The Little Teochew. So, what's so magical about these rolls?
Next, the delicious sweet scent of cinnamon rolls baking in the oven magically transformed her kitchen into some cinnamon rolls speciality shop. For the benefit of those from a different era, cinnamon rolls were so popular many years back. Sad to say, they were like one of those fad foods, came and went so quickly, not very different from the rotiboy or the donut craze.
My friend's family polished off all 15 rolls during breakfast. I am sure, any self-taught home bakers would feel so proud and satisfied to be able to replicate something so close to what the professionals are churning out from the bakery stores.
I was all eager to give it a try until I studied the step by step tutorial posted by the original author of the Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls. After going through the list of ingredients, I had some reservations about making them. I was really taken aback by the amount of sugar and butter that goes into making the cinnamon fillings and frosting. I am seriously not willing to pile on the pounds again. The big portion is also another issue.
small batch version posted by kitchenMage. This smaller portion yields 12 rolls which I thought is just right for the three of us. I have also taken the liberty to cut down on the butter and sugar for filling, and I omitted the frosting completely.
Making the dough was a breeze, just a simple mixing of the ingredients, and really, there is no kneading required. I left the dough to chill over night so that it will be more firm to work on. Even then, the dough was still very soft and sticky. The only way to get around it was to dust the work surface and the dough, generously, with flour to prevent it from sticking.
I can't agree more that these are really magical rolls! The texture is so soft and light! Even without the icing, I find them very delicious. They are not overly sweet, nor sticky or gooey. I couldn't stop at just one, and with the reduced butter and sugar, I didn't feel guilty even when I reached out for the third one ;)
Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
(makes 12 ~ 15 rolls)
250ml (1 cup) milk (I used low fat fresh milk)
50g (1/4 cup) sugar (I used brown sugar)
62.5ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
1 teaspoon Instant yeast (or 1.5 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast)
250g (2 cups) + 30g (1/4 cup) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon (scant) baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon (cinnamon powder)
50g (1/4 cup) sugar (I used brown sugar)
50g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (melted)
- Mix milk, sugar and vegetable oil in a pan. Scald (heat until just before boiling) the mixture. Leave to cool for 45mins ~ 1 hour.
- Place 250g (2 cups) plain flour and Instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the above mixture. Stir with a spatula until the mixture comes together to form a thick batter. (If using Active Dry Yeast, sprinkle the yeast into the mixture and let it sit for a minute before adding it to the plain flour.) Cover and let the batter sit for at least 1 hour.
- Add in the remaining 30g (1/4 cup) flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until the mixture comes together. Either go ahead to make the rolls or cover and leave to chill in fridge over night or until needed. If left to chill, check the dough and punch it down by folding with a spatula if the dough rises almost to the rim of the mixing bowl. (Note: dough will be more firm and easier to work with if left to chill in fridge).
- When ready to make the rolls, mix ground cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
- Dust the work surface freely with flour. Dust the top and bottom of dough with flour. Roll out the dough into a rectangular shape. Then roll out as thin as possible. Dust the dough and work surface with flour when necessary.
- Brush the rolled out dough with melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture evenly over the surface.
- Start from the opposite end of the dough, roll the dough neatly in a line towards you. Roll as tightly as possible. Dust fingers with flour if the dough feels sticky. Pinch the seams to seal.
- Cut into 1 inch thick slices and arrange on baking pan lined with parchment paper (or greased with butter). Place the rolls close together so that they are almost touching.
- Cover and leave to rise for 30mins (1 hour if dough was left to chill over night) or until the rolls double in size. (Note: the rolls can be left to chill in the fridge over night and bake them the next morning. If rolls have doubled in size, bake them right away. Otherwise leave to sit on counter until double in size before baking.)
- Bake in preheated oven at 180degC for 20mins until golden brown.
Now I def want to try. My last no knead bread was a disaster.
this looks super super yummy!
The good thing about small portioned snacks is that it doesn't seem quite enough and you end up thinking about it, prolonging the good feeling.
This cinnamon roll looks very good. I must try it out when my little one allow me to. Thanks so sharing!!
Your magical rolls look good and I think I want to make some for WB and myself. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)
wow....look very yummy!
They look absolutely gorgeous!!! Dying to try it out... :) I can easily imagine wolfing down at least half a dozen in a day :D
You are making me craving for some now! Looks very delicious. Love your adaption of lesser sugar and less butter. I'm sure gonna try this and enjoy some magical moments:)
This is very easy to follow recipe. I will definitely try it. Thanks for sharing.
Wow!! This is seriously tempting! I love to bake breads, but feel too lazy to knead at times.. the reduced portion with reduced fat is too good! Bookmarked to try soon!
Ur magical roll looks so sedap! yummy yummy...
No kneading? That is so fantastic! It's time for me to bake some cinnamon rolls for my husband ^_^
Long time never eat this, you just made me wanted to taste it right now..;p Book marked!!
Hi hhb, can I use cake flour instead of plain flour? Is plain flour same as bread flour? Cuz I find it difficult to find plain flour in hong kong..
Hmm:) I am going to try baking this :) Is it possible if I use caster sugar instead of brown sugar?
No kneading at all? Good for me as I love cinnamon rolls very much. Thanks for sharing HHB!
edith, hope it will turn out well for you :)
The Experimental Cook, yes, we do not want to have diminishing returns, especially the food we prepared from scratch ;)
Grace, very soon you will be able to 'play dough' with your little one, you will be amazed at how fast children grows up!
Elin, hope you have fun making it :)
Jessie, I think you are gonna to like it ;)
Christine, do drop me a note after you have tried it.
suma, I love to make bread but dread the kneading too!
neyeeloh, looking forward to read about yours ;)
ReeseKitchen, hope you would tick it off your to-do list soon ;p
Curlylashesbaker, plain flour is different from bread flour (which has higher gluten level). Plain flour should be easily available anywhere, maybe it is known as some other name, such as all-purpose flour，or 普通面粉 in Chinese. In any case, you may replace it with bread flour as one blogger has tried it and there is not much difference in the texture.
Jacqueline, yes, you may use caster sugar.
Anncoo, yes, just a few strokes with a spatula will do, unbelievable right?!
May u know did u use k-beater to mix or the "hook" beater?
neyeeloh, I dont have a stand mixer. You just need to use a manual spatula to mix the batter, a few strokes to make the mixture come together will do.
that looks fantastic....can't wait to try them...
now after reading this, so tempted to try using plain flour to make these. I must also see if magic happens in my kitchen!
Oic.. Thks a lot, this is soooo easy, no need to use mixer (means less washing is required).. Hehe
Hi HHB, thank you very much for sharing this magic recipe. After reading your post yesterday, I quickily get into the kitchen to try it as my little one was sleeping. Then this morning I wake early to roll it up and bake for our breakfast. Ohh..that's fantastic! Never go wrong using recipes that you have tried always! Cheers!!
PS: although it's quite a mess for the rolling up process and I didn't roll it up nicely but, that texture is truly amazing!!
neyeeloh, yes, minimum washing, just a spatula and a mixing bowl. The dough is quite soft and sticky, so need to dust with flour. I also lined my table with a plastic sheets for easy cleaning. Hope you have fun making them :)
Grace, it is great to hear that you managed to find time to bake these rolls! I agree, the rolling part is the most difficult. I still cannot get over that the texture is so good even without kneading the dough ;)
This is my favourite tea-bread and i can have 3 in one go too :) Going to make some soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
After reading so many positive comments, I should quickly go to make it. So attractive when it is "no knead" and "can break it into parts to complete". I am still wondering what to do with my instant yeast after my breadmaker broke down ... next week dh gog overseas liao .. *sigh* small portion should be good :) Thanks for sharing and I hope I can write in my blog about me baking it too :)
plain flour and no kneading! Your roll is beautiful! Thanks for sharing!
Hi HHB, I saw neyeeloh's blog of making the same bread roll but she mentioned that the dough is actually very sticky and quite difficult to roll up, so can you share with me what's the secret of making the job perfect? like yours? Thanks
Hi Jessie, as mentioned in my instructions above, it is better to chill the dough overnight, this way it will be firmer to work with. However, it will still feels sticky and soft. So dust the work surface, rolling pin, dough (top and bottom as you roll it out), your hands with flour. See details on the instructions above. I used about 2 heaping tablespoons of flour for dusting. Just dust lightly as and when necessary to prevent sticking. For easy cleaning, I lined my table with two plastic sheets (cut out from clear plastic bags). Hope this helps :)
Hi Happy Homebaker! Just wanted to let you know after I saw this entry I had to give these magical rolls a try!!! and it was really simple :D and they turned out great! I could have improved on some things but that's for my next try :P I also plan to try different fillings.. e.g. chocolate, cheese and ham.. and see how it turns out ^^" thanks for the recipe! I'm going to blog about my ones soon and i shall give credit to you and your blog :)
Hi HHB, I'm baking these rolls right now. Very excited, Can't wait to eat it! Hope it turn out nice. I had a hard time rolling it out, dusted a lot of flour but still sticky. Hope it will not affect too much the texture. How did you get those rolls neatly rolled up? The thickness of your swirls are so equal. You must see mine, fatty and messy hehe..
Thanks for your sharing!
HHB: Thanks for the tips
Very nice rolls! Even my children like it too! Thanks HHB!
I tried this but it was a NG for me.
I couldn't get the dough to roll and it was very sticky despite being kept in fridge for overnight.
It basically sticks to whatever that touches it.. -_-'''
Dusting everything with flour doesn't seems to help either...
Is there somewhere that I went wrong??
I'm sure I followed your recipe to the "T".
Hi Just G Bakez, sorry to hear about your unsuccessful attempt. If you have used the flour to dust the dough and the work surface, it should not be sticky. Not sure whether you got the measurement of the ingredients correct?
I've checked the one I copied and no error.
On this try, I even cut the oil as it was easier for me to measure on a rounded off figure which was 60ml.
I had to dust with so much flour to keep it non-sticking that it turned out with a layer of flour frosting after bake... -_-'''
What could have been wrong...I'm curious myself too...
Anyway, it was a good recipe which I see many are successful...
Maybe my luck ain't there for this...
Just G Bakez, did you manage to stir the mixture so that it forms a soft dough before chilling it over night? If the ingredient amount is correct, the only step that could go wrong would be the mixing. You may also try lining your work surface with plastic sheets (cut out from clear grocery plastic bags) or cling wrap. I think the dough will not stick too much onto the plastic sheet. I hope you will give it a try again.
Hi HHB, I've tried your recipe and the rolls were indeed magical! I added raisins to the filling. The second time I did this I reduced the butter to 40g and found that the rolls were just very slightly drier than my first attempt but still very tasty. May I know how you cut the rolls up so
evenly? After I cut mine the rolls no longer look like rolls and they are quite messy and ugly. I love your pictures of these rolls, especially the ones before baking. Thank you for this wonderful post!
I won't call mine a dough..haha
Cuz it was flowy and gluey...
No matter how I stir that was it's final form...
Think my luck is better with those bread flour types...
Maybe I'll try again with a further reduce in the quantity so I won't waste that much ingredients...
Hi Butterfingers, I cut it with a sharp knife (a chef knife), just push the knife down without 'sawing'. The cut rolls did deformed a bit, but after I arranged them on the tray, and after proofing, they became rounded again.
I made them try, very yummy. Soft n delicious. My skill is not so good, so I couldn't get the mini roll, mine was 9 gigantic ones, nevertheless, very nice. Thanks for sharing
hi agapejen, glad to know that you like these rolls too :D
just wondering, how do you compare this recipe to the water-roux version you have from 2010? which is softer? which is better? which one would you make more often?
from the picture that you posted of the water-roux version, it seems more like a chinese bread texture (also looks softer), but it could be because you ripped it instead of cutting it like you did with PW's version here.
hi, the texture are about the same, both are equally soft. but I would think the water roux method gives a slightly more fluffy texture. The only problem with the water-roux method is, the dough is quite wet and sticky, which makes it difficult to knead by hand, takes about at least 30mins or more to get to the window pane stage. Whereas for this recipe, even the dough is sticky, it doesn't require any kneading. I will make this more often as I have problem kneading by hand ever since I have developed a chronic pain on my shoulders. I have not made bread for a long time.
thank you so much for your reply! i will first try PW's recipe!
i am sorry to hear about your chronic pain. why don't you try using a bread machine or a stand mixer for kneading?
thanks for posting the smaller batch recipe too. =)
Hi, thanks for your concern :):)
My bread machine broke down a couple of years back. I am too cheapo to spend money to get a stand mixer...I hardly use my electric handheld mixer, so a stand mixer will be a white elephant in my kitchen. I am still trying to look for a cheap less than $70 bread machine though ;)
This is indeed a great recipe, easy to make and yet delicious. Even my 3 year old son can finish three rolls in a row (he probably would have more if I didn't stop him). Thanks so much for sharing, HHB. I will definitely make it again.
I made these twice in 3 days and loved them! Loved the ease and the soft texture, very surely making them again. Thank you!
Hi! i was just wondering why we have to scald the liquid in step 1?
Rach, not sure why, but I think it is to help dissolve the sugar??
oh ok that makes sense. thanks for your help! (:
love your blog by the way (:
Hi HHB, I tried and the rolls were good! Thanks for the recipe. My rolls were a bit flat as I halved the recipe but made 11 rolls! :P
Still good. Thanks again. Keep them coming!!!
Easy cheesy, great rolls. We all loved them. Thanks for the recipe and your description. Just plain great.
Wow! This looks very nice. I will definately try. Though not done much baking in my life!
Personally i tried making cinnamon buns before but the dough didn't rise at all; it made me pretty much depressed so much so i didn't wanna bake anymore cinnamon buns. BUT, when i came across your recipe and the pictures you showed us, it just rekindled my hope in baking the buns! <3 and certainly with you recipe and the detailed instructions given, the dough really risen double its size and the final results were absolutely "MAGICAL" ^^, THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING! i'll certainly try out all the recipes you have shared on this lovely page. <3 :)
Trying them out right now..but just need to check with you if the dough can be frozen if you don't want to make them all at once or if you just want to make the dough a few days in advance. Thanks.
Hi Sam, yes, you can freeze it, please refer to Pioneer Woman's post here:
Thanks .They turned out great. Didn't need to freeze the dough after all :). It just occured to me that the dough could work wonderfully as dough for baked doughnuts...healthier too.
Your buns looked fabulous.I am going to try this weekend. Just a question: If I want to chill the rolls overnight, do i let it rise then chill?
Hi Vicki, you can chill the rolls unrisen. You can read more about it here:
Hi HHB,I've tried your recipe and it doesn't worked out. The dough is really sticky and it seems too wet after the liquid mixture is added. I even chilled in the fridge for an hour before rolling out. A lot of flour was used during the rolling out process. The worst thing is it didn't even rises, i left it in the oven for nearly an hour. The texture was dense after baking. Can u tell me what could have went wrong? Thanks.
Selbsy, sorry to hear that the recipe didnt work well for you. The dough is quite wet and sticky, but if you chill it over night, the dough will be easier to handle.
May I ask what type of yeast do you use? I use Instant Yeast which can be mixed directly with the other ingredients. However if you are using Active Dry Yeast, you need to activate (see step 2). Or maybe your yeast has expired? maybe that was why the dough didnt rise?
My attempt failed:( the end products were hard, wat went wrong?
Hi, did the dough rise? if not, could it be due to the yeast? did you use INSTANT yeast or Active dry yeast? If u are using active dry yeast, u need to activate it by dissolve it in liquid (step 2).
Hi! I've tried these magical rolls a couple of times and they are good. I also like that kneading is not required here. Thanks for sharing :)
Do you think it is possible to use this dough for other buns, like kaya buns, otar buns etc?
I'm eager to try this no-knead method since my bread machine broke down! am I right to assume then that this bread base can be used for other fillings right? Am hoping to make a Basil, garlic, tomato bread.
Do you mind sharing what brand of yeast you used? Instant yeast from Bake King bottle any good? Or those sachet form? Thanks a mil!
Hi Winnie, you may use it for other buns, but do note that the dough is rather soft, so wrapping it with filling may not be as easy.
Hi Jo, yes, I am sure you can try with other fillings. I have used it as a pizza dough, but I have tried replacing the milk with plain water.
cinnamon rolls look great!May I know if there are other variations of bread that requires no kneading?
hi zoeychong, so far this is the only one I have tried.
Hi HHB. may I know what type of brown sugar you usually use? I've both light & dark brown sugar, do they make a difference?
Hi Grace, for this recipe I used light brown sugar. The difference is in the taste and aroma.
Magical rolls indeed! I just followed your recipe to the T and they are exquisite :D Thank you for sharing!
Hi. Do two cups of flour measure up to 250g? I thought 1 cup is 250ml or 250g?
Hi Hwee Ling, no 1 cup of flour is not 250g even though 1 cup is 250ml, that's because of difference in density, weight of the ingredients.
Hi can I use self-raising flour instead?
Hi, self raising flour has got baking powder in it, so u may need to reduce the amount of baking powder.
Thanks. Do I still need to use baking soda then?
Hi, I'm not too sure...but I think you probably need to add it in. To avoid disappointment, best is to follow recipe closely.
Hi, I tried these rolls and although they didn't come out that great (I skipped the freezing overnight part) the first time I tried them, they came out absolutely delicious and smelling divine in my second attempt. I brought them out of the oven and they were gone in seconds :) Making some more again tonight after work. Wondering if I could cut down on some butter in the filling without impacting its divinity drastically.
hi nowandthen, you can try cut down on the butter as I don't use up all the butter too.
Stumbled upon your site 2 days ago and loving your recipes. I love that you customised your recipe with low sugar and butter.
I tried this rolls today and followed your recipe and instructions to the dot. But, the dough was very mess and super sticky. If I'm not wrong I had to add extra 1 cup flour before and after rolling. The dough was very mess to roll out despite I chilled my dough overnight. Not sure what's wrong.
But, the final result was good but not magical. Next time, I probably cut down the liquid to 1/2 or 3/4. Thank you for nice recipe. Hope I'll find my success next time :-)
Hi HHB, I tried these magical rolls. My roll sizes were only one fourth of yours and it was very small. I read your recipe again and again. I think I rolled it very thin. But the taste was very good and this was my best of all what I have baked. It was so nice of you to answer all the comments in spite of your busy schedule. I read all the comments so that I will not make the same mistake. Thank you very much for your effort and time.
Hi, not sure what went wrong, maybe your yeast was not working well? I am able to make about 15 rolls, my baking pan is about 12"by 9"by 2" ht. Yes, these rolls are very delicious will be making a batch too!
I bought salted butter instead of unsalted by mistake. Can I use salted butter instead? If not, can I use olive oil or canola oil? Thanks!
Hi, you can use salted butter, no worries since it is used for the fillings only, it won't affect the dough. Yes, you can use pure olive oil. Happy Baking!
Just wondering if cutting down the oil, will it affect the texture and taste?
Hi lihuan, no please do not cut down the oil, it will affect the texture of the bread.
Oh my goodness, cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven taste the best. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Your modifications make it less sinful.
Hi, I chilled the dough and baked them yesterday. Although the dough was chilled, it was very soft, light, fluffy and sticky to touch. I had to use a lot of flour to get it off the table during the process of rolling and on the rolling pin. It was not easy. I couldn't roll it tight at all so the swirl was not quite there. In fact the batter was so limp with basically no shape after I managed to cut them into smaller rolls. The smell was great though during the baking process. My rolls were crispy and there was not much taste of the cinnamon powder within the roll. The taste was accumulated on top of the rolls only. Can you please advise me what did I do wrong as I want to try again? Thanks!
Hi Ai Li, the dough is very soft and sticky and yes you need to use lots of flour for dusting. What I have been doing now is, to prevent the dough from sticking, I lined my table with cling wraps. Then dust the cling wrap surface and the dough with flour before rolling the dough. keep dusting the rolling pin lightly with flour once it starts to stick to the dough. After brushing the dough with the filling, work with your finger tips to roll up the dough, do it very SLOWLY, moving/rolling the dough a little bit each time. I find that with the dough wont stick too much to the cling wrap.
Not sure whether u meant the cinnamon filling was not strong enough for your taste? If yes, by all means use more cinnamon powder. If u meant that the filling 'came up' to the top instead of within the rolls, then it could probably because your rolls rose high up during the 2nd proof and during baking, pushing the filling to the top. This could likely be due to your rolling as there was not much of a swirl?
Thank you so much for help! I think you have nailed all the points. The other question : what is the texture of the roll? Is it soft and fluffy like those kaya or coconut buns sold in the bakeries or are they like pastry? Sorry for not being able to explain well here. Appreciate your help!
Hi Ai Li, they are quite soft and the texture is just like bread buns...definitely not like pastry crust. of course since they are homemade buns without any addictives such as bread improvers, the texture wont be as cottony soft as those kaya or coconut buns from bakeries. hope u know what I mean.
I follow your recipe to bake the cinnamon rolls in my Happycall pan as my oven is spoilt. The rolls are very soft and delicious. Thanks for the wonderful recipe:)
I just made these last night after reading the recipe. I have mad PW cinnamon rolls before but they make TOO many, so thank you for this!
These were easy to make, despite my fear of yeast. My dough was not sticky though, and after reading the comments I was surprised. I also left out the salt!! UGH! I am going to make them again tomorrow with the salt.
Hi. I made the dough yesterday. Added instant yeast to the flour mixture together with the milk, oil and sugar mixture, and let it sit for an hour. It did not rise though. After that I added the rest of the ingredients and cover to sit in the refrigerator overnight. It never rose when I checked this morning. In fact the texture was like a soft batter still, just like kaya. Not sure what went wrong. :(
Hi, not sure whether it is due to the yeast, baking powder or baking soda? Are they 'fresh' or near expiry? How do you store your yeast? Yeast loose its life/effectiveness very easily once the package is opened. Any left over yeast is best stored in the freezer.
Hi, HHB. I baked this today but it is underbaked, the bottom of the roll came out wet. May i know how to check whether it is done or not? Thanks.
Hi Chong sun sun, did you preheat your oven before baking? Do you use an oven thermometer to check that your oven it preheated to the required temperature. Try not to open the oven door during the baking otherwise the temperature will drop.
To check for doneness, the surface of the roll should be golden browned and when u lightly press the buns/rolls it should spring back. You can also check whether they are cooked by pulling the centre roll to check whether the bottom is done. Hope this helps and hope you have success on your next attempt :)
I tried this recipe , but the dough is toooo watery and no firmness at all. Even after i chill it in the fridge overnight, i did not rise. What is wrong? :( i used to bake bread, and turn out all right. But this is difficult :(
Hi Valencia, not sure what happened, did you get the measurement of the flour or liquid correct? What about the yeast or baking powder, are they fresh or near expiry? The dough is very soft and wet. You need to dust with lots of flour.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. I made twice.. it was magical. Kids love it. I love to make it too.
Glad to hear you like this cinnamon rolls, I love it too!
It gave me great quinces, and the recipe that I am not happy, I am very grabs! thank you in advance
I board a good recipe already dealt a site like this couscous marocain
Thanks for the recipe! It's really easy....and tastes GOOD :)
Its Looks brilliant.... and tasty too
chowringhee kathi roll
I just saw your recipe. I will be trying them over the weekend. I love cinnamon rolls. Hope it will turn out fluffy and yummy!!
The recipe is fantastic. Although it almost became disaster but managed to salvage it. The rolls were fluffy and soft. Glad to stumble upon your recipe. Thank you.
Hi Are-in, great to hear that it turned out well :)
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