The Fresh Loaf

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Cinnamon Rolls

Jeff P's picture
Jeff P

Cinnamon Rolls

My wife was craving cinnamon rolls Sunday morning, so I figured I'd give them a shot. I used the recipe in The Baker's Apprentice, with the exception that I omitted the lemon zest.

Overall, I liked working with this enriched dough. The addition of the egg and sugar made it a bit different than my usual bread dough, but it ended up with a very nice consistency. 

One thing I noticed as I was working, though, is that there seems to be limited rise during the first ferment. I think this was due to the fact that we keep our home very cool (about 68° F). I've noticed this with other breads I've made, and resolved the issue by placing the dough on one of our floor heating vents. That way, it gets a blast of warm air every so often. With these, I kept them off to the side of the vent, so they didn't get as much direct heat.

The end result was a large oven spring, and a chewy, more dense roll than I've had before. The filling was good, and I did not make any icing for them. 

Questions that came up during this bake:

- With such a low room temperature during mixing, should I be trying to find/create a warmer space to ferment the dough?

- I omitted lemon zest from the recipe, and am wondering how that may have altered things. Is this purely a flavor thing, or does the zest somehow alter the dough consistency?

- I used Lactaid 2% for the milk in this recipe, which lacks lactose. This is the milk we generally use at home, but I'm wondering if the lack of lactose may have an impact on the result? Not that it was bad, but the consistency was different from "traditional" cinnamon rolls.



Sorry for the poor picture quality, had to use a different phone for this.


GnomeOnTheRange's picture

We keep our house cool as well, 65 degrees or lower.

I use our microwave to proof dough.  I have one of those cracked corn/buckwheat hull sore muscle things that you heat in the microwave and then plop it on your sore and aching body.

I heat that up in the microwave and then shove it far to the back.  The proofing bowl goes into the microwave and goes to town.  (NOTE YOU KEEP THE MICROWAVE OFF after the heating of the heating pad thing)

The small box allows the dough to rise in a nice warm spot.

MTloaf's picture

The yeast will do it's thing in a cooler room. It just happens slower which is not a bad thing. The amount of sugar in the dough will slow the yeast down as well. I make them in the evening and proof them overnight in the fridge. They puff up and are ready to bake in the morning. The centers will push upwards if you roll them too tight.

Powdered milk is a good thing to have around for recipes like this. I think the lemon zest is just a flavor thing and does not affect the dough.

Thanks for the photo without the icing because I would have drooled on my keyboard!


dom1972's picture

I agree with the consistency being a little different than “traditional “ cinnamon rolls. I use his recipe for middle class brioche for cinnamon rolls. IMO rolls are much softer and buttery. If you really want to indulge you could use his high class brioche recipe but I think that’s to rich of a dough with everything else going on. I agree with other comment that the lemon zest is just a flavoring I also don’t use it