Making: Cinnamon Rolls

The day I decided to make cinnamon rolls was the day my apartment was filled with the beautiful aroma of cinnamon. It was perfect. I love the smell of cinnamon and cinnamon rolls make me happy. The soft but crusty roll, paired with sweet buttery cinnamon sugar filling is just perfect.

I have always been a cake girl and never dared to venture out to the bread territory because that’s just an area that I am not familiar with, at all! Proofing, yeast, kneading – these terms are all so new to me and I just wasn’t trained in bread making. However, at work recently I was exposed to making bread dough, danish dough and croissant dough that it really sparked my interest in making bread.

Bread making is quite fascinating. It is definitely not easy because you need to learn the technique of dough reading. Different doughs require you to knead them to a certain gluten level and I’m still quite new to this. That being said, cinnamon rolls are quite easy to make!

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Once again, I went straight to Ochikeron because her recipes are always easy to follow. I happened to have the same sized mould as her so it was easy to follow without having to calculate my own conversions. I did have to adapt her method and the method I’ve been learning at work because I used a stand mixer instead of kneading by hand so the timing of kneading she provided didn’t really apply to me.

Recipe (adapted from Ochikeron) – 18cm x 18cm pan (Makes 16 mini rolls)

Ingredients for dough

280g bread flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dry yeast
1 tsp salt
180g milk
43g unsalted butter

Ingredients for filling

*I increased the amount of sugar cinnamon mix because I like it that way. Also didn’t include raisins or nuts.

52g unsalted butter
65g brown sugar
2.5 tsp cinnamon powder

Method

Dough

1. Mix together bread flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. You could do this by hand or with a mixer.

2. Add dry yeast and mix well.

3. Attached with a hook attachment, start your mixer and slowly pour in milk and knead until a dough is formed. Then add room temperature butter and keep kneading until there is a gloss in the dough and when stretched, it is almost translucent.

4. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a large bowl to proof. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. At this stage, your room temperature should ideally be at 30c in order for the dough to proof. My room temperature was a bit low because the air conditioner was on but once I started using the oven to bake something else, the dough started to proof faster.

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5. Once the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour), roll the dough out to roughly 30cm x 40cm, spread the fillings and roll the dough up. 

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6. Cut the rolled dough to 16 pieces and place in a square pan. You could use any pan or individual cups, I believe.

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7. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let proof for another 30 minutes (until the dough has doubled in size).

Filling

1. Cream butter, brown sugar and cinnamon powder until smooth.

Baking

1. Bake at 180c for about 25 minutes.

Problems I faced:

1. Rolling of the dough: I wasn’t able to roll the dough out as thinly as Ochikeron so my dough was a bit thicker, even before proofing. My pan size was the same as hers but my resulting rolls seemed very over crowded in the pan after baking so I think that is something to work on.

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2. Proofing of the dough: My room temperature was lower than 30c when I made the dough so it took longer than expected for it to double in size. However, once I turned on my oven the room temperature increased so it created a better proofing environment for my dough.

That being said, the resulting cinnamon rolls (although ugly), were indeed quite delicious so I will definitely make these again!!

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