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Cinnamon Rolls and Sticky Buns - Bake-Off XVI


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#1 Kerry Beal

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 11:11 AM

There seems to be a number of people were very interested in recipes for cinnamon rolls over the last day or so and I realized that this would be a great topic for an eG Bake-Off.

Let's start with a quick and dirty cinnamon bun idea - one created by Amy Rosen and documented here on her blog. Doesn't get any faster than this.

The Cinnamon Bun Topic is a long standing eG topic - running several pages.

Monkey Bread, Not Using Refridgerated Rolls another source of good information.

eG recipeGullet recipes for Cinnamon Buns here and here.

Posted Image

Here is a not very good picture of my favorite sticky bun - and the dough that I generally use for cinnamon buns as well. It's Cook's Illustrated from 2004. It starts with a caramel in the bottom of the pan, a nice rich brioche like dough, then a filling in the rolls, then another sticky mixture gets applied to the top after baking. It doesn't get any stickier than this.

So let's get baking (now that it's officially diet time of year) and see what we can do with any basic or variation on a nice cinnamon bun, sticky roll, monkey bread...

Edited by Kerry Beal, 04 January 2009 - 06:14 PM.


#2 Shelby

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:43 AM

I love making cinnamon rolls. It makes me feel cozy! One thing that I do is put a layer of the yummy filling in the bottom of the pan and then a few squeezes of maple syrup on top of that! Makes the bottom of the rolls extra gooey.

Posted Image

#3 jackal10

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

The best sticky buns in the world are made by Fitzbillies.
http://www.fitzbilli...uk/v2/index.php

Note how thin the dough is.
I don't make them as I can't mach theirs

#4 Marmish

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:23 PM

Dammit. There goes my NY resolution. It's what, the 5th? Whoo hoo, I made it to the 5th. Now where's the cinnamon?

I like Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls with coffee icing. Super easy to make, makes a ton, yummy and freezes well. What more could you want?

#5 Aza

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 08:33 PM

I usually use Alton Brown's Overnight recipe- I usually make them to take into work, and the recipe works well for that. Not to mention they're quite tasty, if loaded- egg yolks and buttermilk, yikes.

I'm going to try to hold off till weekend to do this if my willpower allows. I've got lots of chocolates left to finish up and ship.

#6 isomer

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 08:10 PM

Purely in the interests of Science (and not at all because they might be delicious), I decided to try the Easy Sticky Buns recipe from Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics. Here's how they look:

Posted Image

They're "easy" because they're made from frozen puff pastry. Prep time is about 25 minutes, and cooking is another 25-30 minutes. That's pretty darned good. And they're pretty darned tasty. Crispy on the exposed edges, and soft and doughy inside. They're not made with a brioche dough, but hey... for 50 minutes and they're on the table, they are pretty hard to beat.

#7 ElsieD

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 02:52 PM

Purely in the interests of Science (and not at all because they might be delicious), I decided to try the Easy Sticky Buns recipe from Barefoot Contessa - Back to Basics. Here's how they look:

Posted Image

They're "easy" because they're made from frozen puff pastry. Prep time is about 25 minutes, and cooking is another 25-30 minutes. That's pretty darned good. And they're pretty darned tasty. Crispy on the exposed edges, and soft and doughy inside. They're not made with a brioche dough, but hey... for 50 minutes and they're on the table, they are pretty hard to beat.

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Thank you Anthony for sending me the recipe. So I got up this morning and made these. I decided after 30 minutes of baking that they were not brown enough and left them in for another 5 minutes. Big mistake. They were way too crispy on the outside and the insides weren't very soft and doughy either. But, they did taste delicious. They also did not "puff" very much - in fact, hardly at all. They sort of looked like tight little spirals. So what, other than leaving them in too long, did I do wrong? Did I maybe roll them up too tight, preventing them from expanding properly? I used a non-stick muffin tin, is that part of the problem? My dough was fresh, so I don't think that is the problem. Any thoughts?

Thanks!

#8 isomer

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 05:22 PM

Thank you Anthony for sending me the recipe.  So I got up this morning and made these.  I decided after 30 minutes of baking that they were not brown enough and left them in for another 5 minutes.  Big mistake.  They were way too crispy on the outside and the insides weren't very soft and doughy either.  But, they did taste delicious.  They also did not "puff" very much - in fact, hardly at all.  They sort of looked like tight little spirals.  So what, other than leaving them in too long, did I do wrong?  Did I maybe roll them up too tight, preventing them from expanding properly?  I used a non-stick muffin tin, is that part of the problem?  My dough was fresh, so I don't think that is the problem.  Any thoughts?

Thanks!

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Hmm... I double checked what I sent you, and it is exactly the recipe in the book, and what I followed. And I rolled mine fairly snugly like you did. I don't know why yours didn't puff up... mine were bursting out of the muffin cups and sputtering sugary deliciousness all over the place as they baked.

For what it's worth, I slightly underbaked mine - 23 minutes. But I just moved into a new place, and I'm still getting the hang of the oven, so I'm erring on the side of caution (having already ruined 2 loafs of bread and 3 batches of cookies so far). Might be the overbaking that did your batch in :(

#9 BAKED453

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 03:29 PM

Hi everyone,
The quick and easy cinnamon bun on the BAKING BITES website is really good and super quick.It took me 1hr from start to finish.
Baking Bites
I drizzled half the buns with the icing from the recipe and the other half with a caramel crisp topping (the one you use on ice creams) and sprinkled pecans over.It was very moreish and yummy.

#10 Desiderio

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 03:14 PM

I was wondering, my favorite recipe for cinnarolls uses vanilla pudding, I have to say that is the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had and that I was about to give up making cinnamon rolls right before I found this recipe. The question is, could I make a vanilla custard ( creme englaise) and use it instead of the vanilla pudding, the reason is to make it completely from scratch without the use of processed ingredients. I will probably give it a try next time and I will post the results, but I figured maybe someone knows the answer already.
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#11 prairiegirl

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:13 PM

I was wondering, my favorite recipe for cinnarolls uses vanilla pudding, I have to say that is the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had and that I was about to give up making cinnamon rolls right before I found this recipe. The question is, could I make a vanilla custard ( creme englaise) and use it instead of the vanilla pudding, the reason is to make it completely from scratch without the use of processed ingredients. I will probably give it a try next time and I will post the results, but I figured maybe someone knows the answer already.

View Post


At the pastry shop where I do chocolates, the pastry chef uses his croissant dough recipe and he uses creme englaise. So yes, you can use creme englaise. He was taught this in France when he went for training.

#12 oli

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 09:50 AM

This one is well worth at least taking a look at.
http://www.seriousea...lls-recipe.html

#13 Lior

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:45 AM

I demo - ed this (kind of), a while back. I think they are the same as cinnamon rolls. Sometimes I fill with cinnamon and sugar, sometimes I add nuts, other times I use chocolate spread as a filling and sometimes I add nuts to that!
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#14 Desiderio

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:15 PM

I was wondering, my favorite recipe for cinnarolls uses vanilla pudding, I have to say that is the best cinnamon rolls I have ever had and that I was about to give up making cinnamon rolls right before I found this recipe. The question is, could I make a vanilla custard ( creme englaise) and use it instead of the vanilla pudding, the reason is to make it completely from scratch without the use of processed ingredients. I will probably give it a try next time and I will post the results, but I figured maybe someone knows the answer already.

View Post


At the pastry shop where I do chocolates, the pastry chef uses his croissant dough recipe and he uses creme englaise. So yes, you can use creme englaise. He was taught this in France when he went for training.

View Post


Thank you much for the info! I will try next time and post the results.
Vanessa

#15 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:52 PM

I don't have pictures but I made cinnamon buns recently with the Brioche dough in Zoe Francois's book discussed in this thread. They were fabulous! I think it's best to make them with the dough either the first day or the next as I'm not as fond of the sour flavour in cinnamon buns.
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#16 CKatCook

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 04:19 AM

I thought it would be interesting to make some batches then freeze them and have them on hand to bake at a later time. I was wondering though at what point would someone freeze the batch? Right before they go into the oven?

I made some a while back but they didn't turn out that great, I cannot wait to try some of these recipes!
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#17 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 12:16 PM

I thought it would be interesting to make some batches then freeze them and have them on hand to bake at a later time. I was wondering though at what point would someone freeze the batch? Right before they go into the oven?

I made some a while back but they didn't turn out that great, I cannot wait to try some of these recipes!

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I think you're supposed to freeze them after shaping but before the final rise. Thaw in the fridge over night and then bring to room temp on the counter. Bake when they've risen.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#18 Ciao Ling

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 10:48 AM

Kerry: Thanks so much. The recipes are similar to how I have made them and after seeing the pics, it is probably what I will be making this weekend!

This made me start thinking about the best sticky bun I have ever had. When I used to live in Boston about 20 years ago, I used to get "morning buns" from the Clear Flour Bakery. To me, absolutely incredible and I have never had a bun similar to them. Apparently the bakery is still in business as I found their website. The texture was very different from the typical sweet dough. A chowhound discussion said they used their brioche or croissant dough. I couldn't find a recipe for their buns. Does anyone else know of a recipe that might come close to what is described?

#19 Kerry Beal

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 01:22 PM

Kerry: Thanks so much. The recipes are similar to how I have made them and after seeing the pics, it is probably what I will be making this weekend!

This made me start thinking about the best sticky bun I have ever had. When I used to live in Boston about 20 years ago, I used to get "morning buns" from the Clear Flour Bakery. To me, absolutely incredible and I have never had a bun similar to them. Apparently the bakery is still in business as I found their'>http://www.clearflourbread.com/index.php']their website. The texture was very different from the typical sweet dough. A chowhound'>http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/521914']chowhound discussion said they used their brioche or croissant dough. I couldn't find a recipe for their buns. Does anyone else know of a recipe that might come close to what is described?

Can you check those links - I'm getting amazon.

#20 Ciao Ling

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:09 PM

APOLOGIZE TO ALL- used the wrong link symbol when composing.

Clear Flour Bakery link is here.

Chowhound discussion of Clear Flour morning buns is here.

#21 Kerry Beal

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 02:22 PM

Check out this link. Looks like croissant dough it is.

#22 dhardy123

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Posted 03 March 2010 - 07:09 PM

Here is a video of Joanne from Flour bakery make her sticky buns:

http://www.facebook....p?v=26073024019

#23 Darienne

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 02:47 PM

Here I come a very late joiner to the bread making set. Just about to turn 69 and today I made my very first bread not in a machine and I made sticky buns using my confectionery partner, Barbara's tried and true recipe. Of course, Barbara has been making bread her whole life and learned at her Mother's knee, Mother being a professional cake decorator. My Mother had no knees.

Yesterday I had two semi-disasters making bread machine sticky buns. The first dough was so dry I ended up dumping more and more water into it and then an egg in a non-measuring panic with no idea of how much longer the kneading cycle would last. Decided not to continue the sticky bun recipe, but to make the dough into little rolls instead of just chucking it. The rolls were not perfect, but they were fine. We ate them today with my first ever Pulled Pork.

The second disaster was of a different kind. The buns turned out well...but my DH said he didn't like them. Not enough goo, not sweet enough. The dough was all wrong...way too bready. So I began to look through my non-bread machine cookbooks: Corriher, Beranbaum, Joy of Cooking, Bittman...my head was swimming and I had no idea where to start. And not only were buns of any kind a first for me, now the bread machine recipes were not working either and I was going to leave that safe world behind.

Then Barbara called and suggested that I simply try her recipe. Scribbled it down and they just are a few minutes out of the oven and pronounced by him who is wont to pronounce as "excellent". And so they are. Gooey as all get out and the dough is just right.

So now begins the great foray into real bread making. This learning how to cook is amazing!
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#24 iguana

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:11 PM

One of the problems I have with regular cinnamon rolls is that they are too sweet for my husband. I was making brioche dough for the Fine Cooking Cook the Issue 2010 contest (http://www.finecooki...ic-brioche.aspx) and I had some extra dough. So I rolled it out, spread it with brown sugar and cinnamon, rolled, sliced, and voila:

brioche 5.jpg

These were just right for us-- rich and cinnamony, but not too sweet. For my 5-year-old, I would add some glaze!

Jen

#25 Pierogi

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 10:18 PM

...I was making brioche dough for the Fine Cooking Cook the Issue 2010 contest (http://www.finecooki...ic-brioche.aspx) and I had some extra dough. ...
Jen

*WHAT* a great idea !! I made that brioche recipe about a month ago (my first ever, she says, chest bursting with pride)and it was great (she says again, chest bursting with pride). That seems like a really low-stress way to make cinnamon/sticky buns. Thanks, Jen !
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#26 nakji

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 11:53 PM

I think Dorie Greenspan has a recipe in "Baking: From My Home to Yours" in which she uses her brioche dough as the base of sticky buns. I made them for my Dad (a hard-core sticky bun aficionado) when I was home last year - they were decadent, but fabulous.

#27 Darienne

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 04:38 AM

Very nice, Iguana. And one of the things I like about your buns...and will do it next time...is that you made them in a round pan. I made mine according to directions, in a 9x13 pan, and as it obvious in my photo, they don't quite fit onto my largest platter. If made in a smaller pan would they not puff up a bit to make them taller instead of just wider?

Next time. Next time, also from a brioche dough...maybe that of RLB.
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#28 Darienne

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 08:47 AM

Question:

When I was a kid my Mother used to buy Chelsea buns from the corner Loblaws (we are talking almost 60 years ago) and the topping was sweet, but much darker than the ones I made or the photos of the many recipes I have looked at. And the flavor was well, deeper? or something?

How does one get that really dark sweet flavor? More cinnamon? Darker brown sugar? Well, that makes sense. Something else?
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#29 Darienne

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 12:58 PM

At least a partial answer to my question about where the dark in dark sticky buns comes from. Chef Zoe says that a dark pan will bake the buns darker than a light pan. I used a pyrex pan. So much for color...but what about taste?
Darienne


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#30 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:51 PM

October 4th is National Cinnamon Bun Day. Are you celebrating? :) I have a pan of them baking in the oven as I type.
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden