The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Why didn't he bulk ferment or enrich the cinnamon roll dough?

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Why didn't he bulk ferment or enrich the cinnamon roll dough?

A friend of mine owned a cinnamon roll shop in the 1990s. 

I once watched him make the rolls. 

He put all of the dough ingredients–which seemed to include an awful lot of yeast and no enrichment (no butter, no shortening, no milk, no oil)–into the Hobart mixer and mixed the dough very thoroughly. He then rolled out the dough without bulk fermenting it, filled it with cinnamon-sugar-butter, sliced the rolls and panned them, put them in the retarder to proof, then baked them. 

These were fantastic cinnamon rolls too.

I suspect his method was simple production protocol, thinking "As long as the rolls have enough sweet frosting, no one will notice it's an unenriched straight dough that's fast-fermented with a ton of yeast." The part of me that remembers how good these rolls were (soft and fluffy), however, wonders if there's a lesson here worth learning, that maybe great cinnamon rolls come from ignoring the usual slow rise rules and, instead, opting for fast-acting high-yeast rapid fermentation.


clazar123's picture

I know you liked them back then but your taste buds may have adapted to knowing longer fermented (and prob better tasting) bread now. Make a batch like he did and see if they are as good tasting as you remember. It might be an interesting experiment. The reason I bring this up is that I have had a few experiences recently of trying foods I really used to like and thinking,now, how awful they taste. My palate has adjusted to different likes.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Knowing what I know now about dough, I'd probably dismiss his rolls out of hand.

Nostalgia is what it is, though; might as well not mess with it. ;D

I had one of those experiences you mention recently with Gooey Butter Cake, a sweet treat my grandmother'd make for us when we were kids.

Recipe here.

It was so awful! Soooooooo sweet! And I could taste the metallic-like flavours (preservatives? leaveners?) from the yellow cake mix.

ananda's picture

Hi Thomas,

No matter how much yeast your friend added, that would not help to create extensibility in the dough, needed to create an aerated bold and pleasing product.

Methinks there must have been a proprietary dough improver pitched into the dough mixer; especially since you point out that no enriching ingredients were used.

"No time" dough without an improver is basically "green" - lacks volume taste and character.   There are no other ways to circumvent this!

I am taking as read that your friend did not use a pre-ferment?   That would change matters altogether.

Best wishes


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

He proofed them in a proofer/retarder for 45 minutes, so it wasn't exactly "no time" dough.

It was a long time ago and, admittedly, I didn't know a thing about making bread or dough of any kind. Maybe there was a preferment and/or bread improver in there. Does bread improver look like yeast? I still remember him adding what seemed like a whole cup of yeast (for a yield of about 40-50 rolls).  

ananda's picture


"No Time" means no bulk fermentation period; it does not imply no final proof prior to baking.

It simply means the dough is processed straight off the mixer, then into final proof.

Yes, you would use extra yeast in this process, especially as the formula contains cinnamon.

Bread improver comes in various formats in the commercial environment.   Sometimes it is a powder known as "Compound Dough Conditioner".   Sometimes it comes as a concentrate including the fat and salt and it is housed in a sealed plastic pouch.

Without the improver, as explained, "no time" processes do not work.

Hope this helps.   Best wishes


thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I thought I was just unclear in my first post.

Thanks for the clarification.

Elagins's picture

chances are he was using a significantly amended flour, probably bleached, with lots of chemical improvers (e.g., ascorbic) thrown in. people simply weren't (and many sadly still aren't) aware of the nuances of flour. according to Norm, pro bakers have lots of formulas, all of which depend on massive quantities of yeast (5%-10%)  for no-ferment products, kept for use when there's an unexpected sell-out of a particular product and continuing demand. besides - as your friend pointed out - cinnamon, sugar and simple icing cover a multitude of sins.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And every recipe contained baking powder combined with yeast and some included packaged "sourdough."  From the amounts of BP, the yeast and sourdough are only flavorings.   The book is aimed at the quick bread crowd bragging the recipes take less than an hour to complete.  

My point is that there could be a lot of baking powder in the recipe to do most of the raising.  The crumb pictures in the book looked more like cakes, and there are some interesting combinations but I don't particularly like the taste baking powder can sometimes impart. 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Quick Breads in Two Seconds A Day?

It just gets crazier and crazier.

I made an apple pie yesterday with a sweet pastry crust that called for baking powder. I winced at that ingredient, but added it anyway. Grr. I shouldn't have. I can taste it in the crust. It's leaves a metallic taste in my mouth.