The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cinnamon Rolls

Deb Congrove's picture

Baking business in home and ovens

March 28, 2013 - 3:12pm -- Deb Congrove


This is my first time posting, though I have learned many valuable things through this site.

I have been working out of my home for 1 1/2 years now, making cinnamon rolls, tea rings, and related baked goods. I have a separate kitchen in the basement that is a licensed commercial kitchen. (I am in Michigan). I would like to increase my output. I am looking at maybe a Hobart 20 qt. mixer. My Kitchen Aide 7 qt. (2003) has been very good, but I am afraid it needs to rest! I also just have a standard kitchen oven. 

DiJonCamacho's picture

I make these outside of my home for people and they absolutely love them. Everyone who has tasted them says they taste better than Cinnabon's. Those are not my words.

hungryscholar's picture

My plans to make green bread started before St Paddy's with me deciding to try and make bread in the artichoke shape I saw at the back of the Village Baker and then saw on video here:

Since I can't seem to make anything without changing too many variables at once, I made a 65% hydration sourdough with 400g AP and added 2-3 tsp of matcha, which later turned out to be far too little to get a good color, but did result in a nice flavor combination with the sourdough. I think I might try even lower hydration if I go for this shape again with sourdough, as it was a bit, floppy? Anyway, it was a fun experiment, but I'd definitely change things up the next time. (What am I saying, I nearly always change things, even if I am happy with the first iteration.):

Doesn't it look green? :)

In any case, St Paddy's rolls around and I decide to make some cinnamon rolls and get green the good old fashioned way: with flourescent green food coloring. Instead of cinnamon I used 5 spice powder, which may explain why my daughter preferred making them to eating them.

dabrownman's picture

We bumped into a container marked as stock in the fridge.  We were looking for stock but inside was a once mature YW levain for panettone that we made on Feb 1st.   Here it was 2 weeks later and we still hadn’t used up all the excess levain build we had made trying to get to a panettone white levain.


Sadly, I had already started another YW levain a couple of hours before to make Cinnamon rolls.  So, I combined the two into one large YW levain.  My apprentice chucked in some more AP flour and barked that we would call it ready to go if it ever doubled.  We left it out on the counter overnight and sure enough, after a couple of hours in the morning, it was ready – in about 10 hours total.


Normally we wouldn’t make a levain that was 40% of the total weight of the dough but after recently following Peter Reinhart’s large levain process with success we though this wasn’t far out of line.  While the levain was finishing it’s doubling, we autolysed everything else, except the filling and the butter, for two hours.  We wanted to develop the gluten fully before adding the butter.


Once the autolyse and the YW levain came together, we did 10 minutes of French Slap and folds. The dough really developed nicely and became a supple and smooth.  After 20 minutes of rest, we stretched out the dough into a rectangle and added the softened butter and folded the dough envelope style.


We then did another 1 minute of slap and folds to incorporate the butter and get the gluten back in to its former well developed state.  We then covered  let the dough and let it ferment for an hour.


The dough was then rolled out ¼ “ thick on a floured work surface into a large rectangle.  The filling was sprinkled over the top and the dough rolled up jelly roll style from the wide side.  The dough was cut into 12 pieces and each one placed cut side down into a PAM sprayed  9x13” Pyrex glass pan.


The rolls were covered in oiled plastic and allowed to proof overnight on the counter for 12 hours.  Once the rolls had proofed we placed them into the preheated mini oven at 375 F and tossed ¼ C of water into the bottom of the broiler pan.

After 10 minutes the rolls were rotated 180 degrees and baked for another 10 minutes.  At that time the oven was turned down to 350 F, convection this time.  The rolls continued to bake for 5 minutes when they were rotated again and covered in aluminum foil to keep them from over browning.   The temperature probe set for 185 F was also inserted into the center of the rolls.

10 minutes later the rolls were at 185 F when they were removed and placed on a cooling rack.  After 10 minutes the powdered sugar and lemon juice glaze was applied with a spoon.

These cinnamon rolls are not overly sweet.  They are delicious and the perfect use for yeast water where sour is not wanted.  The crumb is moist open, nicely layered and shreds. The cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, snockered dried fruits, chocolate chips and a modest amount of brown sugar with the lemony, sugar drizzled top is a great combination.  I couldn’t help myself and had 1 and half rolls for breakfast this morning.


Yeast Water Build

Build 1

Build 2



Yeast Water















Dark Rye





Whole Wheat




















Yeast Water Starter Totals















Starter Hydration





Levain % of Total










Dough Flour










Total Dough Flour




















Dough Hydration w/o starter















Add - Ins















NF Dry Milk powder




















Total Flour w/ Starter















Hydration w/ Starter & Adds





Total Weight





% Whole Grain















1/2 C Chocolte Chips





3/4 C Cranberries, Raisins & Apricots Rehydrated in 2 T Brandy

1/2 C Brown Sugar + 1 T White Sugar




1/2 T Pumpkin Pie Spice





1 YT Cinnamon















1/3 C Powdered Sugar and 1T of Lemon Juice








dvuong's picture

Zolablue Cinnamon Rolls

October 26, 2012 - 9:33am -- dvuong

I plan on making Zolablue's cinnamon rolls this weekend and had a question about mixing technique.  When I attended SFBI, they had taught us to hold back sugar and butter when mixing rich doughs until the gluten is fully developed.  When the gluten is developed,  you can start to mix in the sugar and butter until it is fully absorbed into the dough.  The theory behind this is that the high ratios of butter and sugar inhibit gluten development causing longer mixing times = greater oxidation.

frenchcreek baker's picture


October 25, 2012 - 4:23pm -- frenchcreek baker

Hello bakers,

The HAINS HOUSE is offering 3-day Artisan Bread Baking Workshops. 

If you are looking for a bread get-away or maybe a nice baking gift for someone, this workshop at a farm B&B could be perfect.

Classes will be offered NOVEMBER 2-4th, 2012; JANUARY 25-27th, 2013, and FEBRUARY 22-24TH, 2013.

Pat has an Italian wood-fired Valoriani Oven in a beautiful, tranquil setting. The course includes lodging and all meals.

nadira2100's picture

Every other weekend we have friends come over to our house for a little socialization and we take turns providing food. Last week was our turn and I wanted to get away from ordering take-out like we have been doing lately. I wanted to put some effort into the meal instead of being lazy so we decided on burgers and BBQ chicken. I took this opportunity to make the rolls for burgers. This is the second time making the Kaiser rolls from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice and I was hoping these would turn out better than my first attempt. Turns out I was right!


The crumb was also nice and uniform with no obvious dense spots. They were soft and chewy and went wonderfully with the burgers!


Here’s a close up of the crumb….


And for the second roll, I had a serious craving for some cinnamon rolls. On Wednesday night I was looking forward to making the dough, cooking dinner, and then finishing the night with a cinnamon roll fresh out of the oven right before bed. But I ran into a serious roadblock! My oven wouldn’t turn on! I have an electric oven, one where you push a button labeled “Bake” and then you set the temperature and it preheats. But every time I pressed this button it wouldn’t do anything. Nothing, no light, no preheat….nothing. My husband came downstairs to see me begging the oven to turn on….for 45 minutes straight. I don’t know how, but I finally managed to get it to turn on. I may have had to wait until 11pm to enjoy a roll, but I at least got to satisfy my craving.

Fresh out of the oven!


The next morning I had to have one for breakfast. These are seriously, dangerously good! And the thing is, every time I make these, I never make them the same way and each time they never disappoint. In my haste the night before to make a glaze you can tell I was unconcerned with the occasional lumps of powdered sugar. I just couldn’t wait to take a bite!


I had made the dough wetter than usual so it was a little messy to work with but the texture was still light and tender!

dabrownman's picture

I've been searching for a a nice sesame and poppy seeded hamburger bun that would stand up to our monthly, stacked,  piled high burger by not falling apart while still having a soft moist crumb that toasted up well.  I took Sylvia's bun recipe for a starting point and converted it to YW from commercial yeast.  Then we thought we would make some retarded cinnamon rolls out of the same dough since it seemed like the thing to do and a nice fit. 

The YW levain was strong after the 2nd build at at the 8 hour mark.  Right after the 3rd build I refrigerated it overnight.  The YW levain was stronger than we thought and it tripled in volume in the fridge.  Amazing beasts they are!

The next morning we mixed everything together in the KA, it is a sticky wet 77% hydration dough and then developed and fermented the dough doing S & F's on a floured work surface which cuts the stickiness and makes the dough managable at the end of the S & F's at 68% hydration.  It was 85 F in the kitchen when we got to the point of splitting off the 2 hamburger buns from the rest of the dough.   The buns were raised on the counter in the  4" ramekins they would be baked in - eventually.  The steamed mini oven at 400 F to start was perfect for them.  There is a formula and method to follow the pictures.  They ending up being just what we wanted.  The seeded Buns tasted great, didn't fall apart and toasted well.  The fix'ins included; wedge sweet and regular potato fries, caramelized onions and mushrooms, baked BBW beans, roasted poblano pepper, tomato and lettuce.  Why no bacon ?

Coat that Pyrex with non stick spray first or you will be sorry !

The remainder of the dough was rolled out to accept the filling and then rolled up from the short side to make a log that was sliced into 12 pieces.  The rolls were placed into a 9x13 Pyrex baking dish and placed into the fridge for an 18 hour rise.  I expected them to double and they did at least that - no worries.  Baked them off at 350 F straight out of the fridge with some butter smeared on top before they went into the oven.  When they were nice and browned, out they came to receive a nice cream cheese icing to gild the lily.  They were delicious - the best ever.  Now the same dough makes hamburger buns too.  A 2'fer.

Yeast Water Hamburger Buns and Cinnamon rolls     
YW StarterBuild 1Build 2 Build 3Total%
Yeast Water50252510018.18%
Soft White0050509.09%
Starter %   
Levain % of Total 19.43%   
Dough Flour %   
Bread Flour32559.09%   
Soft White Wheat 10018.18%   
Dough Flour42577.27%   
Dough Hydration57.65%    
Add - Ins     
Mashed Potato7012.73%   
Milk Powder203.64%   
Add in Total25546.36%   
Total Flour550    
Total Water345    
T. Dough Hydrat.62.73%    
Hydration w/ Adds77.28%    
Total Weight1,158    
Bench Flour for S & F's70
Hydration w/ S&F Flour68.83%



 The YW levain is built over 3 stages  the first 2 stages are 4 hours each.  After the third stage is added at the 8 hour mark the levain is refrigerated overnight.  It will triple in volume while in the fridge.

 In the morning mix the rest of the ingredients with the levain in the mixing bowl.  Knead with a dough hook on KA 2 for 8 minutes.  Then increase speed to KA 3 for 2 minutes.  move to a plastic covered, oiled bowl.  Do 6 S & Fs at 15 minute intervals on a floured work surface returning the dough each time to a plastic covered bowl to rest.   This wet dough will firm up nicely.  Let rest on the counter for 1 hour after the last S&F.

 At this point I cut off enough dough to make 2 hamburger buns in4”ramekins.  These were allowed to rise on the counter until doubled in size.  A milk, water and egg yolk glaze was brushed on top and sesame and poppy seeds were sprinkled on.  They were then baked in a 400 F steamed mini oven for 10 minutes. The steam was then removed and the oven temperature turned down to 350 F convection this time.  After 5 minutes the ramekins were turned 180 degrees and baked another 5 minutes.  The buns were then removed from the ramekins and finished baking in 5 more minutes turning 180 degrees at the 2 and half minute mark.  The buns were then allowed to cool on a wire rack.

 The remainder of the dough was rolled out to ¼” thick rectangle and brushed with soft butter.  The filling was then added and the dough rolled up from the wide end.  


 ¼ C each brown and white sugar

¼ C each dried apples, apricots, cranberries and raisins reconstituted in 1 T each of Bourbon and water.

¼ tsp each of allspice and cloves

1 tsp each nutmeg and cinnamon

1/2 C each chopped walnuts and chopped chocolate chips.

After rolling, the dough log was cut into 12 equal pieces and placed into a 9”x13” Pyrex baking pan, covered with plastic and put into the fridge to retard overnight.  It should double in volume overnight.  Remove from fridge and brush tops with soft butter.

 Bake off straight from the fridge at 350 F until nicely browned.  Spread cream cheese frosting on top


8 oz powdered sugar

4 oz each cream cheese and softened butter

½ tsp of vanilla.

 Mix everything together with a hand blender and spread on top of the warm cinnamon rolls.

MIchael_O's picture

App-Generated Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

May 9, 2012 - 12:38pm -- MIchael_O


I made a Whole Wheat alternative to the traditional cinnamon roll. Since I like creativity, I tried a recipe generated from which is my site. The set of lower numbers in parentheses is the scaled down version I actually baked. The scaled down version actually took a little longer to rise because I used a scant measure of wet foamy yeast as opposed to sugary water.

freerk's picture


Managing the Water

Secretly I enjoy the way all of us here in the Low Lands are stumbling into 2012. After days of continuous rainfall and storms coming in, the water levels are rapidly rising. A small stretch of dike in the North has broken, but much worse has been avoided so far by doing what the Dutch were born to do, or so it seems; managing the water. In some parts of the country dikes are broken on purpose to give way to the water in a controlled way. Storm barriers are lowered, risen, unfolded, or whatever which genius technical way they have come up with to protect us from the ever hungry rising water. Don't you love it when a system works? These are the moments that your hard-earned tax money is worth every cent you paid, and more! For instead of huffing and puffing and dragging sacks of sand around, I can sit here behind my computer, with dry feet and not worry about a thing. 'Cause I got some one watching out for me, and all of us out here! The Dutch province of Zeeland ("Sealand") is, when it comes to water, the "epitome" of what it means to be living at or under sea level. Looking at this map, I guess you can figure out why.

Luctor et EmergoThe slogan on their weapon shield reads "Luctor et Emergo", translating into "I struggle and emerge". Even though that slogan goes back a long time and actually refers to the struggle against Spanish occupation in the 16th century, the average Dutchman will associate Zeeland with the biggest disaster ever to hit the province on the 1st of February 1953. In a big storm and the flooding that followed, almost 2000 people drowned and 100.000 people lost everything they owned; their houses, their livestock, everything... They struggled, together with the rest of the country and did indeed "emerge". I an epic mission never to let this sort of thing happen again, they constructed this little baby;

Zeeuwse Bolussen

Brought to Zeeland by the bakers of the Portuguese Sephardic Jews who were forced to flee north at the end of the 15th century, these sticky sweet rolls, traditionally shaped in a spiral, quickly became popular with the locals as well, to such an extent that the "Zeeuwse Bolus" has become the signature bake of the province in modern days. That is another thing the Dutch are quite good at; all through history the Netherlands has been a refuge and safe haven for people on the run. Or should I say; another thing the Dutch WERE good at, because nowadays, even though the biggest part of the world still thinks of The Netherlands as a liberal and tolerant place, the Dutch authorities are sending kids who were raised here out of the country just to set an example. Let this recipe for "zeeuwse bolussen" remind us all how something really good can come from opening up to "strangers" in dire need! Luctor et Emergo indeed...

500 gr. All Purpose Flour
7 gr. Salt 5 gr. Instant Yeast
320 gr. Lukewarm Milk
75 gr. Unsalted Butter
250 gr. Brown Sugar
2 TBS cinnamon
zest of one lemon
Combine the flour, yeast, zest and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Work in the softened butter with the tips of your fingers. Add the lukewarm milk. Depending on your flour, you may have to add a little more milk or need to hold a little back. Start with 300 gr. of milk and add more if needed; what you are looking for is a slightly slack dough that will be easy to roll out in strands. Mix until the dough is well-developed, it should pass the window pane test; approximately 10-15 minutes on medium low-speed.

Lightly oil a container, transfer the dough and coat all around with the oil for a first rise of about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, divide the dough into equal pieces of about 45 grams. You should end up with 14-16 dough pieces. Form the dough pieces into balls and let them rest for 20 minutes, so the dough will be slack enough to form into strands. First roll out all the balls into short strands of about 20 cm.

Mix the brown sugar with the cinnamon and cover your work surface with it . Then roll out the strands in the sugar mixture to a length of about 40 cm. If the dough really resists, you might have to go for a third round of rolling strands after giving it another 10 minutes to relax. Shape the strands into spirals or knots. The spiral is the more traditional way of shaping, but since the rolls come out of the oven really dark brown, I prefer to knot them, just to avoid associations that I won't go into here and now :-)

For spirals: start in the middle and just drape the dough in circles. It is okay to make it look a little rustic and not too neat! For knots: Place a strand horizontally in front of you. Take the ends and form two loops, leaving some space in the middle for proofing. Make a knot on each side of the loop.

Place the formed bolus on a baking sheet, cover and let them proof until puffed and doubled in size, for about 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 250°C/475°F. Bake the "Zeeuwse Bolussen" for about 8 minutes. You want them to be just done, so keep a close eye on your oven. Too long and they will be crusty, too short and they will be gooey.

Please feel free to comment and subscribe if you want me to keep you updated. Also I want to ask you to endorse my growing BreadLab initiative on Facebook; every like gets me closer to realizing a 6 episode "breadomentary", chasing the beast bread the world has to offer. Thanks in advance!



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