This month’s sourdough surprises challenge was to make cinnamon rolls. As the title already gave away, these cinnamon rolls are the best I have ever made. Actually they are the best I have ever had! Anything you can buy and I don’t care what is the name of the place you buy it from doesn’t stand a chance when compared to these cinnamon rolls. If you ever wondered what eating cinnamon clouds would be like, bake these cinnamon rolls and you will get pretty close
As with anything made with sourdough these take time, A LOT of time. As in days to make. Most of that time is spent waiting for the dough to proof or rise. There is very little active work to do.So if you plan ahead you can make them easily. The dough however gave me a very hard time on my first attempt. It was way too soft and sticky to handle. The second time around I added a 3/4 cup of flour to the dough and proofed it in the fridge. That made all the difference and transformed these cinnamon rolls from disaster rolls to the most amazing cinnamon rolls I have ever made. I have highlighted the changes I made in red.
Sourdough cinnamon rolls
This recipe makes 12 large cinnamon rolls (about 10 cm in diameter each) My advise is to half the recipe
150 grams 100% hydration sourdough starter, recently fed and ripened (when it has just doubled it’s volume is a excellent time to use it)
340 grams lukewarm water
340 grams all-purpose flour
Let this mixture sit at room temperature for 12 hours, until doubled (usually overnight.)
If your starter tends to double in less than 12 hours or you’re not going to make the final dough for a while, then keep the levain in the fridge until you’re ready to make the dough.
113 grams (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
225 grams 3 large eggs
42 grams (1 1/2 tablespoons) honey
24 grams (2 tablespoons) pure vanilla Extract
130 grams mashed potato (I recommend Yukon Gold)
195 grams (3/4 cup) buttermilk or whole milk
850 grams levain
700 grams all-purpose flour
21 grams salt
Cream the butter then beat in the eggs, honey, vanilla and mashed potatoes until well blended.
Add the milk/buttermilk and levain, mixing until blended and then gradually add the flour and salt to the bowl. Continue mixing until well-blended.
Allow the dough to rest covered in the bowl for 20 minutes.
After the rest, mix for another 2-3 minutes.
The resulting dough will be VERY moist and sticky. It is actually closer to a batter than a dough
Turn the dough out into a large, lightly-oiled bowl. Cover and allow to ferment in a cool location (55-65°F) until doubled (this should take 8-12 hours, depending on how warm the location is).
Every 4-6 hours, lift the dough to stretch and then fold it onto itself.
After the first fold I found the dough to be too soft to handle so I added 3/4 cup flour
Another thing I found out is, proofing this dough in the fridge will make your life so much easier. The dough firms up in the fridge and it becomes so much easier to handle
Towards the end of the fermentation you can ready the filling:
double the dry ingredients for extra coverage/fun
170 grams (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted.
85 grams cream or half & half
300 grams dark brown sugar
180 grams raisins (I omitted these because I consider them a blight on cinnamon rolls)
3 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) cinnamon
12 grams (1 tablespoon) vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients until you get a soft paste
Rolling and filling the cinnamon rolls
Once the dough has finished the ferment, you can roll it out and fill.
Since the dough is so sticky, I highly recommend using a well-floured cloth or parchment paper.
What I use is a large heavy piece of linen or canvas. Thoroughly wash it,allow it to dry and then flour it and use it. My advice is to never wash it again (if for some reason, dough sticks to your fabric, let it dry and then scrape it off). It will make rolling, handling and proofing any sticky dough so much easier. When you’re done using it, simply dust off the excess flour, fold it and stash it. A piece of parchment can be used for the same purpose.
Divide the dough in half, return one half to the fridge until you are done with the first
Turn out your dough onto your floured fabric and dust it heavily with flour.
Roll the dough out into a rectangle
Spread your cinnamon/butter paste on the dough.
If you love cinnamon as much as I do, sprinkle more cinnamon on top
Roll up the dough, using the fabric or parchment to help roll it onto itself (with this dough I found that the parchment was easier to handle).
As you roll the dough dust off the flour from the under surface
Then using a piece thread, cut the rolls from the log.You can do so by sliding the thread under the log then crossing it over the log and pulling the thread in two opposite directions until you cut through the log
Place the rolls into a greased baking pan or casserole. Brush the rolls with a little butter and then cover.
Slowly proof the rolls for 12 hours (or overnight) in a cool place (I proofed mine in the refrigerator) until they have doubled.
Bake straight from the fridge in a 400°F oven for 25-35 minutes (if you have very thick rolls it may take a bit longer) or until the internal temperature hits 195-200°F on instant-read thermometer.
Once out of the oven, brush the rolls with a little more melted butter to keep them soft or cover them with a clean fabric while they are still warm. That will help lock in the moisture .
1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk
6 cubes kiri cheese (or use 150 gm cream cheese)
Pulse the milk with the cheese until completely homogenous. If you find that the mix is too thick add a little liquid milk
Freezing and storage
If you’re not able to serve the rolls immediately, they’ll keep for a couple days covered and refrigerated. Gently rewarm before serving.
You can freeze these rolls. Bake them until they are cooked through but take them out before browning the top. Allow them to cool and then freeze them. When you want to serve them take them out from the freezer to the oven. 200 C for 10- 15 minutes and they are as good as freshly baked cinnamon rolls. I wrap mine individually so that I can take only one or two out but you can freeze the whole pan.