Cinnamon roll dough?

Joined Jan 11, 2002
A recent thread just reminded me that I'd like to learn making cinnamon rolls (my hubby loves them but in Italy they're very hard to find). Since that thread was absolutely exhaustive about filling, I did an online search for the dough...but have been overwhelmed with recipes, and can't decide which could be the best:crazy:
So, I need your help!

Consider that:

1)I'm a poor homecook with no expertise in those items;
2)I must knead the dough by hand as I have no machine;
3)Luckily I'm supposed to work with small amounts.

Another question: all the recipes I've read speak of "dry yeast". Do they mean brewer's yeast? If so, can I use the fresh one instead of the dry?


Joined Dec 4, 2001
Active Dry Yeast is sold here in the US in little sealed 1/4 ounce (7 gram) packets. One packet = a little bit less than 1 TBS.

A general rule of thumb is that you can substitute fresh yeast for dry at a ratio of 3:1 (1 part dry = 3 parts fresh) However, yeast strains vary and in Italy the ratio may be different.

Brewers yeast is something else altogether and I don't believe is is suitable for baking at all.

Kneading by hand is not so bad. In fact I only use the Kitchen Aid when I am working with a very loose and sticky dough. Otherwise part of the joy of yeast bread is the kneading process. (There was another thread that spoke at lenght about kneading by hand.)

Anyway, good luck with your cinnamon rolls. I am sure they will be delicious :)

Joined Aug 11, 2000
Pongi, I use a brioche type dough with milk, eggs, butter, flour, yeast and sugar....I have no recipe to print...
Joined Nov 29, 2001
Copied from This is a site where you would find a recipe for Outback's Blooming Onion or another restaurant favorite you've been curious about. I got on the mission to find Cinnabons after a road trip from NY to Florida - had them at a rest stop in Jersey.

If you have EVER had a Cinnabon - you know why this recipe is being suggested....

Chiffy note - this makes a HUGE BATCH so invite someone over to share or halve the recipe. Hubby made these for his corporate chef job and he remarked about how great the dough handled. I have never added the nuts or raisins but thought I'd leave them in as an option.

Cinnabons - Buns from Heaven

2 pkg. active dry yeast
1 C. warm water (105-115 degree)
2/3 C. plus 1 tsp. granulated sugar, divided
1 C. warmed milk
2/3 C. butter
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
7-8 C. all-purpose flour, or more if needed

1 C. melted butter, divided (2 sticks)
1 3/4 C. granulated sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 C. chopped walnuts, optional
1 1/2 C. raisins, optional

Creamy glaze:
2/3 C. melted butter (1 stick plus 2 Tbsp.)
4 C. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4-8 Tbsp. hot water

In a small bowl mix together warm water, yeast and sugar and set aside. In a large bowl, mix milk, remaining 2/3 cup sugar, melted butter, salt and eggs; stir well and add yeast mixture. Add half the flour and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour until dough is slightly stiff (dough will be sticky).

Turn out onto a well-floured board; knead 5 -10 minutes. Place in well-buttered glass or plastic bowl, cover and let rise in warm place, free from drafts, until doubled in bulk, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

When doubled, punch down dough and let rest 5 minutes. Roll out on floured surface into a 15 x 20 inch rectangle.

To prepare filling: Spread dough with 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts and raisins, if desired.

Roll up jellyroll-fashion and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices. Coat bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and a 8-inch square pan with remaining 1/2 cup melted butter, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in pans. Let rise in warm place until dough is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until rolls are nicely browned. Cool rolls slightly.

To prepare glaze: Meanwhile, in medium bowl, mix melted butter, powdered sugar and vanilla; add hot water 1 Tbsp. at a time until glaze reaches desired spreading consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.
Joined Apr 26, 2001
The PM route doesn't seem to be working. I'm less fancy than the other two who supplied you with cinnamon roll dough recipes. I just use the dough I would normally use for making an American-style bread, but with more butter and sugar than I would normally put into it. (The old-fashioned white bread made around here has both. I start with my grandmother's recipe, as modified by my Dad, and further cut down to make one loaf at a time.)

A recipe for one loaf of bread should make cinnamon rolls for a 9- or 10- inch square pan. [The Cinnabon recipe that Chiffonade supplied looks like it would make about 3 large or 4 small loaves. It is similar to this one, but uses more butter and sugar proportionately to the flour and liquids.] Since this is a small batch, and is made with white flour, it is not difficult to knead by hand. Sorry the measurements are in the US system, but I'm at work and don't have a conversion chart handy. [Well, I was at work when I originally typed this. Now I'm just lazy.]

1/2 cup milk at room temperature or a little warmer
1/2 cup water, also room temperature or a little warmer

1 1/4 teaspoons yeast (1/2 of the US package Jock mentioned)

1 tablespoon butter

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (this is a "to your taste" thing; some people like bread sweeter than others)

1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (also a "to-your-taste" thing; I use a generous 1/2 tsp.)

About 3 cups white bread flour (will vary a little more or less, depending on humidity and how stiff you like to make bread dough)

Put the liquids and yeast in a bowl with a very little bit of the surgar, and let the yeast start growing. Add the rest of the sugar, the butter, and the salt. Then mix in flour until the dough reaches the proper consistency, and knead. Let the dough rise in the mixing bowl until double in size, then punch down. Put in a pan and let rise again, then bake at 450 (F) for 10 minutes, lower the heat to 350 (F) for another 35 to 40 minutes.

To modify this recipe for sweet rolls, such as cinnamon rolls, I just increase the butter to maybe 3 tablespoons, and the sugar to a tablespoon or a little more. (The cinnamon filling will add sweetness, so the bread doesn't have to be very sweet.) Make the rolls after the dough has had its initial rise.

Rolls don't need as long to bake as a loaf of bread, and I play around with the baking procedure, sometimes starting them at the higher temperature, and sometimes just baking them at 350. With the higher sugar content, the bread gets dark brown (which I don't like in a sweet roll) very easily.

This recipe can also be rolled with a little cinnamon, cut and put into a pan with the ingredients for a caramel (brown sugar, butter and a little water) and some of your favorite nuts, to make a "sticky bun" sweet roll.
Joined Apr 28, 2003
I remembered trying a cinnamon bun that used a danish dough and a coissant dough. Both where very good though a bit in the high fat and higher skill levels. You may want to consider them.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Thanks everybody for your advice!
It seems I got a lot of material to work on.
Since I've never made a brioche dough, it's likely I'll ask your help again in a few time...

brreynolds, don't worry about measurements!
You're not supposed to have conversion charts with you, but luckily my kitchen is full of cups and spoons:)

Joined Nov 29, 2001
Thought of another...If you have Baking With Julia which I believe is required reading for anyone serious about baking - make the brioche dough and use it for cinnamon rolls. It's Nancy Silverton's recipe and it's out of this world. She narrates through the recipe beautifully, especially after steps where the dough changes dramatically. It's a very rich dough that can be used to make many things.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Well, I googled up Nancy Silverton's recipe and made my first try! My pastries tasted nice, but I wasn't fully satisfied of the texture as it wasn't as soft as I hoped (I used half dough to make rolls and half for brioches). It's likely I didn't knead enough the dough with my poor hands, so I'm planning to purchase a bread machine...

Apart from kneading time, I have a (first) question. That recipe says you reach the right consistency when you hear the dough "slapping" on the sides of the bowl of your machine, otherwise you have to add more flour. My problem is that if you knead by hand it's hard to hear the dough "slap" in any case (or, at least, I haven't muscles enough for that :D ).

So, how can I know when the consistency of my dough is the right one? I ask this because I probably added too much flour.


Joined Nov 29, 2001
Pongi - the desired end result is a moist, very smooth, supple dough in which the gluten is well-developed. I love to knead regular bread dough, but you have to incorporate so much butter into this dough that I don't think I'd enjoy kneading it as much. As for Silverton's mixer instructions - including her descriptions - they are perfect. It's a great recipe for someone who has never made brioche because she's so descriptive. DH made a batch of Cinnabons for work (using the recipe I posted here) and they went over like gangbusters.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Pongi, some doughs are really hard to make by hand due to the long kneading process needed to develop the gluten. A brioche dough is one of the longest doughs to mix........I wouldn't have the will power or arm strenght to do that one with-out a mixer. After you have the butter incorporated it still kneads about 10 more minutes in a mixer.

I highly suspect you added too much flour. I think most people would........just to speed things along.

The slapping against the bowl would be a hard measurement for everyone to judge, unless you've made this before. Broiche dough is rather unique. It's very elastic, smooth and soft with a sheen from all the butter that regular doughs don't have.

I hate to confuse the subject more and offer you more options for doughs.....(BUT) if you had mentioned you were doing a brioche by hand ahead of time: I'd have done my best to stear you toward another dough. I've done a fair amount of experimenting on this topic of cinnamon rolls, working out of many books. If I can help by offering my notes, please don't hesitate to ask.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Again, thanks everybody for your inputs!

Wendy, suppose you're right... probably I'm not strong enough to knead until gluten is well developed, so I added more flour than needed to firm up my dough. As I said, my rolls tasted good but were too Italian I'd use the word "gnucchi" (you'll never find this word on a dictionary, but if you can pronounce it, the sound describes very well what I mean:D )
As for your offer, I NEVER hesitate to ask your help as it's always precious! I'm looking forward to your notes...:)

Joined Mar 6, 2001
Well, like I said I've tested quite a few dough for cinnamon rolls. I'm not certain how much detail I should post, I don't want to confuse you or tell you too much you won't be interested in......

Let's see:

First I should tell you I went along long way the wrong way and that's why I wanted to help you so you don't spend as much effort as I did. Where I went wrong is I kept thinking a rich dough would be great, because sometimes a non-enriched bread gets tough or chew after a couple hours after baking. So most of my notes were all the rich doughs I could find.

I made:

Danish dough and broiche dough, from Baking with Julia. Their both fabulous recipes, I highly reccomend. But neither produces a cinnamon "roll".

Cinnamon rolls from , they were excellent hot out of the oven. The cream cheese based frosting reminded me of the type you buy from Cinnabon stores. I shaped them into mini's and proofed them over night in the cooler. They raise alot while baking, don't over proof! You also need to add more cinnamon to the inside smear, for my likings. These don't hold at all.

I make the bobka dough from "Pastries from the La Brea Bakery" written by Nancy Silverton. It was fine, but I probably wouldn't make it again. It's too cake like and not really very flavorful.

I also made the Danish Dough from "The Bread Bible" by Beth Hansperger. I liked this alot. It's different from other danish dough recipes because the dough is soft and remains that way. Sort of a cross between a danish and brioche dough. (I should say my hubby didn't like this texture as much as I did.) It's still doesn't make a cinnamon roll like most think of. It's a cinnamon danish.

Then I made cinnamon buns from "The bread bakers apprentice" by Peter Reinhart. He reccomends using broiche dough, so I made his recipe for middle-class broiche. It worked well, but it wasn't flakie, very cake/brioche like. It wasn't as good as other broiche recipes (although it's not his rich-mans version) I had tryed.

I also made several from "Professional Baking" by Wayne Gisslen. I liked his recipes the best of all. I did his Sweet roll dough. It's excellent (although it's very very soft and you must use it while very cold to handle it properly). Then I did his Rich Sweet Dough. I thought this was too rich, and the wrong texture for a cinnamon roll, it's a broiche not a danish or a roll. But I reccomend this over Reinharts recipe for the same. Last I made his Danish Pastry Dough recipe. My hubby like this one the best of all my tests. It was supprisingly firm to roll out, so next time I'd try using all purpose flour instead of bread flour. This bakes up drier and flakier then all the other danish recipes I've tried more like what Panera bread has for their cinnamon rolls. If you need his recipes I'd be happy to post any one for you Pongi.

Now going in the right dirrection: I ultimately woke up and realized all these rich dough weren't an improvement over a bread like cinnamon rolls. You have to use a simplier less rich- bread like- dough for a good cinnamon roll. So I can reccomend several, plus I'd tell everyone not to look as far as I did. Even a basic white bread dough comes closer to a cin. roll then all the harder to make richer doughs.

First of this catagory is thebighat's recipe. It's right on and it is a great cin. roll! I also like the one from the pastrychef site I posted above. But my personal favorite comes from an Amish recipe using a potato dough. I like the texture and the moisture of that type of dough in a sweet roll.

I bet I've forgotten a couple other recipes I tryed

P.S. If you don't mind I'd rather private message this recipe to my freinds then broadcast it to the world. Thanks for understanding.

HTH in some small way.
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Oh, Wendy...I can't decide which recipe I have to start from :roll:

If you don't mind writing so much, I'd love to know the following recipes:

1)The two "Danish dough" recipes (Hansperger's and Gisslen's). They seem appropriate since my hubby felt in love with Cinnamon rolls during the year he spent working in Copenhagen ;)

2)Your favourite breadlike recipe;

3)That potato dough Amish recipe, that sounds very interesting...of course if you don't mind sharing it with others, private messaging it or not :)

I'm afraid you'll have to write a lot, but it's your made me crave cinnamon rolls too much!

Joined Mar 6, 2001

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. I've had an extremely busy week both personal and professional. Plus my hubby erased my cookies on the I could post here with-out going thru steps (I didn't have time to do). It's late tonight, but I promise I'll post them asap!

Joined Mar 6, 2001
Beth Hensperger's Danish pastries:

1/4 c. warm h2o
1 1/2 T. active dry yeast

Stir together and let get foamy.

1/4 c. brown sugar
1 c. half and half
1/2 c. melted then cooled butter
2 eggs
1 t. salt
zest of 1 orange (optional)
1/2 t. ground mace or cardamom (optional)
1 t. vanilla

Beat this together until smooth. Then add yeast mixture.

4 c. ap. flour

stir just until the flour is absorbed with no dry patches. DO NOT knead! The dough will be very soft. Then place this on a cookie sheet and form into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Cover TIGHTLY with plastic wrap, refridgerate until it's throughly chilled, about 1 hour.

Then combine:
1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. butter

combine until smooth and no lumps remain. Form the butter into a fat rectangle (on another cookie sheet). Refridgerate until it's chilled and firm but still pliable.

Rolling in:

Place your dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 20"x 10" rectangle.

Divide your butter mixture into 2 equal portions and roll each (using plastic wrap to prevent it from sticking to your counter) into a 8"x6" rectangle.

Place 1 of the butters in the middle third of your dough. Pull one third of the dough over the butter to cover it. Seal the edges to encase the butter. Place the other slab of butter ontop and fold the last 1/3 of your dough over the top of it, then seal the dough around it like you did the first one.

Using firm strokes roll out the dough into another large even rectangle. Then fold it in 1/3's. Wrap it in plastic and refridgerate for about 20 minutes, but no longer then 30 minutes or your butter will get too hard. This resting period is importart, don't short cut it.

Then you repeat the process of rolling it into a rectangle and folding it into 1/3's again. ** Except this time you turn your dough 90 degrees on the counter top from the dirrection you previously rolled (it the first time) in. You have to refridgerate it again. After it's chilled you repeat this step 1 more time, again rotating the dough 90 degrees from the last way you rolled it. This turning is necessary before each rolling in so the dough is stretched in all dirrections.

You should try to keep your edges sharp, don't use any more flour then is really needed or you'll make your dough dry. Chill your dough any time it becomes sticky, you should be using it quickly and keeping it cool.

At this point your done making the dough. You can keep it in the cooler for about 1 week or freeze it for a month or so.

To make this into individual cinammon rolls:

Cut your dough in half and roll it out on a slightly floured counter top into a rectangle. Don't roll it too thin nor leave it really thick. Brush it liberally with melted butter and then generously sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar. Roll your dougn into a spiral shape so it's a long log. Cut your rolls about 1 3/4" thick (you really can cut them to any size, but too thick is huge and too thin and they'll might over bake). Place them on a baking sheet so the cinnamon spiral side is faceing up, flatten with your palm (not too hard nor too soft) This dough will need to rise and your flatten danish will puff up nicely.
Bake in a 400f oven.

There's so many options for glazing and filling, I can't begin to mention so many. But once you've made your danish dough you can divide it up into portions and make several different danish all out of this one batch of dough. I like to glaze them with a simple power sugar, milk and vanilla glaze while their still abit warm.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Here's Wayne Gisslen's recipe for danish:

7 oz. h2o
1.25 oz. fresh yeast
5 oz. bread flour (but you could use ap. flour too)

2.5 oz. sugar
.75 oz. salt
12 oz. milk
1.5 oz. h2o

2 lb bread flour (again you could use ap flour)
1 lb & 2 oz. butter

In a bowl mix the yeast and water. Sprinkle the first quantity of flour over the mixture, let stand 15 minutes.

In another bowl mix the sugar, salt, milk and h2o until the solids are dissolved.

Sift flour and add it to the yeast mixture.

Add the liquid mixture. Mixing to form a dough, avoid over mixing also.

Cover and allow to ferment at room temp. for 40 minutes.

Punch down dough, place in refridgerator for 1 hour.

Rolling in the butter:

It's the same way I explained in the first recipe. Except this recipe doesn't add any flour to his roll in butter. It does make it a bit more challenging (but if you make Beth's recipe you'll understand and be ready for this one).
You continue just as I wrote in Beth's recipe by rolling your dough into a rectangle, then placing your butter in the center, fold over 1/3 of the dough sealing in the butter, then add the next butter layer, roll refriderate and repeat twice.
Joined Mar 6, 2001
Urrrrrrrrrrrrr! I wrote the rest of my answers and aol kicked me off line with-out so much as a warning note. I'm sorry I can't type it all again at this moment (I need a drink, but I don't drink), I promise I'll come back and finish!
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Oh, Wendy, I'm so sorry you're wasting all this time for me! Thanks so much...:)
As for the other recipes, please have a rest (and a small drink too;) ) and take your time! I have to work now so much on danish pastry that it's likely I'll not deal with anything else for AT LEAST a couple of weeks :D


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