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This recipe came from Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry and Milo and Olive, two restaurants we're obsessed with. If you're looking to make a breakfast really special, look no further than this delicious treat. These cinnamon rolls are made with croissant dough so they are flaky, chewy and irresistible.
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RECIPE: Classic Cinnamon Rolls
Yields 1 dozen
For the dough:
3/4 cup whole milk (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup water (3/4 cup)
5 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
4 sticks cold unsalted butter
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 3/4 cup bread flour
7 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
For the filling:
Butter (1 pound, or 2 cups)
Sugar (1 1/2 cup)
Cinnamon (1/4 cup)
Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the milk and water
and warm over low heat. Add the warmed milk and water mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add
the yeast and whisk to combine. Add two handfuls of the flour mixture to the bowl and whisk to
create a paste. Add the rest of the flour mixture and the melted butter. Raise the bowl of the mixer,
add the hook attachment, and turn the mixer on to a low speed. Once the flour has been
incorporated, turn the mixer to a high speed and mix until the dough comes together.
Remove the dough from the bowl of the stand mixer and place it onto a flat surface. Using your
hands, turn and knead the dough into a ball. Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and
refrigerate it for at least an hour.
Unwrap the refrigerated dough and use a rolling pin to roll the dough to approximately nine by six
inches. Using your hands, begin to work the cold butter so that it becomes malleable, not breakable.
This process can also be done by beating the cold butter in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment
for approximately 30 seconds. Once the butter becomes workable, spread it across 2/3 of the dough.
Using your hands, pound the butter until it is flat and evenly spread across the dough. Fold the
unbuttered third in toward the middle, then fold the buttered third on top of the first third. Press to
Pick up the dough to dust the work surface with flour. Place the dough onto the floured work surface
and dust it with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out as much as possible, both lengthwise
and widthwise. The thinner the dough is rolled, the faster it will cool. If the dough begins to shrink,
use your hands to gently pull the dough back. Continue rolling until the dough is adequately thin
and the dusted flour is completely incorporated into the dough. Fold the dough as before, wrap with
plastic, and place in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
Repeat step 4 twice more, refrigerating for at least 20 minutes in between. After the third turn,
refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, if not overnight.
Using a pastry brush, coat the insides of the muffin tins with melted butter. Create the filling by
adding the room temperature butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer with a
paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the
butter and the mixture is soft and malleable.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and place it on top of a lightly floured work surface. Roll
the dough as thin as possible. If the rolling pin begins to stick to the dough at any point, add flour to
the top of the dough and resume.
Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut the outside edges of the dough to create an even rectangle. Scoop
the cinnamon filling onto the dough and spread it evenly across the top, leaving a small space
between the edge of the dough and the start of the filling on all sides.
With the long edge of the rectangle facing horizontally, begin to roll the dough in and down to form
a log. Using a knife, cut the log of dough vertically, spacing each cut but the width of three fingers.
Place each roll cinnamon filling side up into its own space in the muffin tin. To prevent the rolls
from unraveling while baking, place the tail side of each roll to face in toward the center of the tin.
Wrap the tins with plastic wrap and allow the rolls to rise for at least an hour and a half.
Remove the plastic wrap and bake the rolls at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until golden
This recipe calls for both all-purpose and bread flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-
purpose flour, which helps to build gluten and yields a chewier, flaky crumb. If bread flour is unavailable
to you, all-purpose flour can be substituted without a loss of texture or consistency.
In this tutorial, Chef Zoe refers to a baking process called laminating. Laminating is a process commonly
used when making flaky pastries, such as croissants. Lamination is the process by which layers of dough
and butter become alternated. Lamination is achieved by layering dough with butter, folding the dough
over the butter, and then rolling the dough multiple times. Each time the dough is folded and rolled is
referred to as a turn. The more turns the dough goes through, the flakier the final product will be.
If planning to make these rolls for breakfast, Chef Zoe recommends turning the dough the night before.
This way, in the morning, you simply need to roll, shape, proof, and bake the rolls.
To create a unique cinnamon roll filling, Chef Zoe recommends adding orange zest, vanilla bean, or any
other desired spices to the mix.
Proofing is a process wherein dough is left at room temperature to rise. When proofing at home, make
sure to find the warmest place or the yeast may not find adequate activation. If your house is typically
cold, or if you’re preparing these rolls during the cold season, dough can be proofed in an oven where the
pilot light is on and the heat is off. Wrapping dough in plastic helps to keep it moist. If dough dries out, it
will not proof correctly.