I say they’re the best cinnamon rolls in the world – but maybe I’m biased. Still, I’ve probably made this very recipe at least 100 times, if not more. As a cinnamon-roll lover, I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about. When I did markets, these were the first item to sell out, and the one that people would come for. I’ve had people pre-order full trays of them, and they were briefly sold in a cafe in Manchester. They are good. Trust me.
The millions, trillions of times I have made these cinnamon rolls.
These cinnamon rolls are not quick – good cinnamon rolls are never quick, and shouldn’t be. However, they are easy. As far as cinnamon roll recipes go, I personally find these some of the most low-maintenance ones out there, without too many steps or iffy ingredients.
You shouldn’t need more convincing – cinnamon rolls are absolutely delicious, and you should have more of them in your life. So let’s get started.
A few important points:
Good cinnamon is key. Get the best cinnamon you can get. You may think that any old cinnamon you’ve had kicking around in your kitchen cupboards for the past five years will do the job, but it won’t. Good cinnamon really makes all the difference, and takes cinnamon rolls to the next level. Personally, I really love Costco’s Kirkland cinnamon. It comes in a massive jar with a shaker, which is super handy for cinnamon rolls – but it also tastes bloody amazing. It’s like super cinnamon. You can buy it at Costco, or just get some over Amazon and have it delivered to your house. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Yeast is one of those things that you pull off the shelf in the supermarket, and chuck in your trolley, thinking that it’ll do fine. And it will – it’ll be fine. It won’t be great, though. I’ve found that the difference between your yeasted breads and cakes being ‘fine’ and ‘wow’ is often the quality of the yeast. A lot of supermarket yeast just doesn’t seem to get doughs to rise as much, or as quickly. When I switched to SAF Gold, it was like a revelation – all of the sudden, my doughs were springier, bouncier, and did what the recipe said they were meant to do. I don’t know if it’s an issue with standard yeast in UK supermarkets, but for me using SAF makes all the difference in the world. I’d highly recommend it if you often make breads or other yeasted products – you’ll get better results all round. I know it’s pretty damn expensive for yeast, but note that it comes in a pound bag, and you usually wouldn’t use more than about 7 to 15 grams of yeast in a recipe. Make sure to store it in an airtight jar once you have opened the bag.
There is a godawful amount of butter in this recipe. Don’t be scared. It will be OK.
Melt butter in a large stockpot. The larger the better, so your dough has the space to rise.
Measure out your salt, yeast, and dried milk powder.
Once you butter has melted…
…Add 1.5 litres of water to it.
Then, add the dried milk powder, yeast, and salt.
And finally, add the flour.
Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix everything together.
Once it’s sufficiently mixed, switch over to your hands to knead the mixture for about five minutes.
After about five minutes of kneading, oil the dough ball all around so that it won’t stick to the stock pot as it rises.
Cover your pot with plastic wrap (loosely), and let sit for an hour, to an hour and a half, until the dough has just about doubled in size.
And there we are, wooph! Look how it’s grown!
Cut the dough ball in half, and place on a liberally floured surface.
Using a dough pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangle. It doesn’t have to be perfectly rectangular, I promise.
Spread softened butter all over the rectangle. Softened is miles easier to use than melted butter – melted butter will just ooze out of the rolls once you cut them. So if you forgot to soften your butter, microwave it for a couple of seconds only.
Liberally sprinkle sugar all over the dough….
And finish off with a good dusting of cinnamon.
Starting from the far end, start rolling the dough towards you, as tightly as you can.
It’s really quite easy, so don’t worry too much about this step.
And there were are. Get a knife or dough scraper (you may not want to use a knife if you are doing this directly on your countertop) or alternatively, you can use dental floss to cut the rolls.
Cut rolls that are anywhere from 3 to 5 cm thick. They will still rise, so they don’t have to be massive when cut.
Look at her, isn’t she pretty?
Keep going until you’ve finished the dough, and start on the second dough ball. Lather, rinse, repeat. Once you have finished all of your dough, cover the pans with plastic wrap, and let your cinnamon rolls proof for roughly an hour, until they have doubled in size. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and bake the cinnamon rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
And here are our baked cinnamon rolls! Aren’t they beautiful? Now is the time to prepare the icing.
For the icing, melt butter in a saucepan.
Add cinnamon, milk, and vanilla.
Sift in icing sugar, and whisk until you get to a fairly thick consistensy, like molasses.
Liberally dose your cinnamon rolls with icing, like so!
Mmmmm…. There they are. So worth the time.
- 400 grams sugar
- 30 grams yeast
- 20 grams salt
- 160 grams dried milk powder
- 1.5 litres water
- 3000 grams of all purpose flour
- Vegetable oil
- 500 grams butter, melted
- 250 grams butter, softened
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- Cinnamon (preferably Kirkland Saigon Cinnamon)
- 250 grams butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1.5 tablespoons cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 300 grams icing sugar + extra, in case
- To make the dough,melt 500 grams of butter in a large pan or stock pot. In a separate bowl, mix together sugar, yeast, milk powder and salt. Once your butter has melted, add 1.5 litres of water. Add the sugar, yeast, milk powder and salt, and the flour.
- Using a spatula or wooden spoon, mix together. Once the mixture has come together, switch to your hands, and knead for about five minutes. A dough scraper is useful during this step! Pour some vegetable oil over the dough, and coat the dough ball in oil all around. Cover the stock pot in plastic wrap, and leave the dough to rise for about 1 hour to 1.5 hours, until doubled.
- Liberally sprinkle an empty work surface with flour. Deflate the dough, and cut the dough ball in half. Take one half of the dough, and roll out into a large rectangle. Using a spatula, spread the softened butter all over the dough in an even layer. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon.
- Starting at the far end, roll the dough towards you tightly. Tuck seam underneath the roll once you reach the end. Cut the rolls into slices about 1 to 2 inches thick. Place in baking trays, and cover with plastic wrap. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Let the rolls proof for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Once the rolls have just about doubled in size, place in oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool whilst you prepare the icing.
- To prepare the icing, melt 250 grams of butter in a saucepan, and add vanilla, cinnamon, and milk. Sift in 300 grams of icing sugar, and whisk together until you get a fairly thick consistency. You may need to add more icing sugar to get the right consistency. Use a pasty brush to brush the rolls with a nice even layer of icing.
Note: Freezing: I make a large amount whenever I make cinnamon rolls, and bake part of the recipe yield in foil pans. As soon as these are baked and iced, I let them cool and wrap them in cling film, and pop them in the freezer. To defrost, simply pull out of the freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Re-heat in the oven for 10 minutes on medium heat, covered with tinfoil. Bam. Fresh cinnamon rolls on demand. You can also defrost individual cinnamon rolls from fully frozen in a pinch by microwaving them for 2 minutes on a low heat, and then one minute on high heat.