I love Cinnamon Rolls! I first came across these beauties at a stall in the Christmas market at Belfast, UK. The simplicity of the ingredients, basically just sugar and cinnamon, yet the absolute brilliance of the taste, got me hooked!
I then again tasted another type of these rolls, a “Trdelnik” which is a tradition Czech pasty at one of the Easter markets of Prague. Though the mechanism of rolling and baking a Trdelník (these are baked over an open fire) is quite different from a traditional Cinnamon roll, but essentially they taste quite similar. A traditional Cinnamon roll however, is widely believed to have originated in Sweden. The Swedish, they love their buns, and love them in their traditional form – no icing on top, no meddling with flavours, just a sprinkle of sugar dust on top.
Fun Fact: Do you know, 4th October is the official Cinnamon Bun Day in Sweden! They also claim that it been proven that, it is impossible to resist a freshly baked Cinnamon bun, so much so that an average Swedish eats around 320+ buns in a year!
A Scandanavian/ East European delicacy, Cinnamon rolls are deliciously aromatic and irresistibly sweet. For me though the memories of that magical evening – sharing these delicious rolls with my husband along with some hot chocolate at the Easter markets in Prague, till date remain one of my most cherished memories.
Needless to say, I wanted to try baking Cinnamon rolls at home too. I tried the traditional Swedish recipe here, with some tweaks of my own. For a dessert so tasty, the preparation process is surprisingly simple. You should definitely give it a try!
Prep time: 1 hr 50 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 20 rolls
- Warm milk – 2 cups
- Melted butter – 1/2 cup
- Softened butter – 3/4 cup
- Powdered white sugar – 1/2 cup
- Brown sugar – 3/4 cup
- Cinnamon powder – 2tbsp
- Activated dry yeast – 1 packet
- Flour – 5 cups
- Baking powder – 1tsp
- Salt – 2tsp
Making the dough
In a mixing bowl, pour 2 cups of warm milk. Now add ½ cup of molten butter along with ½ cup of powdered white sugar. Mix these up.
Now add 1 packet of activated dry yeast to this mixture and allow it to rest for a minute.
Top tip: If you don’t have activated yeast, mix 2tsp of dry yeast with 2 tbsp of warm milk and leave it for a minute. The Yeast will be activated by the warm milk, you can now add this to your dough.
Now mix 4 cups of flour to this mixture, 1 cup at a time, while mixing continuously. The mixture will keep getting tighter as you add in more flour. Mix thoroughly.
Now cover this mixture with a moist muslin cloth and keep aside for 1 hr. Let the yeast work its magic…
An hour later…Voilå!! Rise and shine – the mixture should have risen beautifully by now and should be soft and fluffy too.
Now add the baking soda, salt and 3/4 cup of flour to this risen mixture. As you mix lightly, you will actually be kicking air out of the mixture and it will loose a bit of its fluffiness, but don’t worry about that.
Kneading the dough
Now take the mixture out of the mixing bowl onto your worktop/ rolling sheet. Dust your sheet/ worktop with some loose flour before you start kneading the mixture, to avoid it from sticking. Now knead the dough lightly, adding additional flour as necessary.
Top Tip: Instead of the common wooden rolling base and pin, I use a silicone pin and silicone baking mat which I got from Amazon India It may seem unusual, but you will be amazed at the results – it’s perfect for baking! You can get them here.
Now roll this dough into a big rectangular shape. I normally roll it to about 3/4 cm thick. Trim and even out the sides.
Now take the softened butter and spread it evenly on to this dough with a blunt butter knife. Then spread the brown sugar evenly on top of this buttered dough.
Now for the magic touch… cinnamon!! Sprinkle the cinnamon powder across the entire dough. Be generous, don’t worry about any strong cinnamon flavour – it will smell delicious after baking!
Top Tip: Buy some good quality Cinnamon powder instead of the regular ones we get off the small departmental stores. Preferably buy the SriLankan/ Ceylon Cinnamon – it may be costlier, but has a sweeter fragnance, which is absolutely necessary in this recipe.
Do you know, traditional Swedish Cinnamon buns use Ceylon Cinnamon only?
Ready to roll!
Carefully roll the dough now, into a log like shape. You can pinch and close both the ends of the log or trim the edges/ ends for cleaner shape.
Now cut and divide the log into equal parts. You should be able to get around 20-22 rolls here.
Now take a baking tray and line it with a baking sheet. Carefully lift each roll and lay them on to the sheet. You need not keep any space between each roll – rather these bake out beautifully when you let them snuggle i.e. put them closely together!
Fun fact: Did you know that Swedish people often refer to a Cinnamon roll as an “edible hug“! That’s because the warmth and comfort of a Cinnamon Roll on a cold evening reminds them of a warm hug!
If you can, cover the tray with a cling film. Allow these rolls to rest for around 30 mins in a warm place and let them rise.
Bake to perfection
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) in baking mode.
After the rolls have rested, bake these for about 25-30 mins.
Once done, these will be golden brown. As your kitchen fills up with the warm and sweet smell of cinnamon, its now time to take these beauties out of the oven! Let them cool for a while, on the tray itself.
Serve them warm! You can sprinkle some sugar dust or even some almond flakes on the top if you fancy!
Share some with your dear friends over some hot coffee or a cup of steaming Darjeeling Tea! Let the warmth and the irresistibly sweet aroma of Cinnamon lift our spirits and let these “edible hugs” fill our hearts.
The world needs more Cinnamon Buns!!