The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cinnamon roll dough

chetc's picture

Cinnamon roll dough

I have been making Cinnamon buns for about 2 years now. the problem I have is all of my dough recipes have the following problems, they get stale within 8hrs, the dough is bread like, I have yet to get a dough like a good bakery shop, I have tried a lot of recipes some dough recipes containing vanilla pudding mix, some using white or yellow cake mix. I was using bread flour as some recipes call for, but been have better luck with all purpose flour. but still there is something missing in my dough to get the fluffy soft texture as bakery shops get, any ideas to improve my cinnamon buns. I don't have my recipe in front of me, but it has milk, eggs, butter, sugar, salt IDY.




chetc's picture

need improvement

chetc's picture


chetc's picture


gerhard's picture

I remember making a cinamon roll a few years back at home that contained mashed potatoes and seemed to keep pretty good, if I come accross the recipe I will post it.



hanseata's picture

 Bread like dough means often the wrong kind of flour (too high in protein), or overworking the dough. But I would have to see the recipe, and your description of the procedure to give some recommendation.


clazar123's picture

...if you want a great dough recipe for cinnamon rolls enter "Lazy Man's Brioche" in the search box. Floyd's brioche recipe is marvelous for cinnamon rolls.And easy! I have made it dozens of times and it has never failed me. It has made buns,loaves,cinnamon rolls and any other variation.

Have fun!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I've seen a number of threads in SEARCH that reference this recipe, saying it's the best cinnamon rolls they've ever had.

It calls for 1 cup of mashed taters.

gerhard's picture

That looks pretty close to what we did with a different topping, but I am tempted to make those they look great.



Elagins's picture

any of the sweet yeast pastry doughs (bun dough, coffee cake dough, babka dough) from Inside the Jewish Bakery.  They all work and they all taste terrific, if I say so myself.

Stan Ginsberg

AnnieT's picture

Type in "Billowy Cinnamon Rolls" in the search box and check out the recipe from MountainDog - they look really soft and decadent, A.

Antilope's picture

The other day, I wanted to make cinnamon rolls. I looked at about 10 popular recipes and took what I thought were the best things from several of them to make a new recipe that came out quite well.

I calculated the bakers percentage for the dough of those popular recipes so I could compare them for percentage of sugar, fat, eggs and milk. I was surprised that the Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls were so popular when the dough only contained sugar and oil with no eggs or butter.

In a Baker's Percentage the weight of the flour or flours is taken as 100% then the weight of each ingredient is compared individually against the weight of the flour. Yeast and Salt are usually 1% or 2% the weight of the flour. Hydration is the total liquid weight percentage vs flour weight. This includes eggs, milk, water or juice but does not include oil or syrups. For most yeast dough this should be around 60% to 70%. Higher and you have a wet, sticky or soupy dough. Lower and you have a dry crumbly dough.

I ended up creating a recipe that used mashed potato flakes (for rich, tender dough), butter (for flavor), undiluted evaporated milk (for the milk fat, it's 19% fat vs 7% for whole milk), buttermilk (for more tender dough and flavor) and honey (for flavor instead of sugar) along with some cake flour to lighten up the dough. I posted the recipe below, "My Cinnamon Rolls".
Here are the results:
Alton Brown's Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
53.94% Hydration
32.42% Milk
0.00% Water
10.00% Sugar
15.00% Butter
21.52% Eggs
1.06% Salt
1.23% Yeast


Betty Crocker Cinnamon Rolls 
100% Flour
62.74% Hydration
52.07% Milk 
0.00% Water
14.08% Sugar
12.11% Margarine
10.67% Eggs
1.30% Salt
2.99% Yeast
Bread Baker's Assistant Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
69.70% Hydration
59.40% Buttermilk
0.00% Water
20.30% Sugar
17.20% Butter
10.30% Eggs
1.60% Salt
1.40% Yeast
Cook's Country Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
62.71% Hydration
34.46% Milk
0.00% Water
18.83% Sugar
32.05% Butter
28.25% Eggs
1.72% Salt
1.32% Yeast
King Arthur Flour Cinna-buns
100% Flour
62.21% Hydration
44.12% Milk
0.00% Water
18.08% Sugar
13.54% Butter
18.09% Eggs
1.93% Salt
1.41% Yeast
Paula Deen's Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
62.01% Hydration
26.04% Milk
25.30% Water
10.67% Sugar
15.98% Butter
10.67% Eggs
1.30% Salt
1.49% Yeast

Pioneer Woman Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
76.48% Hydration
76.48% Milk
0.00% Water
15.67% Sugar
17.56% Oil
0.00% Eggs
1.43% Salt
1.10% Yeast
Saveur's Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
58.21% Hydration
35.50% Milk
0.00% Water
22.43% Sugar
33.02% Butter
22.71% Eggs
1.33% Salt
2.04% Yeast
Todd Wilbur Copycat Cinnabons
100% Flour
51.79% Hydration
2.25% Milk
34.84% Water
10.42% Sugar
10.42% Margarine
14.70% Eggs
0.67% Salt
0.34% Yeast
USDA School Cafeteria Cinnamon Rolls
100% Flour
58.84% Hydration
58.84% Non-Fat Milk
0.00% Water
9.75% Sugar
11.12% Oil
0.00% Eggs
2.12% Salt
2.75% Yeast
I used the website below to convert the recipes from volume to grams, so all would be equal. If a recipe listed weights, however, then those weights were used to calculate baker's percentage..

Antilope's picture

Baker's percentage of popular recipe on The Fresh Loaf

Chocolate Cinnamon Chip Rolls

100% all purpose flour (4 to 6 cups, I calculated for 5)
77.06% Hydration
17.65% mashed potato (didn't add the possible hydration)
21.18% evaporated milk
19.64% lukewarm water
19.64% water potatoes cooked in
16.47% sugar
22.44% shortening
16.6% Eggs
2.02% salt
1.16% yeast

Link to Chocolate Cinnamon Chip Rolls recipe

Antilope's picture

If you want to add fat or avoid fat or just know how much fat is in various baking ingredients, here is a list I put together.


Liquid Baking Ingredients
Total Fat in Grams Per US Cup
225.68g - Bacon Fat (cooked)
224g - 100% Pure Peanut Oil or 100% Canola Oil
216g - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
205g - Lard
204.59g - Chicken Fat, Duck Fat or Goose Fat
192g - Crisco vegetable shortening
184.12g - Butter, stick type
178.81g - Margarine, stick type
172.04g - Regular Mayonnaise
129.04g - Sesame Butter (Tahini) (Made From Kernels)
128.96g - Peanut Butter
121.4g - Whipped Margarine
88.06g - Heavy Cream (Whipping Cream before whipping)
72g - Original Philadelphia Cream Cheese
64.49g - Egg Yolks, beaten
49g - Whipped Butter
48.21g - Sour Cream
46.34g - Light Cream
42g - Coconut Milk - Thai Kitchen
33.72g - Avocado, pureed
31.93g - Ricotta Cheese (Whole Milk)
27.84g - Half & Half Cream
26.62g - Sweetened Condensed Milk
24.15g Whole Eggs, beaten
22g - Traditional Plain Greek Yogurt
19.05g - Evaporated Milk, undiluted
19g - Regular Eggnog
14.26g - Ice Cream
7.93g - Whole Milk
5g - Coconut Milk (Coconut Dream and Silk)
5g - 2% Plain Greek Yogurt
4.9g - Buttermilk (2% - Reduced Fat, Cultured)
4.81g - 2% Milk
4g - Unsweetened Soymilk, Silk
3.8g - Plain Yogurt
2.5g - Pure Almond Milk - Original, Silk
2.37g - 1% Milk
2.16g - Buttermilk (1% - Lowfat, Cultured)
2g - Original Rice Milk - Rice Dream
1.4g - Dry Buttermilk (Reconstituted)
0.44g - Nonfat Milk
0.44g - Nonfat Plain Yogurt
0.41g - Egg Whites, beaten

Antilope's picture

Makes 12 large cinnamon buns

I created this recipe after reviewing about 10 popular cinnamon bun recipes. 
The undiluted evaporated milk along with the buttermilk, butter, eggs and honey make a rich, light, flavorful cinnamon roll. 
The combination of all purpose and cake flour make a light, non-doughy cinnamon roll.

3/4 cup (190 g) Evaporated Milk, undiluted
2/3 cup (160 g) Buttermilk
2 Large Eggs, beaten (100 g)
1/4 cup (85 g) Honey
1/2 tsp (2 g) Vanilla Extract
1 tsp (6 g) Salt
1/2 cup (50 g) Instant Mashed Potato Flakes
3-1/2 cups (435 g) All-Purpose Flour
1 cup (125 g) Cake Flour
2-1/4 tsp (7 g) Instant Yeast
1/3 cup (75 g) Butter, softened

1/3 cup (75 g) Butter, softened
3 Tbsp (40 g) Brown Sugar, packed
3 Tbsp (40 g) White Granulated Sugar
1 Tbsp (10 g) Ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp (8 g) All-Purpose Flour

2 cups (240 g) Confectioners’ Sugar
2 Tbsp (30 g) Butter, softened
2 Tbsp (15 g) Milk
1/2 tsp (2 g) Vanilla Extract

Manual Mixing and Kneading Method:
Place evaporated milk, buttermilk, beaten eggs, honey, vanilla extract, salt, potato flakes, flour and instant yeast into the mixing bowl. Mix ingredients, after they come together, add the butter. Adjust its consistency with additional flour or water, if necessary. Mix ingredients and then knead with a dough hook for 10 minutes. Or knead by hand for 10 minutes. The dough should be fairly smooth, only slightly sticky and not dry or crumbly. After the kneading place the dough in a covered greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Bread Machine Mixing and Kneading Method: 
Place evaporated milk, buttermilk, beaten eggs, honey, vanilla extract, salt, potato flakes, flour and instant yeast into the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer (usually, liquids first, yeast last). Program the machine for MANUAL DOUGH CYCLE, and press START. After about 5 minutes of kneading add the butter. Check the dough’s consistency. The dough should be fairly smooth, only slightly sticky and not dry or crumbly. Adjust its consistency with additional flour or water, if necessary, and allow the machine to complete its kneading and rising cycle. After the kneading cycle completes, allow the dough to rise in the machine 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough reaches the top edge of the bread mixing basket.

Assembly of Cinnamon Rolls: 
Deflate dough, transfer to a lightly floured work surface, allow dough to rest 10 minutes. Roll dough out into an 18 by 15-inch rectangle. Spread dough with the 1/3 cup of softened butter. 

Mix the brown sugar, white sugar, flour and cinnamon, and sprinkle it evenly over the dough. Starting at an 18-inch long edge, roll the dough into a log, pinch and seal the seam along the length of the log. Cut into 12 slices. Place 8 buns in a 9 x 13-inch pan and 4 buns in an 8 x 8-inch pan. Cover pans, and allow buns to rise in warm place, until they’re doubled in size, about 60 to 90 minutes. 

Bake the buns, uncovered, in a preheated 350°-F oven until they’re golden brown, about 30 to 45 minutes, and the center of a bun reaches 195-F. 

In a bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Spread icing over buns when they are warm out of the oven. Store covered.

le boulonger86's picture
le boulonger86

I keep mine simple..............

For the dough

225 g type 55 flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp instant yeast

25g butter (cut into small pieces)

1 egg beaten

125ml warm milk

For the filling

50g butter (softened)

2 tsp Cinnamon

50g soft brown sugar

I like to add nuts to mine & you can also add dried fruit

Make the dough up as usual, allow to double, knock back with a 1 minute knead then roll out to a rectangle 30 x 23cm 

cream the butter, Cinnamon & sugar till light & fluffy then spread on dough leaving a 2.5cm border, now sprinkle over nuts or dried fruit (optional) roll up like a Swiss roll starting from a long edge & press to seal, cut roll in half then each piece in half to end up with 16 pieces, place in tin & cover to rise for 30 minutes or so, bake in a pre-heated oven (190°C) for 20 - 30 minutes, Brush with runny honey or Maple syrup and allow to cool

Enjoy !!!!!

Happy Baking

Haniah's picture

made my cinnamon roll dough but it's hard. I've made cinnamon rolls alot of times but the dough never gets hard but this time why is it hard. Can anyone please help me.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

recipe and steps?  also baking details

Haniah's picture


in a bowl:

yeast 1 pkt

milk 1/2 cup

sugar 2tbsp

in another bowl:

eggs beaten 2

milk 1/2 cup

sugar 2tbsp

salt 1/2 tsp

butter 1 cup

flour 5-6 cups

for the filling:

cinnamon powder 1 tbsp

caster sugar 5 tbsp

brown sugar 2 tbsp

butter melted 1 tbsp


1. Preheat the oven to (170 degrees). Let the yeast rise. in a bowl add milk, sugar, eggs, salt, butter and add the yeast too.Mix well than add the flour slowly slowly so that you do not put a huge amount.

2. Mix the cinnamon, sugar, brown sugar and butter. Now roll the dough on to a floured surface and put the paste on the dough. Roll the dough and then cut it into 16 equal pieces. Now bake it for 15-30 minutes. Your yummy cinnamon rolls are ready.

Haniah's picture

I made my dough than i kept it in the fridge for 48 hours. Now when I took it out the yeast smelled very strong all over the dough. Can i use my dough or do i throw it away. Plz help

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

being in the refrigerator?  This is normal, it is the large amount of butter in the dough making it stiff.  It can be a great help and shouldn't be too sticky.

If you can roll it out without it falling apart, then I say just keep going with the recipe.  The dough will warm up after you work with it and from my experience it is better to spread out the filling, roll it up and cut it while cold.  Use a string to cut if you can for nice shapes.  Let the rolls in the pan warm up and rise before baking.

Haniah's picture

No I mean. When I made my dough it was hard. But then I kept it in the fridge I didn't do anything to it. I took it out after 2 days and the yeast had a very strong smell but then I mixed some oil with it. Then the dough got soft so I knew that the oil was less in the dough. Thank you so much Mini Oven for giving me time. I would love to share the cream cheese recipe I made at home. If anyone wants it plz tell me.


Haniah's picture

Haniah's picture

MTloaf's picture

I used the soft cinnamon rolls recipe at King Arthur with the tangzhong method and they definitely stayed fresh longer than others I have tried.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

yeast 1 pkt                  7 to 11 grams (good for 500g flour)

milk 1/2 cup                                                                               about 120g

sugar 2tbsp                                

in another bowl:

eggs beaten 2                                                                             about 110g

milk 1/2 cup                                                                                   +     120g

sugar 2tbsp                                                                                --------------------

salt 1/2 tsp                                                                                             350g

butter 1 cup

flour 5-6 cups                 130g x 5  = 650g     

                                                x 6  = 780g    

Hydration is 350/650 x 100  =  54%   (low but doable)   Probably lower as both milk and eggs contain solids and fat.   Even lower if all 6 cups of flour are used. This would explain the dough being hard and/or dry.  More milk is needed in the recipe.  Yeast amount supports a long fermentation.

Haniah's picture



Haniah's picture

Mini Oven thanks for the broken down recipe