The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Need Help With Cinnamon Rolls

boomerang's picture
boomerang

Need Help With Cinnamon Rolls

Hi all,

I could use some insight with my cinnamon rolls.  I am SO frustrated.  My dough looks beautiful, feels beautiful, and the rolls looks amazing when proofed (I don't think I am over proofing them).  From reading and experimenting I have found that they bake best if allowed to bake at lower temp (approx 330) for 20-25 mins in my oven.  I have a rotating convection here at the bakery.  Anyway so many times they will separate after they are baked.  Yesterday I even made the "clone" cinnabon recipe that is posted on this site and did the margarine rather than butter for glueing the filling but to no avail.  Why do they do that?  And how can I fix it?  it is like the dough shrinks up after they come out of the oven and I have all this air space between the layers and then thin layers of dough rather than nice puffy ones like they should be.  I can't afford to keep giving these away because I am embarasssed to sell them.

Can you tell me what I am doing wrong and suggest changes.


Thanks,

Joanne


 

 

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Hi

We use a modified version of that recipe with no issues. However, we bake them at 400F (350F for stickies) with convection off.

Are you baking them individually or in an eight (or more) bun cluster? Are you using something as a form, or placing them free-form on baking pans? Are they simply unrolling or are they popping up and unrolling? Maybe some pics would help.

FYI: We bake our eight-bun clusters in 9" cake pans, larger clusters in hotel pans, and individuals in extra large muffin tins, or large brioche a tête molds .

Cheers

 

 

boomerang's picture
boomerang

why such a high temp?

I bake anywhere from 12-24 on a sheet pan.  We sell them as individuals.

Sometimes they pop up and I was told that was because I rolled them too tight.  Another baker told me that it is fine to have them pop up and shrink -- but I think they look ugly and then become tough.

I have included two pics to show.  It isn't that they unravel but the seams pull apart and it becomes an open snail of thin dough.

 

 

These are not satisfactory for me.  I like my dough to stay together. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Hi Janet,

Do you have a picture?

Can you provide a link to the recipe that's causing you problems?

From your description, I thinking the same thing as Paul: a convection/time/temp issue.

Thomas

boomerang's picture
boomerang

I have no way to turn the convection off on the oven.  It doesn't seem to matter whether I use the sweet dough recipe of Reinhart's or I used the cinnabon recipe that I got from this site or I use any other type of sweet recipe.  Just posted pics.

 

J

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I was having problems with cinnamon rolls earlier this year.

TFLer's pointed me to zolablue's cinnamon roll recipe: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/recipes/cinnamonrolls#comment-9580

I can't recommend it enough.

The mashed-potatoes are key and may help you with moisture retention.

The chocolate icing, of course, is optional. Not sure how well chocolate-icing on a cinnamon roll would sell, as people tend to be really traditional when it comes to cinnamon rolls (i.e. white frosting, please?).

dwcoleman's picture
dwcoleman

...

Xantham gum.

I discovered it late last year watching a CopyCat recipe program on Spike TV.  They mix in xantham gum(you could use lower cost guar gum as well) to the sugar/butter mixture.  I had the same issues you/everyone has had.  Rolling tighter didn't work.  Proofing more didn't work.  Using milk/buttermilk didn't work.  Xantham gum did work, see my cinnamon roll from November when I test baked a ton.  You don't need to add a lot, perhaps 1tsp per dozen rolls.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

They almost look half-baked.

You must roll the dough really thin to get that many layers. 1/8" or 3mm?

They're so perfect they almost look machine-made. Or did you use my photography technique and ignore the ugly ones? ;D

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I don't have any experience with a convection oven but the rolls appear dessicated (dry) to me. Could it be that this particular oven is very drying? Could increasing the water content of the dough help? Or even using some water in the filling? Or even a gentle steaming/moisture in the oven (pan of water) to reduce the water loss of the rolls?

Or are they baking too long at the lower temp-in effect dehydrating them without overbrowning? I concur with a shorter bake at a higher temp.  

 

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

Either the rolls have to hold each other together (by snuggling up), or something else has to do the job. I can see how the xantham gum would help, but I don't like that solution on general principle. (Don't ask me why, I wouldn't be able to give you a clear answer. We all have our "fetishes.") We avoided the problem by baking in molds. 

It seems to me a simple mechanical issue. Something has to physically hold the roll, whether it be a mold or xantham gum "glue". 

Suggestion: Get a hold of a texas muffin pan to test. Chicago metallic, and Baker's Secret both make them (you can grab the Baker's Secret one at any WalMart). They are designed for a home cook only having 6 cavities of 240ml (1 cup) each. The cavities are about 3 or so inches across. If your rolls are larger, try an appropriate entremet ring. I'm pretty sure you'll be happy with your test bake. The rolls will come out taller, which, to my view, makes them present better. 

As to why we bake at 400F for 15min-- Because that's what works for us. Since we bake convection off, that temp would be equivalent to just a little higher than your 330F. I mention it in passing, I doubt that is the reason for the unrolling issue.

Cheers

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's how I understood it: use xantham gum to prevent the filling from 'leaking out' of the rolls.

Is it a valid solution for this problem, which sounds more like dough-shrinkage?

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

I assumed it was to be used in the filling.  I just don't like using stuff that I have trouble remembering how to spell. maybe I'm just being silly, but ....

Cheers

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I've have to relax some of objections to food additives (like xantham gum). If you don't, you spend 3x as much and spend 10x the time making x, y, z from scratch.

This food additive chart helps some: http://www.cspinet.org/reports/chemcuisine.htm (Scroll down for chart).

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Here's Dr. Walter Bishop from Fringe on Potassium Bromate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zG8D2_sYbUI

clazar123's picture
clazar123

The purpose of the xanthan gum is to make a gel/paste of the filling(water-based) and hold it in place. Using a paste filling made with corstarch would do the same.

 I believe the recipes the OP is using have a fat and sugar (with cinnamon, of course) that carmelizes rather than forms a paste.The dough moisture contributes,also, but in small amounts.Some people spray water over the dough before spreading the sugar/cinnamon. Either works (gel or carmelization)-it just depends on what you want for the final product.

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I never thought of butter or margarine as "glue."   It naturally separates sections when used between dough layers.    Drop the butter and use sugar.  When it melts it does glue things together!  Gets all caramelly and sticky too.  I suppose it is desireable to have some kind of paste, why not pudding based?

Another thing, I tend not to roll out my dough so thin considering myself lucky to get a swirl with 3 rings of dough let alone 5 or 6. Is it possible that too much moisture evaporation is happening because the dough is too thin?  Maybe bigger rolls need thicker dough.  Just a few thoughts.  :)

nadira2100's picture
nadira2100

I've made Peter Reinharts version of the cinnamon rolls a number of times and have made a few tweaks of my own. Instead of using the dry cinnamon and sugar I make a paste with melted butter, then rub it into the rolled out dough. I also don't roll mine as thin as yours look in the picture. And I brush some melted butter on the seam to help keep them closed while proofing and baking. The only time I've seen separation in mine is when I used the dry filling and didn't seal the rolls enough. I hope that helps a little!

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

I'm with MiniOven, putting butter between layers is the perfect way to separate them- think of croissants and puff pastry.  If you want the layers (or coils) to stick together, first brush the dough with a thin layer of egg white, then sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, and optional nuts/raisins.  Butter gets kneaded into the dough, not put between the layers.

Also, these probably need to be baked in a texas muffin pan to contain the sides.   

nadira2100's picture
nadira2100

Flour Child, I thought the reason for the separation in laminated dough and puff pastry was a result from the cold butter between the layers of dough. If you let the butter melt into the dough then you don't get that separation or flakey affect. Isn't that correct? Just looking for some clarification. 

swtgran's picture
swtgran

I often just spread honey right on the dough and sprinklle cinnamon right on top of it.  The honey is a good glue and no need for sugar.  The flavor is very good.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I think I might try that, but with malt syrup instead of honey.

I like the subtle, savory-sweetness of malt syrup.

I like honey too, but it's so sweet in quantity. (I get to make baklava (lots of honey!) once a year and my pancreas really hates me when I do.)

boomerang's picture
boomerang

Thanks everyone for your help on these.  This morning's buns were perfect.  Took everyone's comments in to account and did the following:  egg wash on the dough (not so thinly rolled this time), dry mix of cinnamon, white sugar, and guar gum sprinkled liberally over, and a moderately tight roll.  Sat them in cooler overnight covered with wrap.  Beautiful and full with no separation.  You guys rock!

Thecook's picture
Thecook

In my recipe i use the butter layer first, then i mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and layer it on the butter.  When it heats up it sticks together.

 

Yum.

queencafe's picture
queencafe

I used the Gordon clone recipe. I sub KA bakers milk diluted as directed 1/4 of bakers milk to cup of warm water for the whole milk. Added potato flakes diluted 2 tsp of potato flakes to 2 tsp of warm water to the dough. The vital gluten used in the recipe is a must. It turned out great. Please read my other comment on the Gordon's Cinnabon recipe section about other things and tips. My turned out the best, gorgeous cinnamon rolls I have ever made. Happy with results.