml) milk, warmed to 110°F/43°C
1 tablespoon (15 ml) good quality maple syrup
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (3 gm) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) (5 oz) (140 gm) flour
entire sponge recipe
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (1 oz) (25 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (15 gm) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon (2 gm) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1 gm) salt
2 1/2 cups (600 ml) (11½ oz) (325 gm) all-purpose (plain) flour
6 tablespoons (90 ml) (3 oz) (85 gm) butter, melted
1/2 cup (120 ml) (3 ½ oz) (100 gm) sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) (3 ½ oz) (100 gm) brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tablespoons (45 ml) (2 oz) (55 gm) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (1½ gm) ground nutmeg
a few small pinches ground cloves
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together all the ingredients for the sponge.
- Cover and set aside in a warm area for one hour.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the sponge, butter, egg, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Add the flour in, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a super soft dough.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment of your mixer, and knead for about 5 minutes (if the dough gets too sticky, add a little more flour).
- Lightly oil your bowl, turn the dough over to coat the top, cover, and let rise until doubled in size – about 2 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 12×18 inches (30×46 cm).
- Spread the melted butter over your dough (its going to seem like way too much, but do it anyway!)
- In a small bowl, mix together the sugars and spices for the filling.
- Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the melted butter, going almost all the way to the edges.
- Roll the dough from the long way up, tightening it with your hands as you go, trying to roll as tightly as you can.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the coil into 12 rolls.
- Place the rolls into the bottom of a buttered 9×13 inch (23×33 cm) baking pan, about 1 inch (2½ cm) apart.
- Cover the rolls and place in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, bring the rolls back up to room temperature as you preheat the oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
- Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes.
- Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool for a few minutes before frosting.
You can frost with a simple powdered sugar and milk glaze, or a cream cheese frosting, which ever you choose!
Remember our awesome December 2011 challenge that had us making our own sourdough starters? Use that! Sourdough adds an amazing level of flavor and complexity to any dough, and can make an amazingly soft, smooth and delicious cinnamon bun.
Sweet Cinnamon Biscuits
(from C Mom Cook)
Makes approximately 10 buns
2 cups (500 ml) (9 oz) (260 gm) sifted all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (½ oz) (15 gm) baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) salt
1/4 teaspoon (1½ gm) baking soda
1/4 cup (60 ml) vegetable oil
3/4 cup (180 ml) buttermilk
8 tablespoons (1 stick) (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup (180 ml) ( 5-1/3 oz) (150 gm) granulated sugar (I did half white sugar and half brown sugar)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 gm) cinnamon
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl and mix well.
- Stir in vegetable oil. Add buttermilk and stir just until blended.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Roll dough into a 15 x 8 inch (38×20 cm) rectangle.
- Preheat the oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease a 9-inch (23 cm) round baking pan lightly.
- Spread butter over the dough. Combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and mix well. Sprinkle over butter. Roll up rectangle, jelly roll fashion, starting from one long side. Pinch seam to seal.
- Cut the roll into 1-1/2 inch (3¾ cm) slices. Arrange the slices, cut side up, in prepared baking pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.
These are pretty quick and very delicious. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute it my pouring a scant tablespoon of white vinegar into the bottom of a one-cup measuring cup, then filling the cup to the ¾ cup mark with milk. Allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes and then proceed with the recipe as written.
Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:
Cinnamon rolls taste best fresh from the oven, but can be kept, covered tightly with plastic wrap or foil, at room temperature for a few days. Note – this will depend on your filling! I am referring here to the more traditional fillings. If your filling includes meat or cheese, you may not want to keep them at room temperature. Use your best judgment according to the choices you have made.
If you wish to freeze your completed cinnamon rolls, I have had the best luck when I have wrapped them individually first – either in plastic wrap or by placing each into its own plastic sandwich sized bag and closing it carefully. You can then place the individually wrapped rolls into a larger freezer bag or airtight, freezer safe container and freeze for up to three months. This makes it very easy and convenient when you want to reheat one or two, as opposed to freezing the whole batch all together.