Cinnamon Buns – Child’s Play (plus Brioche made with Red Star Platinum Yeast)

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Here is the perfect treat for back-to-school (or for that brunch your hosting this weekend, or just a midnight snack). This time of year is always bittersweet for us parents. Our little cherubs are headed back to school; we miss them, but also rejoice the quiet, in equal measures. Baking something sweet and tasty seems like a great way to celebrate. The best thing about this recipe is that it is easy enough for the kids to bake themselves (a bit of help with the oven for the little ones.) My 12-year-old son started a “bakery” this summer (read about his entrepreneurial endeavor here) and he made these cinnamon rolls. I handed him the galley copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking; he mixed the brioche dough (using a Scale and a Danish Dough Whisk), rolled it out, made the filling, baked them, whipped up some frosting, and then ate one (quality control) before his customers arrived at 7:30am. I did nothing but photograph his adventure in the kitchen and watched the oven.

Platinum 01

As you may know, Jeff and I have been using Red Star yeast since the very beginning of this bread baking venture. We love the results we get, we can get it in bulk and it is less expensive than the other brands, what’s not to love? They have recently come out with a new product, so of course we were eager to give it a try. Truth be told, I’ve been using it for about a year, since they gave me a sample when they first developed it. It has all the great aspects of their regular instant yeast, but they’ve added dough enhancers. These “enhancers” are what professional bakeries use in their recipes to improve the rise and to strengthen the dough. Anything that makes a dough rise better and bake up taller seems like a good idea. The enhancers are all natural, but not gluten-free, so Platinum yeast should not be used in our gluten-free doughs. The other Red Star products are all gluten-free.

Cinnamon Rolls 02

Here’s a quick glimpse at the recipe charts in the NEW ABin5. For those of you excited about using a scale to bake, you’ll love this edition. My son was baking in volume, so he learned the ease and swiftness of doing it by weights. (Baking with kids can be so much more than just getting to eat the treats they create. My son had to scale up the recipe, in order to fill his orders, which meant practicing his math skills. We also got a chance to talk about the way yeast works, how the gas can blow the lid off The Bucket, if not vented slightly and how the protein in the flour traps the gas to create the rise in the cinnamon rolls. Cooking and baking is a fun place to learn about all kinds of science and do some math. And they get to eat the goodies at the end.)

Click here for Cinnamon Rolls Recipe. Charlie did the overnight rise, which suited his schedule better. See below for details.

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Because Charlie had his customers showing up first thing in the morning, he rolled out the dough, put the filling on,

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rolled it up into a log.

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Cut the log into individual rolls. cinnamon rolls 06

Put the rolls on a baking sheet prepared with parchment, you can also use a Silicone Baking Mat, covered them with plastic wrap, stuck them in the refrigerator to rise overnight.

In the morning we preheated the oven to 350°F,

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and baked them for about 30 minutes.

Cinnamon Rolls 01

As they baked he made the icing.

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While the rolls were still warm he spread the icing over them.

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That way it melts all over and makes them even tastier.

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It goes without saying that he had to test the product.

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The rest were sold to our friends and family, what a great summer job.

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Luckily, he saved one for the assistant baker, moi!

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Note:  Red Star Yeast is a sponsor of our book promotion and other activities, and provided free samples of Red Star and Platinum yeast for testing.

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

43 thoughts on “Cinnamon Buns – Child’s Play (plus Brioche made with Red Star Platinum Yeast)

  1. Brioche! I have made this dough several times in rolls and pastry. Always turns out well. I also love the Pain D’Epi shape and have wondered if the brioche douch can be used in an epi shape or a wreath shape. Would make a wonderful fall treat with cin/sugar crusty treat.

  2. Ahhhh…this is so great. I grew up on cinnamon and Carmel rolls. My mom is an awesome baker and has taught me as well but her nothing puts a smile on her face more seeing her grandchildren helping her in the kitchen! Love this,

  3. Great recipe. I took your class 5/17/09 at Cooks – and recently picked up the book again and have been baking for a few days. Two questions:

    1. What was your opinion on Platinum? Is it only in packets (not bulk jars?). Should we use it in BreadIn5 recipes? Is it worth the extra cost?

    2. I have been using 100% white whole wheat in the master recipe. My loaves are baking very very dense – even if I leave to rise for 2 hrs+ (freshly made) or 3+ hrs (refrigerated dough) – I get some rise but maybe 50% max. Is that due to 100% white whole wheat flour? Should I be using white or a mix? Is 100% whole wheat just too heavy to get that great lift/airiness?

    Great to see your site and hear about your son’s entrepreneurship!

  4. I would love to make these on a daily basis ! I have your other books and still need to get the new one… i have been alittle afraid to try cinnamon rolls because all of my previous attempts have flopped.(to small, to dense,hockey puck after a couple hours)…….Your son has made this look so easy!! i do find that rolling into the rectangle is a sticky situation for me & it causes me to add more flour. Better to use a silicone roller over a wooden one?? Thanks for making bread not quite so intimidating. !

      • I’ve been making various breads from the original book for 2 years.

        I’ve watched various of your videos.

        And – I did some reading on the flour I use which is Wheat Montana – I live in Montana and this is our home product.

        Cutting to the chase – this flour needs a bit more moisture than others. Based on that info and watching your videos and seeing how much flour you add for rolling and handling, I started increasing the amount of liquid, adding a bit more flour than I had been at baking/rolling time and my results were much more to my liking.

        Also noted in your trouble shooting section that more moisture gives larger holes.

        Bottom line – it sometimes takes a bit of experimentation and experience with what ever ingredients and measuring technique is used (I switched to scale measuring also).

      • Yep, that’s our experience too–experimentation helps when you don’t use exactly what we used. I’m guessing that the Wheat Montana product behaves just like Dakota Maid, which is the North Dakota home product. Higher in gluten than typical all-purpose US flour. See our FAQ tab above and click on “Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?”

    • To keep it from sticking to your rolling pin, you could try using a rolling pin cover. I bought a pastry cloth recently for when I have to roll things out (I have tile countertops, which are impossible to bake on), and it came with a cloth rolling pin cover. It’s fantastic and I never use my rolling pin naked anymore. The cover is just so easy.

  5. On the cinnamon rolls recipe page, Zoe indicated she made 4 rolls with 1 lb. of dough. About how much dough would be represented in one pan as shown on this page? That’s 12 rolls, but I’m sure it’s not 3 lbs. of dough.

  6. It’s probably more like 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of dough– those are smaller ones. Close to half a full recipe. All depends on how large you make them, how thick you slice, etc.

    • Pretty much– maybe a 20 or 30 minute rest at room temp while the oven pre-heats. Remember, it’s been expanding overnight at cool temp.

  7. Hi Zoe someone posted about using spelt in a gf recipe and it said spelt from pa where do you recommend getting organic spelt flour from thank you so much

    • first off– spelt isn’t gluten-free. But I use the spelt from my co-op in bulk, which is organic. Problem is that in a coop, you never know the brand…

  8. Hi Jeff thank you so much for the respond I know spelt is not gf but have been researchingit for long time and a lot gf people can eat it because its so low in gluten I tried it in your crousty boule I changed the sorghum for spelt it was amazing and no celiac problems you guys have really helped a lot of people and especially gf people my family thanks you we have had gf pizzas baguettes boules desserts the list goes on

    • terrific Christine. Just wanted to make sure you weren’t a full-blown celiac eating spelt, glad it’s not that. Thanks for the kind words.

  9. I love these rolls. My original batch before freezing were just beautiful and perfect. But when I take the dough out of the freezer the night before and put in fridge and knead the next morning for 30 seconds about 4 turns as the recipe calls for the rolls are flat and do not rise anything like the dough before freezing. I am guessing the knead is too brief. The edges of the roll rise more…so I don’t think it is the yeast.
    Suggestions?
    Jacquie

    • It’s not the kneading, which isn’t absolutely required. I think the optional kneading step makes these too dense. See what you think if you omit it. Stored dough is just different than doughs you are used to.

      • Thnx for your reply. What is a bother for me is no one else( that I know of) has mentioned this. Perhaps I am doing something else wrong? But first batch before freezing was awesome.
        Will do as u suggest on next batch.

      • I think it is the yeast. It does not appear to tolerate freezing as initial batch were perfect. I have been using Fleischmann’s. it’s new with a date code of 4-29-2015. I took a pic of rolls after 2 hours rise.
        Took a pic but won’t cut and paste here.
        Very flat no rise hardly at all. I have big freezer.

      • So you’ve tried omitting the kneading step and that didn’t help? If this isn’t the problem, I’m guessing that like some of our readers, you don’t like the frozen brioche dough. It definitely gets a little denser, and for some bakers, that makes it less good for them.

      • Brioche is what I am using. Nope did not knead. Took from fridge and rolled out easily as opposed to there being difficulty. Very little rise. I am stumped as first batch before freezing was awesome.

      • Yeah, some people just haven’t liked the brioche after the dough is frozen. If you do freeze, short freezing times are better (one or two days).

  10. I cannot wait to do this with my kids! My dough bucket is currently full of your amazing yogurt naan dough, which makes a pizza crust like no other, so I don’t have space to make a whole batch of brioche dough. Would this work if I halved it? I am pretty sure I can get half the brioche recipe into this really huge bowl I have without it expanding and overflowing everywhere…

    • Hi Molly,

      Yes, you can do any of our recipes as a half batch. Thanks for the tip on the rolling pin cover. I haven’t used one in years, I’ll have to give it a try.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. So, what is a Danish dough whisk? I’ve never heard of it before, but I’m intrigued! Sorry if someone else has already asked, but what is the big benefit when preparing bread dough over just using your hands? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Sara,

      As you can see from the picture, it is a stiff wire on a handle, that is bent into a shape that easily moves through the dough and allows you to mix without resistance. It is just another way to make bread baking even easier. Our dough is quite wet, so mixing it by hand can be a bit of a mess. You can certainly use a wooden spoon, I did for years and years, but the Danish dough whisk just makes it easier.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Every Christmas season my Dutch wife, the love of my life, bakes the best banket. Last year , she had some left over almond paste so I used it as filling for an adapted version of this recipe. Big raves from family and friends!! Thanks Zoey and Jeff for sharing.

  13. Looks great! I am getting ready to try your GF version (pg 254 HBin5)using the GF Brioche (HBin5 pg 252) I notice the recipe calls for neutral-flavored oil and doesn’t give the option for butter like your other brioche recipes. Is this chemistry/GF outcome related or just an omission? No dietary concerns about using the oil. I just like me some butter! I mean, who doesn’t? :)

    • Hi Kendra,

      In the HBin5 book we were trying to make the breads as healthy as possible and decided to go with the oil. I have made it with butter with great results. Try a half batch and see what you think.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. I made cinnamon rolls today using a enriched whole wheat dough recipe from HBi5 and they were a hit at an office potluck. I doubled the icing recipe to be sure to have plenty. I also cut the 2-lb loaf in half and rolled each out separately and assembled into buns to keep them at a reasonable size.

    Freezing question: is it possible to assemble the rolls and then freeze them? If so, would you put them in the refrigerator 24 hours before baking to let them both defrost and rise at the same time?

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