Saturday, April 16, 2016

So Not Cinnamon Rolls

The Bread Baking Babes were given an unusual challenge for April by Baking Soda (Karen) of our Kitchen of the Month, Bake My Day. We were to make rolls that look like cinnamon rolls, but have no cinnamon. The dough is also unusual because it contains yeast like many cinnamon rolls, but also has both baking powder and baking soda, ingredients usually used to help the dough rise when no yeast is used. I was intrigued to see how this would work out.

These are light rolls but have a texture closer to coffee cake than to rolls with only yeast. They are soft and the dough seemed easy to work with, probably because there was a fair amount of oil. I added some freshly grated nutmeg to the dough (not cinnamon!) and then decided to use a flavored honey as the filling. The honey flavors are lemon and lavender but I decided that since the honey was so sweet that it needed the additional tang of freshly grated lemon zest, so I sprinkled the zest of one Meyer lemon over the honey that was spread over the rolled out dough. The filling was still pretty sweet but the zest cut it to an enjoyable amount.

This was a tasty combination, if a bit sticky one. The rolls didn't want to unstick from the bottom of the baking pan, so I ended up scooping them out with a spatula, which damaged the middle one a bit. Still, Sweetie and I enjoyed them and found willing friends and family to help eat the rest.

I don't think I'll make this dough again since I prefer the texture of yeasted sweet rolls with no additional baking powder or baking soda, but I might use the honey and zest again, perhaps with some toasted pecans or almonds.

It was fun to make these rolls with no cinnamon and, really, there are lots of other fillings that are delicious. Check out my fellow Bread Baking Babes to see what they have filled theirs with.

You can also be a Buddy by baking your own Not Cinnamon Rolls, taking a photo or two and sending an e-mail to Baking Soda with a brief description of your rolls and include the photo for the round up. She will send you a Buddy Badge for your blog and include you in the round up. Just get it to her by April 28th.

Not Cinnamon Rolls
The ingredients:
480 ml  [2 cups] milk (I used soy milk)
120 ml [1/2 cup] vegetable oil 
95 gr [1/2 cup] sugar 
2 to 2.1/2 tsp yeast
520 gr [4 cups] all-purpose flour
65 gr [1 1/2 cup] 
all-purpose flour (extra, reserve to add later)
1/2 tsp heaping baking powder
1/2 tsp scant baking soda
1/2 tablespoon [9 gr] salt
1/4 cup honeyzest of one lemon

Oven: 375F / 190 C

Basically this recipe follows the rules for making rolls, as in: make the dough, bulk rise. Roll out in a rectangle, add filling of your choice, roll up from the long side and cut into slices. Proof and bake in a moderate oven.

Now the difference lies in the leavening combo and that comes to show in the rising method.
Room temperature milk, vegetable oil, sugar and yeast in a bowl.
Add 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir until combined, cover and let rise for 1 hour. 

Next, remove the cover and add baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine. Plan to leave it in for 1 hour or so.

You may now proceed to roll out the dough in a rectangle or refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 days. (Probably need to keep an eye out for overflowing dough, so punch down if it rises to the top). Relatively slack dough so it probably is easier to work with when chilled!

Proceed as you will with any other rolls you make; roll dough into a large rectangle on a floured surface. Original states to roll thin, I rolled my usual thickness. Use whatever you feel comfortable with. 

To make the filling, use your imagination... go sweet, go savoury, go wacky. Make it yours and make it good! I used the honey drizzled over the rectangle, then sprinkled on the lemon zest.

Now you are probably ready to start rolling, I always start with the long side closest to me and roll away from my body. You could do it the other way round, I am easy like that! Just keep a tight roll.

Once you have your roll, pinch the seam and roll it once over so the seam is on the bottom. Slice into 1.1/2 inch thick slices, or use a piece of dental floss, crossed, to cut the rolls. Place in greased baking pans (I used 9" round ones). You could also line the bottom of the pan with parchment and grease the parchment. It would make it easier to get the rolls out of the pan once baked. Cover and set aside to rise for at least 20-45 minutes before baking.

Bake for 15-18 minutes in a preheated oven (375F/190C)until tops are golden brown. Turn out of the baking pan quickly because the honey will thicken and it will be hard to remove the rolls. Place right size up on a serving plate. Serve warm if at all possible.


  1. Ah the honey is lavender flavored?! I misunderstood and thought you baked with the actual lavender blossom.Lovely combination with the lemon!

  2. What a lovely flavor combination! Maybe it's the other leavens that give the dough a more cake like texture? These sound delicious!

  3. Coffee cake texture ... you have a point. I really really liked these and think they lightened the white whole wheat flour I used.
    I think sticky sounds excellent!

  4. Honey, lemon and lavender, oh my! What a wonderful flavor combination! Love the looks of these rolls. I bet the smell was divine!

  5. You ended up with sticky buns! That is awesome. Love the honey filling idea. And I adore lemon, so sounds like the perfect match.

  6. What perfect shaping! And ooooh!! I like that you added nutmeg to the dough. And your lemon-lavender honey sounds lovely!

  7. Oops!! (I hate it when I hit "publish" too soon)

    Yes! The texture was kind of coffee-cake like, wasn't it? That must be from the chemical leaveners. And I'm with you. The extra leavener at the end seems like a needless step (ha! I almost typed "kneadless").

  8. Those are quite pretty! Light and crisp looking - possibly an artifact of the baking powder/soda/yeast combination. The scent must've been quite something!

  9. Honey and lemon - wonderful flavors. I keep trying (and failing) to grow a Meyer Lemon tree here. It's the only way I'll get to try one ;-)

  10. How great you have your swirls in the rolls, my dough was just too slack. Great flavour. I agree on not using the baking powder and soda again, I won't either.