‘Those’ Cinnamon Rolls

I’ve been meaning to type up this cinnamon roll recipe for a few years, and finally got around to it. It originally came about because I wanted chewy intensely cinnamon rolls, rather then the fluffy CinnaBon type, so I went looking for a soft yet dense bread to base them on. I settled on the Challah recipe in Gisslen’s ‘Professional Baking’ (my old school text) for it’s rich egginess, and sorta guessed on the filling and topping, and a star was born.

Because the dough recipe was adapted from a professional cookbook the ingredients are measured by weight except where the weight would be too small to measure accurately (salt) or is an industry standard (yeast). I’ve also given options for ‘sugar syrup’ though I strongly recommend Lyle’s. It is included in the recipe to add flavour and to maintain moisture. And as a final note, Diastatic malt powder (Available from King Arthur, all hail the King!) is totally optional, but it makes a softer bread that keeps longer. Does it matter here? I don’t know… I’ve never had these rolls last more than a few minutes.


8oz       Water, skin temperature

2 1/4t  Yeast (1 packet)

1lb 4oz Bread Flour

1oz       Diastatic malt powder (optional)

4oz       Egg Yolks (6 large yolks)

1/8oz   Sugar Syrup (honey, malt, corn, or Lyle’s)

1.5oz    Sugar

2t         Salt

2oz       Melted Butter



4oz       Butter, softened

4oz       Brown Sugar

1T        Sugar Syrup

2T        Cinnamon

1t         Allspice

1t         Salt

Raisins or cinnamon bits if desired



4oz       Butter, softened

4oz       Cream Cheese, softened

4oz       Powdered Sugar

1T        Vanilla Extract


Begin the night before

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (or large bowl) sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let it sit until the yeast looks gummy not grainy. Stir in. Dump everything else in the bowl with the salt on top. Turn on the mixer and knead for a few minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl down, until the dough forms a ball (mix with a wooden spoon until your arm falls off). Remove the dough and knead briefly until the ball is smooth, then return to the mixer for another round, about 5 minutes (give to someone else and make them knead until THEIR arms fall off, use as little flour as possible). Put dough ball in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set somewhere warm to rise until doubled, about 90 minutes.

Make the filling

Mix all the filling ingredients except raisins. Stir until smooth. Don’t refrigerate.

On a lightly floured surface roll the dough into a rectangle twice as long as it is wide, as thin as you can get it. Spread with the filling using an offset spatula or clean hands. Be sure to leave an un-fillinged short edge. Sprinkle with raisins if desired. Roll the dough up from the short end to the clean edge and pinch to seal. Also pinch the ends a little to form a smooth log. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator overnight.  Remember to leave butter and cream cheese on the counter to soften.

The next morning

As soon as you get out of bed pull the dough out and slice it into 12 cinnamon rolls. Place on a jelly roll pan lined with parchment and let sit in a warm place until they rise slightly. Bake at 350F until they are golden brown (I don’t know the correct time). Let cool slightly before icing.

Make the icing

Stir all icing ingredients until smooth. Ice warm rolls.


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