Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

by Urvashee on April 14, 2011 · 15 comments

Post image for Brioche Cinnamon Rolls

Working with yeast has never been one of my favorite things. Recently I’ve noticed that I’m not alone either. I’ve been reading other blogs and there is a group out there that would rather avoid using it. Makes sense. Yeast is a tricky ingredient and you need a very specific environment for it to work well. Their activity and therefore the texture and flavor of the product is affected by temperature, food, water, and time.

After the Daring Bakers made me make this stollen and this meringue coffee cake, I think I became more comfortable with it. As long as I can get it to rise, I’m usually pretty happy with the outcome. I also learned a trick that helps yeast rise during the dry winter: Place a pan of boiling water in a turned off oven and you have an instant proof box!

Brioche cinnamon rolls

Anyways…on with the recipe. Last week, I made a loaf of brioche for my brother in law’s birthday. Brioche is a highly enriched french bread with a high content of eggs and butter. It’s a great dough for making french toast or cinnamon rolls. I had not made brioche dough since culinary school. I think the stand mixer almost broke but the dough came out wonderful. The recipe made way more then I needed so I decided to use the left over dough for the cinnamon rolls that S had requested a while ago.
Brioche cinnamon roll

Recipe Note
I used the brioche recipe below to make one 9 by 5 inch loaf and then later cinnamon rolls (about 15 medium rolls). I used roughly half of the dough for each. Since I am not sure what happens when you try to make only half a recipe of dough, I’ve left it as is. So you can either make a double batch of cinnamon rolls or save the dough for another use. Raw brioche dough can be refrigerated for two days or frozen for up to a week.

Recipe (makes about 15 rolls)
Half batch of brioche dough (recipe below)
2 Tbs cinnamon
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 Tbs butter, softened
1/4 cup cream cheese
3 Tbs milk
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar

Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll out the brioche dough on a floured surface (preferably a cool surface) into a 15 by 11 inch rectangle to 1/4 inch thickness. Spread the butter over the dough leaving a 1/2 inch border. Spread the cinnamon sugar evenly over the butter. Roll the dough lengthwise. With the seam side down, cut the dough at 1 inch intervals. (I used dental floss to get nice clean cuts)

Place the rolls on a baking sheet. Try to tuck the roll tails under each roll. Cover them with plastic and a kitchen towel. Let them rise until doubled. Bake at 350°F until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to cool.

Combine the cream cheese, milk and sugar in an electric mixer and whisk until smooth. Drizzle or pipe over the rolls.

For the brioche dough (full batch!) Recipe from French Culinary Institute
50 mL water
5 eggs
30g fresh yeast
3 3/4 cup bread flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 Tbs cold butter

Temper your butter by wrapping it in plastic and patting it down with a rolling pin. You want it soft and cold but not melted. Store it in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest.

Add the water, eggs, flour, and yeast together in an electric mixer. Mix on a low speed for 1-2 minutes and then and the sugar and mix for another minute.  Add the salt and mix for another two minutes. Increase the speed and mix until the dough becomes stretchy.

Gradually add in the cold tempered butter. Work the dough until it is smooth and satiny. Be sure to scrape the dough off the sides and paddle during mixing. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and let it rise for 1 hour. Punch it down into a ball, wrap in plastic tightly and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least four hours. You may want to double wrap it and put it in a bowl in case it expands out of the plastic.

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula April 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

These turned out beautifully!

nisha April 14, 2011 at 6:13 pm

oh my i just stumbled upon your blog through foodgawker and its just gorgeous…i love all the pics..have already bookmarked some recipes :)

Anita Menon April 14, 2011 at 8:13 pm

These rolls look divine. I agree with you on the yeast battle. I constantly have had to fight them. I am still not comfortable. Wonder if you could share the tip about putting the pan of boiling water in a turned off oven, in detail.

The photograhs are stunning too.

Dessarts April 15, 2011 at 8:08 am

Anita, thanks for compliments. For the proof box: My oven has a “bread proof” botton which essentially runs the oven at 100F. The instructions are to pour about 2 cups of boiling water into a broiler pan which sits on the lowest rack of your oven while your dough sits on one of the upper racks. I don’t always trust the temperature (afraid it might get too high) so I run it for a little while and just turn it off after I put my dough inside. It’s still warm and humid. So, anyone can do this even if you don’t have a “proof” button.

Beth April 16, 2011 at 2:17 am

Your rolls are just gorgeous. They’re enough to get me using yeast again!

Sasha April 16, 2011 at 10:37 am

These are amazing. I can’t wait to try it out

elisabeth@foodandthriftfinds April 16, 2011 at 10:44 am

Congratulations on the Top 9 with your gorgeous cinnamon rolls. This is the best recipe that I found so far, and the rolls are so perfect and over the top yummy. Also, the drizzle is beautiful, as well. Now I know I want to try this, for sure.
Thanks for sharing:DDD

Wit,wok&wisdom April 16, 2011 at 11:19 am

Hello Urvashee,
It was lovely knowing you and meeting you over your splendid Brioche Cinnamon rolls!They are so well made and look absolutely gorgeous.And yes,you have a lovely space too…loved being here.

I am running an event at my place that centers round bread – I’d love it if you’d take a peek sometime and link up any of your amazing recipes if you wish too:) I’m your newest follower btw to keep catching up on your lovely creations!


Liz April 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Fabulous cinnamon rolls…love that they’re made with brioche dough.

Tammy April 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

I have not only fallen in love with your cinnamon rolls but also your site! Lovely photos and recipe…I will bookmark this and try it soon…I’ve been longing for a good Cinnamon Roll Recipe! Thank you!


Sasha April 22, 2011 at 12:47 am

These look amazing and I cant wait to try this recipe as soon as Passover is over, though i will probably use dry active yeast rather than fresh yeast as I have more success with it.

Asma September 19, 2013 at 5:50 am

Love your recipe, wish you illustrated the steps using pics. I was wondering how different is your method to others who use the sponge then adding the other ingredients.

how different are those methods and will they have different results.

many thanks

Petra August 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm

I tried making the dough yesterday but I found that it was really sticky once the butter went in. I put the butter in the fridge after I had tempered it with a rolling pin. I didn’t notice that the brioche dough rose very much at all.

Is it normal for the dough to be very sticky?

courtney October 14, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Nioce, It TASTE so goooood….

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