I’m part of the Baking Society here at Leeds University, and we meet every 2 weeks for a “Bring a Bake” session where we all bake something scrummy, bring it along and share it with everyone else! These sessions always have a theme, and this week the theme was “rolls”. Now, obviously the first thing that comes to people’s minds when you say baked rolls is probably bread rolls of some kind. But oh no, not us at Baking Society – we like to think out the box!
I thought long and hard about what baked goods I was going to bring to the Bring a Bake session and I deliberated between sausage rolls, pinwheel biscuits or cinnamon rolls. And, as you’ve probably guessed, I landed on cinnamon rolls because they’re more adventurous and challenging! I’ve never made them before but I have eaten my fair share of cinnamon rolls in the past, so I can safely say I’m an expert cinnamon roll eater. I spent a long time looking online for a recipe that got good ratings and wasn’t American (converting from cups to grams is such a pain it’s always worth looking for a British one!). I didn’t find a recipe I liked so I half invented my own and half combined many different recipes to formulate the recipe below that worked out amazingly!
This bake isn’t simple, but it isn’t hard! It takes a good 2 days to complete but all the steps are relatively straightforward. It requires planning and forward thinking as these are best served warm from the oven and smothered in freshly made frosting! At our “Bring a Bake” sessions we nominate 3 bakes for the Star Baker award for taste, appearance or technicality; and my cinnamon rolls won technicality! They do look impressively complicated, but anyone with the perseverance to read a recipe more than once will excel at them!
MAKES: 12 Cinnamon Rolls
1 Rolling pin
1 Large oven dish (I used the kind of glass dish you might use for a lasagne)
1 Large mixing bowl
30cm of Dental floss (preferably unflavoured; if not, just wash it beforehand)
A warm place for the dough!
For the dough:
370g Plain flour
1 Egg yolk
1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
50g Caster sugar
1.25 tsp Dried yeast
For the filling:
65g Caster sugar
2 tbsp Ground cinnamon
170g Very soft butter
A little bit of water
For the frosting:
2 tbsp Cream cheese
120g Icing sugar
1 tbsp Very soft butter
1 tsp Vanilla essence
For the dough:
- Warm the milk and water in a medium saucepan in a low heat until for about 5-10 minutes until it feels warm to the touch – but not hot!
- Remove the from heat and add in the yeast, set aside for around 5 minutes
- Whisk the egg yolk and vanilla together in a bowl using a whisk or fork
- Using a wooden spoon, add the egg mixture into the yeast mixture
- Add the flour and sugar to a large bowl and mix to combine
- Make a well in the centre and stir in the yeast mixture with a wooden spoon, a thick dough should start to form
- Lightly flour a clean surface, tip out the dough onto the surface and knead for 10 minutes until the dough stretches well without snapping
- Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with cling film, leave in a warm place for about 1.5-2 hours to rise to double its original size
- Turn out the dough on a lightly floured sugar and release the air inside by kneading for about 20 seconds
- Return the dough to the bowl and cover the actual ball of dough with buttered cling film, then cover the bowl with cling film, place in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight ideally
For the filling and rolling:
Use some of the butter to grease the dish.
- In a small bowl mix the sugar and cinnamon together
- Roll out the dough from the fridge until it is a rectangle about 45cm x 25cm with the longest side closest to you
- Spread the very soft butter on the dough leaving about 2cm of dough free from butter on the farthest long side
- Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter evenly
- Starting from the longest side nearest to you, roll up the dough tightly
- When you get to the unbuttered strip, use a bit of water to seal the roll together
- Slide the middle of the floss under the roll of dough until you get to the centre of the roll, cross the ends over and pull them tightly in opposite directions to cut the roll in half
- Split each half into 6 even rolls (this is tricky at the ends so these rolls might be smaller than the rest – but no less tasty!)
- Place the rolls into the buttered dish spread evenly apart, cover the dish with clingfilm
- Leave the dish in a warm place for about 2 hours
They should look like this after about 2 hours:
Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees
- Bake on a middle shelf for about 20 minutes, until slightly crispy on top
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes
For the frosting:
- Mix the butter and cream cheese together in a small bowl
- Sift in the icing sugar and stir to combine
- Add boiling water in small amounts until the mixture can coat the back of a spoon
- Drizzle over the cinnamon rolls and keep the extras for dipping!
Wow that was a lot of steps…
Here’s the thing guys and gals, all those steps and all that yumminess costs just £2.86 if you shop at Morrisons like me! Don’t believe me? Try them out yourself and see!
These bad boys should be eaten warm for the best flavour. If you don’t want to share them (I’m not judging…) then store them in an air-tight container once they’ve cooled down and reheat them in the oven for 5 minutes or microwave for 30 secs!