Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon. To me cinnamon is a very peculiar spice with a peculiar taste too. Don’t you think? My take on this spice is that you either love it or you don’t. And even if you do like cinnamon, like me, there are times when I don’t enjoy it as much. I have these long periods where I am able to not eat cinnamon because I simply don’t like it. Sometimes when I see cinnamon in a particular dessert, I will avoid it and turn to something that has fruits, chocolate or ice-cream. Cinnamon is just a very strange spice. This past weekend however, I thought I would give this recipe a try – cinnamon rolls found on Two of a Kind. If you like this spice, you’ll like this recipe! If you don’t, you can substitute the cinnamon with chocolate, and have chocolate rolls instead!

_MG_6563_MG_6564_MG_6570_MG_6579_MG_6574I’d say that cinnamon rolls are pretty healthy, and quite a hype in the Netherlands. There are a few Cinnabon stores that have opened and sell all kinds of cinnamon rolls. But it’s definitely much more fun to make your own. And that’s exactly what I did this past weekend. I thought that cinnamon rolls would be a little challenging to do. A little difficult. It certainly was not. It was very easy, very straight forward and nothing went wrong, apart from the fact that I did not have any all-purpose flour and had to use whole wheat flour. But no problems there! I was quite surprised but very relieved when I saw the end result.

- 300 ml of warm milk
– 14 g of active dry yeast
– 50 g of sugar
– 60 g of unsalted butter
– 440 g of flour
– 9 g of salt

– 60 g of crystal sugar
– 60 g of brown sugar
– 15 g of cinnamon
– 90 g of softened unsalted butter

– 100 g of powdered sugar
– 2 tbsp of milk
– vanilla extract

– In a bowl, thoroughly whisk the warm milk (heated in a microwave or on a stove in a pot), yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar until ingredients are combined. Let it sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
– Add the sugar, the unsalted butter, the flour and salt to the milk mixture. Stir until all ingredients form a sticky ball.
– Place some flour on the working surface, and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. It should become smooth and elastic.
– Shape dough into a ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover it loosely (with either plastic wrap or towel) and let it rise for 2 hours.

– In a small bowl, mix the cinnamon, crystal and brown sugar. Set aside.

Cinnamon Rolls
– Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
– Place parchment paper on a baking sheet.
– After the dough has risen, punch the dough down to remove air and split the dough into two equal balls. Set one aside.
– Roll one ball into a 40×30 cm rectangle, placing the longer side towards you (makes it easier to roll). With a knife, spread the softened unsalted butter and then half of the cinnamon filling on the rectangle dough. Roll it lengthwise into a long log, pinch the seam and the ends to seal. Repeat with second ball.
– Cut each log into 3 equal smaller logs, making it 6 small logs altogether. Again pinch each end of the log to seal. Using a sharp knife, make 6 to 7 diagonal cuts in the logs. Make sure to not cut all the way through (see video).
– Place logs on the parchment paper, and brush each top with melted butter (approx. 20 g of melted unsalted butter).
– Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and let it cool.

– While the cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. Mix the powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons of milk and a few drops of vanilla extract. Pour the glaze over cooled cinnamon rolls.

Eat your heart out!

Note: if you don’t like cinnamon and would like to replace it with chocolate filling instead, this is what I would do. Melt 200-250 g of dark chocolate with 150 g of unsalted butter. Once you’ve rolled half of the dough in a rectangle, spread half of the melted chocolate and roll. No need to add a layer of butter before spreading the chocolate. I’ll definitely be trying this variant out too – my boyfriend asked for some chocolate rolls!
I also thought that the dough would be difficult to roll. Wrong. Completely wrong. It went very very smoothly. You just need to lift the dough a little on the first roll, and then roll normally.
And please, don’t be afraid of the lengths of this recipe. Once the dough has risen, it doesn’t take a long time to put everything together. Cooking time included, within 45 minutes you can have a delicious snack. And it makes some amazing breakfast leftovers!