Cinnamon rolls

There are a lot of things that I think I do well, but creating a cinnamon roll recipe that is better than this is not one of them.  We’ve been making this recipe for years and I have yet to find one that is lighter or has a better texture.  It is definitely our go to for special weekend mornings, and I have a feeling it will become yours too.

It’s from Peter Reinhart’s book, “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”.  It’s an all around excellent book.  There are a lot of bread recipes in there that I have tried over the years and I’ve loved them all.

This recipe can seem a bit daunting at first when you read through the steps, but they are all actually fairly easy steps, just maybe a little time consuming.  So plan ahead if you’re going to make this.  I usually make the dough the night before I need them.  So it may be a fun thing to do with a glass of wine while the kids are in bed 😉

I hope you enjoy as much as we do!


Cinnamon Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Breakfast, vegetarian, brunch
Serves: 8-10 rolls
  • 61/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5½ tbsp of unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp. of lemon zest
  • 3½ cups of unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp of instant yeast
  • 1¼ cups of buttermilk
  • ½ cup of cinnamon sugar (6 tbps of granulated sugar with 1½ tbsp of cinnamon mixed in)
  • Fondant Glaze
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • ½ cup whole milk
  1. Cream together the sugar, salt, and shortening on medium-high speed in an electric mixer with a paddle attachment.
  2. Whip in the egg and lemon extract until smooth. Then add the flour, yeast and milk. Mix on low speed until the dough forms a ball. Switch to the dough hook and increase the speed to medium, mixing for approximately 10 minutes, or until the dough is silky and supple. You may have to add a little flour or water while mixing to achieve this texture. The dough should pass the windowpane test or register 77-81 degrees. Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling ti around to coat it with oil. cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  3. Ferment at room temperature for approximately 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Mist the counter with spray oil and transfer the dough to the counter.
  5. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about ⅔ of an inch thick - measuring around 14 inches wide by 12 inches long. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over the surface of the dough and roll the dough up into a cigar-shaped log with the seam side down. Slice the dough into 8-12 even pieces.
  6. Line 1 or more sheet pans with parchment paper. Place the buns approximately ½ inch apart so that they aren't touching but are close to one another
  7. Proof at room temperature for 75-90 minutes or until the pieces have nearly doubled in size
  8. (You may also put the shaped buns in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before baking, make sure to allow 3-4 hours for the dough to proof before baking)
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  10. Bake cinnamon rolls for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown
  11. In a separate bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon zest and milk
  12. when buns have cooled drizzle fondant glaze over the buns.
  13. Enjoy!



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